Word from the CEO

Posted by: Brian D. Siegel on Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Brian Siegel, CEO

Dear members and friends,

As we enter another chilly Michigan winter, we reach for those warm places where we feel safe and comforted. The expansiveness of the summer gives way to an inward contraction. Here at the JCC, we’re also engaged in a visionary process we call tzimtzum. According to Kabbalah, new creation doesn’t occur through expansion but through contraction – when we right-size ourselves in order to open up space for growth. After years of tough challenges, we are at the cusp of a new moment and the opportunity for great change.

Let me explain some of what’s ahead. In 2015, the JCC adopted a 7-part strategic plan to financial viability and institutional reinvention. We committed to:

  1. Fix the Balance Sheet to operate once again in the black and reduce our debts.
  2. Pivot the Mission of JCC to remain relevant and competitive in a world very different than the one in which we were established in 1926.
  3. Facilitate Community-Wide Education and Engagement, becoming a curator and provider of excellent cultural programming.
  4. Partner with Tamarack Camps to grow and improve our successful Day Camp
  5. Develop the Wilderness Portion of our Campus into a world-class day camp and retreat center
  6. Rightsize the Building and Consolidate JCC Operations Within It to reduce our physical footprint, become more agile, and reach out beyond our walls into the communities we serve.
  7. Secure the Financial Future of the JCC as we approach our Centennial Campaign in 2026.


While many of these points are still in process, we’ve made significant progress on our strategic plan. I’ve never been more confident in our team behind this vision: we’ve got seasoned veterans and young new recruits alike putting their best minds towards this endeavor. Most importantly, we have you: our dedicated members and donors who have made the JCC your cultural, educational, and recreational home away from home this winter. Thank you for choosing JCC, and we look forward to celebrating many successes together in the transformational months and years ahead!

Yours truly,

Brian D. Siegel

Chief Executive Officer

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