The largest Jewish community center in the Southeast has raised $33 million out of a targeted $36 million capital campaign. So far, the plans include utilizing approximately $20 million toward the renovation of the Dunwoody campus and about another half of that for remodeling the popular Barney Medintz summer camp in Cleveland, Ga.
Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta Executive Director Jared Powers said, “Strategically re-imagining our spaces, building new facilities, and making substantial upgrades throughout our campuses will enable us to expand our programming and be well-positioned to continue meeting the growing needs of the metro Atlanta community.”
The upgrades for MJCCA/Zaban Park include:
1) New outdoor aquatic center with a zero entry pool, shallow areas for kids of all ages, in-pool sundeck, water slide, shaded pool and deck areas, snack bar, picnic area and locker room improvements.
2) New pickleball facility – some open air and some all-weather play, high efficiency fans, rain protection, social area and patio, seating lounge, spectator seating.
3) Enhanced security – high tech enhancement measures to face today’s challenges.
4) Renovating areas of the main building.
5) Re-imagining the courtyard aesthetics that improve community building.
6) Updating the preschool playground – updated for safety and fun.
7) Upgrading upper fields 1 & 2 – installing all season Astroturf.
8) Expanded parking – 143 new spaces near the Aquatic Center.
9) Reconstructing structures at Camp Barney Medintz – rebuilding bath houses and cabins, improving plumbing infrastructure, and a new adult housing structure.
Renovations are scheduled to start in September 2023 with the aquatic center, which is planned for opening by May 2024. Facilities will remain open during construction. No venues will be closed during construction that wouldn’t be otherwise closed.
Transformational donor Bernie Marcus said, “Strengthening communities through strategic investments is at the heart of what we do through our philanthropy. We have a long partnership with the Marcus JCC of Atlanta that allows us to find opportune ways to deepen our impact in Jewish Atlanta for decades to come. We are thrilled to be part of this momentous capital campaign effort and look forward to continuing to fund initiatives that support Jewish identity building.”
Chair of the MJCCA board of directors Lee Katz stated, “As someone who has been impacted by and involved with the Marcus JCC for nearly my entire life, it is with much pride that we launch this $36 million capital campaign, having already raised more than $30 million from our major donors. The time is now for the community to invest in the MJCCA to ensure this one-of-kind agency continues transforming lives for generations to come.”
The MJCCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has grown steadily since its inception, with an operating budget of $27 million per year with diverse earned income streams, including revenue from memberships and program fees. Approximately 20 percent of the MJCCA’s annual revenue comes from generous community support, corporations, and individual donors. Between 2007 and 2021, the agency experienced an increase from 18 to 151 annual major donors ($5,000+) with high participation from donors under age 55.
Powers concluded, “A Jewish community center serves as a pillar in a neighborhood or metro area. Here, we shoulder this responsibility for all ages, backgrounds, and abilities with pride. Community, camaraderie, and connection are at the heart of everything we do at the Marcus JCC of Atlanta…our innovative programs are the conduit to lifelong friendships, Jewish moments, and a sense of communal belonging.”
For four generations, Jewish Atlanta has relied on the MJCCA to be the primary destination for Jewish engagement and connection. This venture ensures that the agency stays innovative and timely as greater Atlanta grows.
After all, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S.!
Major Capital Campaign Donors
The fundraising capital raised to date was from the following major donors, with the hope of raising the remainder by this fall from the community at large:
The Marcus Foundation – $12 million
The Zalik Foundation – $6 million
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Ron & Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust
The Van de Grift Family
The Lipman Family
Henry & Etta Raye Hirsch Heritage Foundation
The Dinerman & Medeiros Families
Louise & Brett Samsky
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Barney Medintz
- Jared Powers
- Zaban Park
- aquatic center
- Bernie Marcus
- Lee Katz
- 501(c)(3) nonprofit
- The Marcus Foundation
- The Zalik Foundation
- The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
- Ron & Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust
- The Van de Grift Family
- The Lipman Family
- Henry & Etta Raye Hirsch Heritage Foundation
- The Dinerman & Medeiros Families
- Louise & Brett Samsky