JCC Manhattan Jewelry School


I am just completing my intermediate classes at the JCC Manhattan
Jewelry School. I am wondering if anyone else out there in NYC has
had any experiences with other schools because I am thinking of
leaving. They have cut the bench time and it really angers me because
I paid all this money and now I have to figure out where to go next
because the bench they had which was like 4 days a week is down to
like 3 or not even. It is so packed there and the attitude sucks
because no one can use the benches. Anyone have any good ideas of a
better program?


Oy! Arch, is it possible for you to get over to the diamond district
and find an apprenticeship? Parttime internship? I may be way off
target on this but you never know…it could happen. I did that 24
years ago when I started in graphic art, they loved my work and hired
me for pay two weeks into the internship.

How about building a bench at home? I have been using a homemade
bench for 6 years now and getting ready to build a real one! WooHoo!
But a sturdy table with a drawer to catch filings and a bench pin
anvil get-up that screws on. It works for me and I get to use it all
I want!! Just a little corner in your bedroom will work.

Best wishes…


Check out Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco.

Ronda Coryell

If you are looking for a school in the New York metropolitan area
try the Kulicke Jewelry School in Parsippany, NJ.

Joel Schwalb


I don’t know if traveling outside of NYC for jewelry school would
work for you, but I am a recent student of the Revere Academy in SF
and highly recommend their school. I have attended two other fine
jewelry schools – GIA for their Applied Jewelry Arts Program and
New Approach for their Graduate Jeweler Program. I had great
experiences at both schools, but as I am working independently and
wanting to create finely crafted, hand-fabricated jewelry, I felt I
needed more training.

The curriculum at the Revere Academy really catered to my needs. It
is very flexible, providing two intensive programs and two open
sessions per year, in addition to their April Master Symposiums. The
talent they bring to teach at the Academy is amazing and there is so
much to learn from them in and out of the classroom. They are all
jewelers working independently of the school and each has unique
experiences to share. One of the things I really enjoyed about the
faculty was just picking their brains to learn more about the
business. And being able to visit some of them in their own studios
was very enlightening.

Because I already had a lot of the basics of bench work, wax
carving, etc., I elected to attend during an open session where I
could pick and choose my classes. That way I could really focus on my
fabrication skills and get the most bang for my buck. Each class in
the open session is typically three days long and very intensive.
Many students attending the open session have jobs back home and
travel to SF during vacations. Also, most of the classes are
scheduled so that you can attend by taking a long weekend.

In addition to learning bench work, Revere has classes to learn
about other aspects of the business such as gemology and trade
practices. And one of the most beneficial was the marketing class
taught by Michael Sturlin. It was just a one-day workshop, but filled
with and resources that will help me launch my business.
One of the most helpful aspects of this class was the on
pricing. Michael really demystified the process and put it into a
formula that anyone could do without having to hire an accountant!

Without a doubt, investing my time and money in the Revere Academy
will really give my business a head start. But I also realize that I
still have much to learn and will return to SF to attend Master
classes whenever I can.

Bonnie Cooper

Hello arch:

We are the California Institute of Jewelry Training in Carmichael,CA
(close to Sacramento, CA). We have been training professionals for
the jewelry trade since 1979.

We cover most areas of the business:

Jewelry Design, Manufacturing and Repair

Gemology (we are an Allied Training Center for the Gemmological
Association of Great Britain and teach the entire FGA program)

Appraisal - we are the international headquarters for the
MasterValuer Jewelry Appraisal program

Retail Sales and Store Management - experienced sales instructors

Arch, please feel free to contact me at the school. Our toll free
number is 1-800-731-1122.

In our jewelry arts program, you are on the bench 99% of the time.
The other 1% is when the instructor is demonstrating for you.

Look forward to talking with you.

Mel Huth
California Institute of Jewelry Training

Hi Arch,

It’s not in NY, but I thought I should put in a good word for North
Bennet Street School in Boston’s North end

The course is very practical - almost all your time is spent at the
bench practising fabrication technique. I spent a wonderful 18 months
there, the facilities and tuition were excellent.

Eva Martin

Arch, Have you considered FIT? What’s the consensus on the program
there? Any alumnae out there reading this? Care to comment?

Paul Finelt, CIRM

I attended FIT in NY and I personally think it is a terrific place
to get jewelry and hollow ware instruction. Additionally you meet
some really terrific instructors and students.

Jennifer Friedman
Ventura, CA

I’ve got a friend that lives in the city and she’s going to take
some classes at the 92nd street Y:


I hope this link works.

Check it out, she says it’s relatively inexpensive and good studio

good luck,

Thanks Amery

I have to say that the Y is so much nicer than the JCC Manhattan. I
just went over there and also to FIT and they have a commitment to
bench time for at least 3 weekday afternoons a week which pretty much
makes up my mind. You can’t have a jewelry program without bench.
It’s like saying “Hi - we will teach you photography but you can’t
use the darkroom or photoshop” Give me a BREAK!

I think that the JCC Manhattan is just pretty much a corrupt non
"educational" school that is selling programs to make money without
thinking of really helping the students grow and learn their craft.
The administration does not listen to any complaints from students,
(they are repeatedly ignored) and simply thinks they can rip people
off. The teachers are not even that great! I took a workshop from Pat
Flynn at Penland and learned more in 3 days than I learned in 2
semesters there.

I just want folks out there to know not to take their classes - they
are also twice the price of FIT! Who do they think they are?



Please let me know what you think after you take a class. Email me
off-forum if you like. Not that I’ll ever make it to NY to take a
class, but I’m really curious. And I love that the “Y” looks better
than a “jewelry school”. Can’t judge a book by it’s title!

BTW, I’m not bagging on the “Y” or any “Y”. I used to have a gym
membership at a “Y” and I loved it. Not only was it inexpensive, but
the pool was awesome (and very clean) and the aerobics classes were
out of this world. They are a great thing.


I have not taken classes at JCC - I heard too many negatives about
it - but I HAVE taken a number of classes at the 92nd St. Y.
Although, as is probably true everywhere, the quality of the classes
is variable depending on the instructor, there are many very good
instructors, the facilities are good, and it is a very friendly