Many of us pause during the High Holidays to reflect on experiences and accomplishments of the past year, while also looking forward to the many opportunities that a new year brings.
For more than a century, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta has played a vital role in the Atlanta community, making an impact on generations of Jewish families.
This past year, the MJCCA connected 60,000 people to one another and the Jewish community, more than ever before, through more than 10,000 programs. The opportunities for enrichment and connection at the MJCCA in the new year continue to be plentiful.
I am so fortunate to be a part of this organization that has been an integral part of my life for almost 40 years. As we approach the new year, I encourage all of you to become involved in the MJCCA and discover the many ways it can enrich your life as it has mine.
This High Holiday season we will gather for many wonderful events designed for everyone in our community to come together to celebrate the holidays, form meaningful connections, and, of course, have fun. I invite you to join us for our Sweet Celebration in the Garden, an Intown Rosh Hashanah party at the Wylde Center, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17; Tashlich, Birds, Bubbles and Boats at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at the MJCCA’s Lake RB; and our Sukkot Farm-to-Table Festival at noon Sunday, Oct. 8.
The opportunities don’t end with the High Holidays; they are just the beginning. One of the things I love most about the MJCCA is that not a day goes by that I don’t see someone trying something new, making a new friend, gaining a new skill or being included.
At Camp Barney Medintz, more than 1,200 campers develop lifelong friendships and a stronger connection to their Jewish identity. Our MJCCA day campers enjoy every moment of their summer of fun, friends and adventure as they try new things and make lasting memories. Our more than 500 preschoolers revel in a warm, nurturing environment while learning Jewish values and all the skills needed to prepare them for kindergarten.
Our Book Festival brings exceptional cultural opportunities to more than 10,000 book lovers. Through our teen programs, thousands of young people connect with one another, establishing lifelong social networks and a stronger connection to their Jewish identity.
Our Inclusion program enables children with special needs to learn and play side by side with their typically developing peers. More than 3,500 active mature adults participate in activities that help them stay engaged, make connections, and live rich, full lives.
This year the MJCCA launched a series of meaningful events intown, creating the opportunity for young, busy families to take part in a variety of enriching activities that introduce them to other Jewish families living in the neighborhood and help them build lifelong connections.
While we will host the JCC Maccabi Games in Atlanta in 2019, the excitement is already palpable and the initial planning underway. Our MJCCA community extends a special thank-you to Philip Rubin and Brian Seitz for making this dream a reality.
We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide Jewish teens with this amazing experience where they not only compete in sports they love, but also build lifelong friendships, cultivate a deeper appreciation of Jewish values and collectively give back to the community.
Hosting the JCC Maccabi Games involves a team of volunteer leadership. At the helm for the MJCCA will be Amy Rubin and Libby Hertz as the JCC Maccabi Games co-chairs, Garrett Van de Grift and Mike Leven as the JCC Maccabi Games advisers, and Lisa and Ron Brill as the JCC Maccabi Games honorary chairs.
It is going to take a village, and we invite you to volunteer as we plan for the JCC Maccabi Games in Atlanta.
During this time of reflection, I want to acknowledge the incredible contributions made by our board, donors, members, sponsors, staff, lay leaders, partners and participants. Your continued support of, and commitment to, the MJCCA will enable us to make an even greater impact in 5778.
We are steadfast in our commitment to all those who depend on the MJCCA to be a welcoming, inclusive and safe space to gather, learn, play and find meaningful connections.
On behalf of the MJCCA, I wish you l’shana tova!
Jared Powers is the CEO of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (www.atlantajcc.org).