When Rick and I learned we were moving to Atlanta from New York, we drew a circle with a 10-mile radius around the Marcus Jewish Community Center (MJCCA) and told our realtor, “This is where we need to live.” We knew that in a town where we had no family, a JCC would be vital. So on our second day in Sandy Springs, with unpacked boxes all over the house, I took Avi, then 2, and Max, then 1, to a play group at the MJCCA. We met our best friends there, and 13 years later, our kids are still friends too.
Once our daughter Noa was born, life at the MJCCA became even fuller. Noa just recently aged out of the Youth Ensemble drama program, where she loved acting in James and the Giant Peach, Annie, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. She’ll probably jump right into the BBYO Connect program for 6th-8th graders.
Rick has played adult basketball and coached the boys’ teams. Avi and Max continue to play JCC sports and this summer had the thrill of participating in the 2016 Maccabi Games St. Louis. Both their grandfathers flew out to watch them compete.
The JCC has given our kids so many positive, immersive Jewish experiences, from the Weinstein School to Camp Alterman. But Camp Barney Medintz is the crown jewel of our membership. The 11 months leading up to camp are almost like “filler” for my kids — Barney is what they live for. At camp, my kids are their best selves. They get their first taste of being on their own, and in that one month at camp they just seem to grow by leaps and bounds. I wish I could bottle the magic!
Whenever I drive up to the JCC, I feel tremendous pride. When people come to visit us in Atlanta we always want to show off our JCC. It’s the place that has followed us through every stage of our lives and has given us an amazing Jewish lens through which we’re watching our kids grow up.
The Young Family — Michelle, Rick, Avi, Max & Noa
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