THIS IS IT! Time is Running Out! A New Day for the J is Today: Give to Jewish Austin's Future

THIS IS IT! Time is Running Out! A New Day for the J is Today: Give to Jewish Austin's Future

In order to complete the Generations Campaign dream, it is imperative for community members to act now. The capital campaign is in its final fundraising stretch with just under $2 million left to raise. To receive a J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation $500,000 challenge grant, the Generations Campaign needs to reach its original $25 million goal by the High Holidays at the end of September 2019.

Since its grand opening in January 2000, the Dell Jewish Community Campus has given Central Texas Jewish community members of all ages a place to celebrate, worship, learn, socialize and work out. The Generations Campaign, the first capital campaign since the Dell Jewish Community Campus opened, is continuing that legacy. 

As of mid-August, the Generations Campaign has raised more than $23 million.

A few members of the Generations Campaign donor community shared some thoughts on the importance of supporting the Central Texas Jewish community’s future.


The Generations Campaign’s $25 million goal will support new construction, renovations and sustainability initiatives, all designed to strengthen existing and foster new community member connections. Thank you to the donors who generously donated and named the following elements of the Dell Jewish Community Campus: 

  • Dell Jewish Community Center

  • Dell Fitness & Wellness Center

  • Epstein Family Community Hall

  • Gloria & Harvey Evans Performance Hall

  • Rochelle & Stanley Ferdman Family Aquatic Center

  • Hurt Family Tennis Center

  • Bernard & Audre Rapoport Center for Jewish Culture and Education

  • Clifford Zeifman Family Early Childhood Program Center

  • Stephanie & Jeff Miller Café

  • Val & Jeff Newberg Welcome Central

  • Garber Family Trail

  • Sandy & Lisa Gottesman Pool

  • Papermaster Field


Susan and Michael Dell 

Why do you continue to stay involved in Austin’s Jewish community?

We care deeply about our Austin Jewish community. Our philanthropic work in Austin’s Jewish community is part of our commitment to our heritage and culture.

We have a vision for a vibrant, healthy and growing Austin. The expanded Dell Jewish Community Campus will provide an opportunity to expand health and wellness, family services and education opportunities to support that vision.

Why do you think supporting the Jewish community in Austin and Central Texas is important?

As our community and the city of Austin grow, it is important to support each other as we meet the challenges of the future. Community spaces like the Jewish Community Center provide a space to foster rich thought, conversation, enjoying activities together as well as an exchange of culture that is critical for our growing city.

What do you find most exciting about the conceptual designs and plans for the new Dell Jewish Community Center?

One of the main attractions of the campus is the expanded water park and playscape, where more families will come to engage in healthy outdoor physical activity and share fun experiences together.

The expanded fitness center will create more group exercise and physical activity opportunities, as well as nutrition, rehabilitation and physical therapy services.

As Jewish Family Service moves on-site, it will be more convenient for families and individuals to access mental health services.

All of these features designed into the plans will make the additions to the Jewish Community Center a very popular destination spot for many people in Austin and the surrounding areas!

How do you see the expansion and renovation of the campus impacting the Jewish community in Austin and for the city as a whole?

The future campus will build upon the Jewish community’s rich cultural history in Austin.

The expanded campus will provide a new place that is fun for the entire family to visit. The campus facilities will be able to engage the broader Austin community and continue building cultural diversity across the city.

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Susan Zane Epstein, Bobby Epstein

What inspired you to make a major contribution to the Generations Campaign?

Aptly named Generations, this chance to complete and extend the campus vision primes the JCC for the present as well as the future. We want the campus to meet the needs of today's families and hope one day our children's children, and even their children, will enjoy its many offerings.

Which aspects of the Generations Campaign excite you the most?

The DJCC is a multigenerational, tri-denominational place where our community can learn, play and grow together. There is one area that especially resonates with us, and that is its emphasis on fiscal responsibility and planning for the future. Ten percent of all Generations gifts go directly to the newly formed Jewish Community Foundation of Austin and Central Texas, creating an endowment for facilities maintenance that will provide funds for ongoing upkeep and renovations of the campus.

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Shantel and David Ferdman

Why are the Dell Jewish Community Campus and the JCC important to you and your family?

We lived in Austin when the vision for the Dell Jewish Community Campus first started to take shape. It has always meant a lot to Shantel because of its role as a community gathering place. As a young family years ago in Austin, we spent tons of time at this J. And it’s nice for Adam to meet there with his friends and play basketball and use the campus as a place to get together for community. It’s just nice to have something there for kids.

What inspired you to make a major contribution to the Generations Campaign?

We knew we would contribute to the Generations Campaign to expand the Dell Jewish Community Campus, because we were raised to believe in giving back. We always wanted to teach our children that it is our obligation to give back to the community. We strongly feel that when you are in a position to do so, you share your blessings.

David grew up at the JCCs in St. Louis and Cleveland, Ohio, and JCCs have always been a big part of his life. His father was a JCC executive director and it’s just always been in the family, so when this campaign came about, we were excited to be able to make a contribution and help the community to expand. It’s been part of our world for a long time.

Which aspects of the Generations Campaign excite you the most?

There are many aspects of the Generations Campaign that are exciting. As a tennis player, Shantel is looking forward to having courts on campus, as well as a fitness center with natural light. She is also looking forward to the waterpark. As a mom who took my kids to the pool, I am so excited to see how the new pool activity area will play out. We moved from Houston and had really great neighborhood pools, and it was really nice. It was a great gathering place and it was lots of fun and I think the pool needs that improvement.

David is also looking forward to the new programming and cultural opportunities the expansion will bring. The entire new list of additions is exciting both for the new people in Austin as well as the people who have been here forever. The J is an amazing asset to the community, and as it’s expanded, it just makes it that much better.

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Debra and Brett Hurt

Why are the Dell Jewish Community Campus and the JCC important to you and your family?

The JCC and the Dell Jewish Community Campus are the hub of Jewish life in Austin. We love going to the many family events around Jewish holidays and seeing so many families we know enjoying the space. Having a center for Jewish activities in Austin keeps us all connected and brings out our mutual love for Judaism and our community. 

What inspired you to make a major contribution to the Generations Campaign?

We were inspired by some of the most involved leaders in our community, including Judy and Bill Waxman, Susan Zane Epstein, Bobby Epstein and Keith Zimmerman. We were honored to get involved, to follow in their footsteps and to help make a difference for generations to come.

Which aspects of the Generations Campaign excite you the most?

When we visited other cities to help assess what drew people to their JCCs on a regular basis, two features lacking in Austin kept coming up: an incredible year round tennis program and a family-friendly, outdoor water park. We knew then what we wanted to see at our JCC.

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Molly and Steve Krasoff

Why are the Dell Jewish Community Campus and the JCC important to you and your family?

The current Dell Jewish Community Campus is important to our family because it provides one centralized campus to educate, worship, exercise, socialize and pass down the Jewish heritage from generation to generation. We are very impressed with the wide range of programs and activities available at the JCC for all ages and stages of life, from preschool to seniors.

What inspired you to make a major contribution to the Generations Campaign?

Steve watched his grandparents, Murray and Shirley Levy, support and give to the Houston Jewish Community. He was taught at a young age the importance of Jewish people supporting Jewish heritage and programs. This is an important lesson we want to share with our children as we continue to support the Austin Jewish community.

Steve also watched his grandmother, Julia Krasoff, volunteer her time to support the Houston Jewish programs and people in need. This valuable lesson is also being instilled in our children. I volunteer with Amanda and Myles at numerous local philanthropies to support the Austin community. Our daughter, Amanda, received the 2017-18 Teen Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award for serving over 100 service hours in one year.

There are many people in our community who need help. If you are able, you should help them. 

Which aspects of the Generations Campaign excite you the most?

We are passionate about expanding and improving the resources at Jewish Family Service. Specifically, we want more programs to assist and support the increasing elderly and disabled population, as well as their families. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Steve is serving on the Generations Campaign Building Committee. Although there is not yet active on-site construction, the community needs to be aware there is a lot going on in the background with planning.

I am very active in the Austin Tennis Community in WTTA and USTA programs. I am very excited about the new JCC tennis facility, which will provide new tennis programs for Jewish youth and adults.


Questions? 

Contact Generations Co-Chairs Judy Waxman at jawax@gmail.com and Keith Zimmerman at Keith.Zimmerman@cushwake.com, or Generations Campaign Director Harriett Kirsh Pozen at 512-735-8076 or harriett.kirsh.pozen@shalomaustin.org. ■

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