Marcus JCC of Atlanta surpasses goal of capital campaign

One of the largest Jewish community centers in the country secures $36.4 million in community support.

Construction of the new Zalik Outdoor Aquatic Center, featuring three pools—the Dinerman Medeiros Pool, the Samsky Pool, the Alterman Pool—and also the Barbara and Ed Mendel Splash Park. Credit: Courtesy of MJCCA.
Construction of the new Zalik Outdoor Aquatic Center, featuring three pools—the Dinerman Medeiros Pool, the Samsky Pool, the Alterman Pool—and also the Barbara and Ed Mendel Splash Park. Credit: Courtesy of MJCCA.

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) announced it has surpassed its capital campaign goal at its annual meeting on March 26. Setting a target of $36 million, the campaign has surpassed the goal, securing $36.4 million through donor contributions and community support. This landmark achievement underscores the MJCCA’s pivotal role within the metro Atlanta area and sets the stage for substantial facility enhancements and the introduction of groundbreaking programs.

For more than a century, the MJCCA has been at the heart of the Atlanta community, evolving from its inception in 1910 as the Jewish Educational Alliance to its current standing as the premier Jewish community center in the Southeast. This campaign constitutes a significant phase in the MJCCA’s history, enabling the organization to serve a broader audience and deliver an even greater impact for the next generation of Jewish Atlanta and beyond.

“This campaign represents a pivotal moment for the Marcus JCC, reflecting the tremendous support from donors and community philanthropists,” said MJCCA CEO Jared Powers. Looking ahead, Powers notes that regardless of this campaign’s current success the Marcus JCC still has many unmet needs. “There remain many opportunities for individuals, companies or foundations to make gifts that will have a tremendous impact. As more people flock to our upgraded facilities, we will continue to need funds to grow our innovative and inspirational offerings.”

The London Feldman Field has been converted to a high-end turf field for year-round use. Credit: Courtesy of MJCCA.

The MJCCA has secured $36.4 million from major donor gifts and community support, including:

Transformational Gifts

The Marcus Foundation: $12 million

Zalik Foundation Fund: $6 million


Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust

Henry and Etta Raye Hirsch Heritage Foundation

  • Etta Raye Hirsch
  • Lisa and Seth Greenberg
  • Michele and David Hirsch

The Lipman Family

The Van de Grift Family

Zaban Foundation

  • Carol and Larry Cooper
  • Laura and Marshall Dinerman
  • Sara and Robert Franco
  • Judy Zaban Miller


The Dinerman and Medeiros Families

Ann and Michael* Kay

Louise, Brett, and Connor Samsky

*of blessed memory

“It’s with a profound sense of pride that we reflect on this journey and the overwhelming support we’ve received at this point in the campaign,” said Lee N. Katz, former chair, MJCCA board of directors. “Surpassing our financial goal is a testament to the strength and dedication of our community. This accomplishment ensures that the MJCCA will continue to be at the center of Jewish life in Atlanta, offering innovative and transformative programs that will benefit the community for decades to come.”

Construction of expanded campus parking, adding more than 100 new parking spaces conveniently located by the Zalik Outdoor Aquatic Center, and also increasing parking capacity for the Zaban-Blank building. Credit: Courtesy of the MJCCA.

“The Marcus JCC of Atlanta is essential for building community and enhancing Jewish life,” said Bernie Marcus, founder of the Marcus Foundation and co-founder of The Home Depot. “Opportunities to gather at places like the JCC are important now, and especially for our children and young adults. We are proud of our longstanding partnership and look forward to these improvements strengthening Jewish engagement even further for decades to come and hope it inspires future generations to invest in our community.”    

Capital Campaign Impact

The campaign’s success empowers the MJCCA to make transformative investments in both its Zaban Park campus and Camp Barney Medintz, the agency’s overnight summer camp in Cleveland, Ga. These enhancements will further cement the MJCCA’s role as a central hub for Jewish connections, fostering the development of strong Jewish identities for the coming generations. These strategic investments in MJCCA facilities will not only provide necessary upgrades but also expand the breadth and depth of programs offered, ensuring a lasting impact on participants and the broader metro Atlanta community.

Construction Progress 

Several new facilities funded by the capital campaign are slated to open in summer 2024 at the MJCCA’s Zaban Park campus. 

The new Zalik Outdoor Aquatic Center will feature three pools—the Dinerman Medeiros Pool, the Samsky Pool and the Alterman Pool—and the Barbara and Ed Mendel Splash Park. The pools offer zero entry, multiple shallow areas, an in-pool sundeck and water slides. The Zalik Outdoor Aquatic Center will also comprise shaded deck areas and multiple picnic areas. 

The new Eva G. Lipman Pickleball Complex will feature eight covered pickleball courts with rain-protection siding allowing for all-weather play, plus an additional four uncovered courts. It will also be home to Cadranel’s Corner, a café with extensive social and viewing areas with multiple seating areas and TVs. The Eva G. Lipman Pickleball Complex also includes the new Zaban Family Sports Pavilion, a large covered multisport court with high-efficiency fans. 

Construction of the Eva G.Lipman Pickleball Complex, featuring eight covered pickleball courts with rain-protection siding allowing for all-weather play; to the left, the Zaban Family Sports Pavilion, a large covered multi-sport court with high-efficiency fans. Credit: Courtesy of MJCCA.

Additionally, as part of the capital campaign for the Marcus JCC of Atlanta, the London Feldman Field has been converted to a high-end turf field, a new parking lot is nearing completion and numerous security enhancements have been completed.

At Camp Barney Medintz, new structures have been built including cabins, bathrooms, a dining-hall extension and an adult housing structure. 

Additional projects to be completed at Zaban Park include:

  • Renovating the Brill Family Fitness Center
  • Renovating locker rooms
  • Renovating the main building
  • Reimagining the courtyard and adding a pedestrian walkway
  • Updating the preschool playground

The MJCCA Capital Campaign remains open for community members to donate and make contributions in support of current campaign efforts. The capital campaign cabinet members include: Ron Brill, Steven Cadranel, Laura Zaban Dinerman, Sammy Grant, Howard Hyman, Douglas Kuniansky, Harry Maziar and Garrett Van de Grift.

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The MJCCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has grown steadily since its inception, with an operating budget of $31 million per year with diverse earned income streams. Impacting tens of thousands of people annually, the MJCCA is welcoming to people of all faiths, ages, and backgrounds. The MJCCA is committed to strengthening the quality of life in Atlanta and is recognized as one of the most highly regarded Jewish community centers in the nation. Its three accredited preschools, award-winning camps, outstanding cultural events, and invigorating sports and fitness programs have engaged and connected the community for more than 100 years.
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