1984 – 1999

Early 1984
Charles and Sharon Newman convene group who become JCC founders. Group decides that a JCC is vital to the growing Ann Arbor community.

May 29, 1984
Organizational meeting outlines reasons to start a JCC, propose facilities, and devises an implementation plan.

July 10, 1984
2300 E. Stadium determined for the location for the JCC.

September 1, 1984
Founding Board of Directors established. Carol Hoffer is the initial Federation/JCC Executive Director.

January 13, 1985
Beth Israel Nursery School and Raanana Day Camp become part of the JCC.

June 12, 1985
Programs include: Preschool/Toddler program, Day Camp/ Holiday School, Community Volunteers, Kid’s Peace Corps, Business People’s Club, Book Club/Fair, Seniors Club. Committees include: Public Relations, Fundraising, Membership, Facilities and Operation, Business and Finance, Executive Committee.

July 21, 1985
Four series of events planned to sustain community support (self help, cultural, entertainment, feature series).

January 19, 1986
Six policy making committees of the board established (public relations, membership and fundraising, programs, facilities and operation, business and finance, personnel).

August 13, 1986
Decision to purchase the Clinton Elementary School building at 2935 Birch Hollow Drive.

September 7, 1986
Board of Directors expands to 21 members.

February 1987
JCC moves into 2935 Birch Hollow Drive and begins lease arrangements with Hebrew Day School and Jewish Cultural School.

May 1987
Education of community about the new Jewish Center and tours of building.

February 1988
First Colossal Computer Sale.

March 1, 1988
First Federation/JCC Executive Director, Nancy Margolis, is hired.

March 20, 1988
Plans to incorporate Beth Shalom Nursery School into parent-child development center including half day nursery school, full day child care, kaleidoscope programming, and parent child workshops.

May 1, 1988
Dedication of the Jewish Center and presenting of plaques.

June 1988
Raanana becomes JCC Camp Raanana.

September 1988
Senior Thursday Lunch Bunch begins, first Apples and Honey and Lots, Lots More held, singles group becomes part of JCC.

December 1988
Mezuzah dedication ceremony. Outing Club forms.

November 1989
Organization of Black/Jewish Coalition.

January 1990
The Million Dollar Campaign is completed.

August 1990
Co-host opening ceremonies of JCC Maccabi Games with Detroit.

September 1990
Infant/Toddler room opens. Begin lease arrangement with Temple Beth Emeth.

March 1991
First Magical Mystery Meals.

July 1993
Report: Planning Survey.

May 1995
10th Anniversary Celebration. Announcement of Capitol Building Campaign.

May 1997
Ground-breaking for building expansion.

April 1998
Move into the newly expanded JCC.

2000 – 2009

March 2000
Nancy Margolis retires. JCC separates executive function from Federation.

November 2001
Leslie Bash becomes the first JCC Executive Director.

May 2002
First Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival as a satellite of the Lenore Marwil Detroit Jewish Film Festival.

July 2002
Israeli Scouts Friendship Caravan comes to Ann Arbor for the first time.

August 2002
Israeli Expo to help Israel’s economy is held at Apples and Honey.

November 2002
JCC joins the Jewish Book Council and doubles the size of the Jewish Book Fair.

February 2003
Family Havdalah is the first family program to be sponsored by the Bernard L. Maas Foundation.

April 2003
JCC Gala Auction raises $46,000 for gym renovation.

May 2003
Second Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival, attendance almost doubles.

July 2003
JCC begins Gym Fundraising campaign.

August 2003
Apples and Honey hosts 500+ attendees.

September 2003
JCC adds University of Michigan Sol Drachler Program intern to the staff.

April 2004
Gym renovation begins.

September 2004
Gym renovation completed and Mezuzah ceremony is held at Apples and Honey.

May 2005
JCC Gala Auction raises $50,000 for renovation of the Maas Lounge and the building of an elementary age appropriate playground.

November 2005
ECC and HDS hold first Family Literacy Night.

May 3, 2006
5th Annual Jewish Film Festival has sell-out screenings at the Michigan Theater.

July – August 2006
Camp Raanana has largest enrollment to date.

September 2006
Apples and Honey hosts 700+ attendees.

January 2007
Renovation of the Monkey Room complete, funded by the Bernard L. Maas Foundation.

March 2007
JCC Gala Auction raises $55,000 for elementary-age playground campaign.

Spring 2007
ECC begins partnership with High Scope Educational Research Foundation and incorporates their teaching practices into the curriculum.

November 2007
Largest Jewish Book Festival to date.

June 2008
JCC holds a gala event to honor founders Chuck & Sharon Newman and launch an endowment, Fund for the Future.

August 2008
New elementary playground installed and Maas Lounge renovated.

September 2008
Center hires first full-time Jewish Cultural Arts and Education Director.

March 2009
Gala Auction raises $34,000 towards roof replacement.

May 2009
New fences installed around early childhood playground and new school age playground funded by the J’s first Homeland Security Grant.

June 2009
Name changed from the Jewish Community of Washtenaw County to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor.

July 2009
Shatter proof glass installed as part of the first Homeland Security Grant.

September 2009
New roof installed.

2010 – Present

August 2010
Lounge renovations are completed.

September 2010
By-laws are revised.

March 2011
Bi-annual auction raises milestone $31,000.

August 2011
ECC Bunny infant/toddler room reconfigured.

January 2012
ECC Duck infant/toddler room reconfigured.

January 2012
New gym floor installed.

June 2012
Second Homeland Security Grant funded projects completed.

June 2012
Camp Raanana moves to the Cedar Lake Nature Center in Chelsea, MI through a partnership with the Michigan United Conservation Club.

June/July 2012
The Center raises funds to install a new PA System.

October 2012
Jeffrey Baden becomes Executive Director.

Summer 2014
Major renovations completed to update Infant/Toddler rooms, hallways, and KidZone rooms.

January 2015
The J adopts the new JCCA brand revitalization anchored by the “love mark” of a white J offset inside a colored square. “The J” is formally adopted for casual reference and “JCC” is no longer used without an identifier (i.e., Ann Arbor JCC).

July 2015
David Stone becomes Executive Director.

May 2016
Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor is one of many Jewish organizations internationally to receive a bomb threat, which proves to be a hoax.

August 2016
The J holds first annual Golf Outing for Youth Scholarships to offset over $50,000 in support provided to families to attend ECC and Camp Raanana programs.

March 2017
The J is yet another organizations to receive a bomb threat during the ongoing hoax. The pepetrators are eventually identified, arrested, and convicted.

September 2017
Small fire in a roof HVAC unit on the east side building causes evacuation with no injuries and is easily extinguished. The unit is replaced and interior water damage results in new carpeting and ceiling tiles in all three lounges.

November 2018
Awarded an “Impact Grant” from the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor, the J launches Israel Center at The J, which seeks to engage individuals with Israel, thoughtfully and respectfully, together as a community, with guest presenter Noam Zion, author and fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute, who presents, “A Tale of Two Cities: Jerusalem and Washington, D.C.”

May 2019
Long serving youth fitness and aquatics instructor, Camp Raanana aquatics director, and HDS gym teacher, Kim Braun, passes away.

September 24, 2019
The J holds its first formal gala event on the premises, the 35th Anniversary Founders Gala, which consists of the 35th Anniversary Archive Exhibition opening, book release of “History of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor” by Fran Martin, and an at-capacity kosher catered celebration dinner. Net is just under $100,000, allowing the J the pay off its mortage and re-establish the Director of Jewish Cultural Arts and Education as full time.

February 2020
Long serving Director of Facilities, Ken Emerson, passes away.

March 2020
The J responds to the COVID-19 pandemic by closing its building to protect public health and moving its programs online, initiating over a year of firsts, including the first all online film and author festivals.

June 2020
The J implements building health and safety upgrades and protocols allowing the Early Childhood Center and Camp Raanana to operate after the initial pandemic related “stay home” order is lifted.

September 2020
Third Homeland Security Grant funded projects completed including upgraded camera systems, outdoor lighting, and new ballards.