JCC MidWestchester

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About the JCC

JCCMW is a multi-generational center in Westchester. We support our community by offering outstanding human services, educational, cultural and recreational programs within and beyond our walls.  Our programs are grounded in our Jewish values and we welcome all!

Our Vision

We enrich Families, connect Friends, and strengthen Community in order to help people lead joyful lives. 

Organizational Announcements

JCC of Mid-Westchester Names Elise Dowell as its Next CEO

20-year Jewish Theological Seminary professional with extensive fundraising, communications and management experience will take the helm of JCCMW in January 

Scarsdale/New Rochelle, N.Y. (November 5, 2021) — JCC of Mid-Westchester (JCCMW), a vibrant multigenerational Jewish community center, today announced the appointment of Elise Dowell as its next CEO.

Ms. Dowell brings more than two decades of experience in executive management, Jewish philanthropy and external relations to her new role as JCCMW CEO, most recently as Vice Chancellor for Communications & External Affairs at The Jewish Theological Seminary where she guides the institution’s strategic communications, oversees public affairs and leads the enrollment management operation.

A mission-driven nonprofit grounded in Jewish values, the JCC of Mid-Westchester provides an array of educational, cultural and recreational programs to thousands of families throughout Westchester. As CEO, Ms. Dowell will oversee all aspects of JCCMW operations including its popular nursery school, aquatics and gymnastics, philanthropic activities and Jewish cultural enrichment. 

Ellen Reinheimer, JCCMW Board President, said, “Elise is a passionate and driven leader with the right experience at the right time to become our next CEO. Post-Covid is an inflection point where JCCs across the country are reevaluating how best to provide services to our families who are changing demographically and evolving in what they expect from a Jewish Community Center. Elise’s extensive skillsets across multiple public-facing roles including donor development, membership cultivation, digital strategies and external relations are particularly relevant to our vision of growth through an increasing depth of offerings rooted in Jewish values.”

Dr. Reinheimer noted that Ms. Dowell emerged from an extensive a six-month search conducted by nationally renowned executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity to which I feel a deep personal connection and responsibility, both as a Westchester resident and a person whose own experience was formatively shaped by a vibrant JCC,” Ms. Dowell remarked. “JCC of Mid-Westchester already has a sterling reputation in the community and beyond, and has been positively impacting lives for decades. I believe we are in a position to move from strength to strength as we take on new challenges while continuing to serve those who have made the JCC what it is today.”

Ms. Dowell will take over at the beginning of the year from outgoing CEO Karen Kolodny. JCCMW recently raised $600,000 to launch the Karen Kolodny Center for Jewish Culture, Heritage and Diversity, a fund dedicated to bringing together through educational and culturally immersive experiences people of all backgrounds and faiths to experience the joys of Judaism. The Center will be administered through JCCMW.

After joining The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2002, Ms. Dowell has served in roles of increasing responsibility, presently overseeing communications, external relations and enrollment management while advising the chancellor and board of trustees on all communications-related matters as well as institutional strategy. An astute fundraiser, she oversees complex, revenue-critical functions including enrollment and fundraising, and has been involved in major gifts and capital campaigns. Ms. Dowell received her BBA from Emory University and her MBA from Columbia Business School. She currently lives in Larchmont with her husband and three children.

The Jewish Community Center of Mid-Westchester is a multigenerational center in Westchester. We support our community by offering outstanding human services, educational, cultural and recreational programs within and beyond our walls. Our programs are grounded in our Jewish values, and we welcome people of all backgrounds. JCCMW enriches families, connects friends and strengthens the community.