Addie Goodman's ties to JCC Chicago date back to her college years, when she taught swimming classes at Bernard Horwich JCC, where a man working at the registration desk caught her eye-a man who later would become her husband.
"It was one of those JCC love stories you hear about," said Goodman, of Evanston, who has four children with that former desk clerk.
Her early years at JCC came full circle as Goodman, on Sept. 1, became the President and Chief Executive Officer of JCC Chicago. Goodman will serve as JCC Chicago's 12th CEO, and as the first woman to lead the agency in its 115-year history.
Goodman first came to JCC Chicago in 2014, serving first as Chief Advancement Officer and then as Chief Operating Officer for the organization.
During her stewardship, JCC Chicago has expanded programs in the areas of monthly teen and family events, inclusive programs for children and teens of all abilities, and health and wellness experiences. Most notably, she has helped grow the annual JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival, with attendance jumping from 1,000 five years ago, when Goodman started, to 12,000 this past year.
In her new role at JCC Chicago, she will oversee day and overnight camp, early childhood, recreation, cultural arts and community engagement, and fundraising efforts for the agency.
JCC Chicago is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving the community. "We look forward to partnering with Addie and her board as we strive together to strengthen JCC's good work," said JUF President Steven B. Nasatir.
Goodman acknowledges that as the first woman in this role, there are many eyes on her and many people committed to her success. Goodman talks with her daughter and three sons-all teenagers who have served as JCC campers and/or counselors-about her new role too. "They see that their mom has really persevered and worked hard to achieve something substantive," she said.
At the same time, she says, this is so much bigger than her. "There's a lot of support," she said. "It's not a one-woman show, but really a collective effort to have the greatest impact on the community."
Looking ahead, Goodman would like to see JCC Chicago as a place for people of all ages and lifecycles in the Jewish community. "All of us Jewish community professionals share a goal of Jewish continuity," she said. "We all do it a bit differently depending on our resources and areas of focus, but that's the meta goal."