JCC Indianapolis CEO Announces Retirement

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JCC Indianapolis CEO Ira Jaffee will be retiring in June after more than 33 years of leading the nonprofit Jewish Community Center. JCC Indianapolis provides early childhood education, afterschool care, a fitness facility and arts programs to more than 5,000 member households (10,000 people) and to 25,000 non-members through programs open to the public. Over Jaffee’s tenure, membership more than doubled and the center’s budget increased from $1 million in 1984 when he first became CEO to $9 million today. Among his greatest achievements, Ira oversaw the JCC’s $15 million renovation and expansion in 1998, greatly increasing the JCC’s square footage to its present 160,000 square feet. In 2003, the JCC opened a $4.5 million Sid and Lois Eskenazi Aquatic Complex, featuring a 70,000-square-foot outdoor water park and indoor Backer Therapy Pool. Major support for the complex came from the Eskenazi family, Lilly Endowment, Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, United Way of Central Indiana and numerous families, individuals and foundations. Last year, the JCC announced a major expansion of its early childhood education program, growing from ten classrooms to up to 17 classrooms, providing year-round education for children six weeks through pre-K. This fall, the JCC received its largest endowment gift from the family of Irwin and Ann Katz (of blessed memory). The Irwin and Ann Katz Cultural Arts and Education Endowment Fund will provide funding every year to support JCC arts and education programming. Jaffee was born and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in counseling from Butler University. He also earned a second master’s degree in non-profit management from Indiana University. He started at the JCC after initially working as a teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Indianapolis.

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