Last night, the Board of Directors approved Carole R. Zawatsky as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Washington DCJCC succeeding Arna Meyer Mickelson as of July 1. Ms. Zawatsky is currently the Chief Program Officer for Arts, Culture and Jewish Life at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. A native of Washington, she received her BA from the University of Maryland and MA from George Washington University. Ms. Zawatsky is thrilled to be coming home to DC and heading the staff of the Washington DCJCC.
Ms. Zawatsky has worked in the field of informal Jewish learning for more than twenty years where she has helped create partnerships between the community and the institutions she has directed. Her mission-driven approach to her current role at the JCC of San Francisco fully integrates Judaic Heritage into all aspects of Center life and helps to create dialogue between the Center and its community.
“One of my greatest professional strengths is making connections among organizations and communities, and leveraging arts, culture and ideas to bring people together,” Carole said. “I have come to believe that the JCC setting is among the most critical and influential institutions for Jewish life today. It is a model for Jewish life in America and the Washington DCJCC is positioned perfectly for this. I could not be more honored to be returning home to DC to join the Washington DCJCC as the CEO.”
Ms. Zawatsky has lectured in classes at colleges including New York University, Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University, consulted at other JCCs, developed curricular materials for the Library of Congress, participated at seminars and conferences around the world, and published articles about ceramics, cultural reflections, and hidden children and children’s diaries during the Holocaust. Prior to accepting her position at the JCC of San Francisco, Ms. Zawatsky was the Founding Executive Director of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland, the Director of Education at the Jewish Museum of New York, the Director of Public Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, and the Museum Educator at the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles.
Ms. Zawatsky will succeed Arna Meyer Mickelson, who spent 24 years at the helm of the Washington DCJCC. In Ms. Mickelson’s tenure the Center has grown from a small staff of five on P St. to its current 60,000 square foot modern facility with a full fitness center and pool, preschool, theater, art gallery, library, classrooms and meeting facilities visited by more than 500,000 people a year.
“The Center is about to enter a new phase in its growth and in its contribution to our community,” Ms. Mickelson said. “I know that Carole will bring the skills and experience necessary to help the Washington DCJCC meet the challenges and to celebrate the accomplishments that lie ahead.”
Mindy Strelitz, president of the Washington DCJCC, noted, “The Washington DCJCC is known nationwide for its unmatched programming.” She continued, “Carole is a wonderful fit for our Center and I look forward to working with her and tapping her endless source of energy and creativity as we continue to engage and connect with Jews in our community and other communities around the world.”
The goals of the Washington DCJCC are to preserve and strengthen Jewish identity, heritage, tradition and values through a wide variety of social, cultural, recreational, and educational programs and services. The Center accomplishes these goals in ways that reflect the unique location and role of the Center in the nation’s Capital and the many contributions of the American Jewish community in the United States.
While the Center is designed primarily to fulfill the needs of the Jewish community and to preserve and enhance the culture, traditions, ethics, and philosophy of Judaism, membership and participation in activities of the Center are open to all residents of the metropolitan area.
The Washington DCJCC is a member of the Jewish Community Center Association (JCCA), a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and a designated agency of the United Way.