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Miami’s Jewish Community to Benefit from New Cultural and Education Center at MAR-JCC

Excitement is at a fever pitch at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center (MAR-JCC), one of three Federation-supported Miami JCCs, where campers are already enjoying the new 40,000-square-foot Feldenkreis Culture and Education Center. Federation played an active role in developing and financing the new addition, guaranteeing a bond that allowed construction to proceed while a vigorous capital fundraising campaign was still ongoing. “Federation also assisted us by providing some of its outstanding professionals — especially Simon Kaminetsky — to guide us in the fundraising process,” said Capital Campaign Chair Ariel Bentata, who also serves on Federation’s Executive Committee.

With a grand opening scheduled for the end of October, the new structure will house a variety of facilities for the community to enjoy, including the 200-seat Alan & Diane Lieberman Theater, an expanded gymnastics center, and new amenities for art, dance, music, fitness and youth activities. A portion of the new edifice also will provide enhanced facilities for the Victory School, an education program for children with developmental disabilities.

In addition to the opening of the Feldenkreis Center, MAR-JCC has also welcomed Alan Sataloffas its new CEO. Having previously led three different JCCs — in Richmond, VA; Palo Alto, CA; and Chicago, IL — Sataloff has the professional leadership skills to guide an institution that serves 3,500 individuals on a daily basis. He believes the new Culture and Education Center reflects a commitment to meet the needs of a growing and diversifying Jewish community in North Dade. “This is a multi-cultural community that continues to expand and evolve, as more people move here,” he said. “Our JCC has a responsibility not just to grow, but to change with the community. We benefit from [volunteer] leadership that is very committed and involved. Our staff is passionate and energized. Together, we expect great things.”

The Feldenkreis Culture and Education Center has been named in honor of prominent philanthropists George & Mariita Feldenkreis, Fanny F. Hanono and family and Oscar & Ellen Feldenkreis and family. “There is a real aura of excitement and energy on our campus,” said MAR-JCC Chair of the Board Fanny Hanono. “Great things are happening at our JCC and I am very happy that I have been able to work with a team of dedicated professionals to achieve all we have.”

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