In rockville maryland there is a JCC (Jewish comunity center) most likely owned by Jewish owners (although the center is open on Shabbos) that provides swimming pools, workout room, basketball courts etc. In order to get into any of these rooms there are doors that one must place his membership card on for the door to open and to get in. There is only one room that the doors are always open and that’s the basketball courts. Over time many people not wanting to pay the membership for the year or more, would just sign up for the minimal membership to receive a card and then walk into the jcc and simply into the basketball court. One needed to have at least some membership card as there was normally a guard at the door to the center who would ask to see membership cards, and one needed to just bypass him and then he had ability to walk into the basketball court with the expired membership card. Although it was possible to bypass the guard even without a membership card as you could have told him that you were going to the food place in the jcc that you don’t need membership to get into, people preferred to do it this way. After time the jcc realized what was going on, and one night they had somebody waiting in the basketball court area with a machine that would check everybody’s card and he had probably hundreds of expired cards from the day. That was only a one day thing and people then resigned up for the minimal membership and continued on again using expired cards to bypass the guard and then walk into the gym. I originally signed up for a three month membership and used this expired card for about 2-3 years. I only used the basketball court, never anything else. From what I remember one cant just sign up to use the basketball court, only for full access of the jcc. I want to take care of this, please advise.

Answer:

The terms of the JCC, which I understand is a privately owned establishment, must be followed.

If the terms of entry onto the basketball court are a valid membership card, this is what you need to have; entering without a valid card is tantamount to gezel, because you are receiving something (the right to play on the court) without paying for it (the membership fees).

Therefore, from what I understand from the question, you should ensure that you have a valid card.

Best wishes.

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