Above: The Atlanta delegation to the JCCs of North America Biennial consists of (from left) Doug Kuniansky, Janice Wolf, Steven Cadranel, Staci Graff, Jared Powers, Ken Winkler, Lisa Brill, Josh Rosenberg, Ron Brill and Joel Arogeti.

By Joel Arogeti and Jared Powers

The Marcus Jewish Community Center received two JCCs of North America Excellence Awards during the JCCs of North America Biennial in Baltimore from May 15 to 18.

The biennial was the first for us as the Marcus JCC board chairman and CEO, and the Atlanta JCC was well represented with a 10-person delegation among more than 500 biennial attendees representing JCCs from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Israel and other countries.

The conference provided the opportunity for volunteer leaders and senior professionals to learn how to further the JCC’s mission to inspire, invigorate and involve our members and stakeholders’ Jewish lives with enriching programs and events. Our delegation met with officers, key committee chairs and community leaders from other JCCs whose ideas and innovations, combined with our own, will lift our JCC to greater heights.

The biennial connected us with thinkers and innovators from around North America and the world. The experience was inspirational and motivating because we met leaders who are so passionate about the Jewish community, its values and its people.

Our programs that received JCCs of North America Excellence Awards, honoring exceptional institutional efforts and holding them up as examples so that all JCCs may learn from them, are the following:

  • Transitions, a new initiative for adults ages 18 to 25 with mild to moderate autism or other social or communication issues. Transitions aims to foster independence, community contributions and personal growth in a safe and supportive environment.
  • FitLine Functional Fitness, small group coaching, team training, and targeted fitness programs and classes designed to make you feel better, look better and perform better.

We are thrilled that Transitions and FitLine received the recognition that they deserve. Both programs received awards in the category of Kol HaKavod (Honor to You), demonstrating that they are considered to be exemplary initiatives that can be adapted by other JCCs. The success of these programs is reflected in the lives that each of them continues to affect in Atlanta.

In addition to us, the other Atlanta leaders at the biennial were Lisa Brill, a JCC Association board member who is the chair of the JCCs of North America centennial celebration over the next two years and hosted a “Celebrating 100 Years” kickoff event; Ron Brill, a Marcus JCC board member and past board co-chair; Steven Cadranel, a Marcus JCC past president and JCC Association board member; Staci Graff, assistant Director of BBYO in Atlanta and part of the Merrin Teen Professional Fellowship; Doug Kuniansky, a Marcus JCC board member and past chair and interim CEO; Josh Rosenberg, a Marcus JCC Esther Leah Ritz emerging leader; Ken Winkler, the Marcus JCC vice chair; and Janice Wolf, the Marcus JCC chief financial officer.

Joel Arogeti is the chairman of the board of the Marcus Jewish Community Center. Jared Powers is the CEO.