By Sandy Newman
Assistant Executive Director
The Jewish Community Center of Allentown welcomed its new executive director Jeff Rembrandt on Aug. 3. Jeff comes to us from Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was the assistant executive director at a thriving J.
Jeff’s extensive knowledge of programming, operations management and community building will enable us to move forward in all aspects of J administration. Jeff assumes the helm as Amy Holtz relocates to Connecticut with her husband Mark. Amy spent the last year as the J’s interim executive director and successfully helped to reshape the vision of the J in the Jewish community and empower staff to be their best.
During his first week, Jeff spent time meeting with his senior management team, community leaders and even had lunch with Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. Jeff attended several committee meetings, including Sports and Wellness, Children, Camp and Transition. He has quickly learned about our building and takes the time to walk the areas and engage in conversations with staff and members. “Jeff spent the first week listening, learning and observing. He will be analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the JCC with the task of keeping us on track where we are strong and improving areas where we are weak,” said JCC Board President Andy Kahn.
Jeff ‘s wife, Rabbi Rachel, is a chaplain who has previously worked in hospice care. She has recently accepted a position in a resident chaplain program at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Jeff’s oldest son Jason is in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and works for Liberty Mutual Insurance. He’s engaged and is getting married next July. His second son Micah recently graduated from college and lives in Brooklyn while he works as a research analyst for L2. Hannah, his youngest child, is a junior in college at Hofstra studying to be a speech pathologist. She has joined Jeff and Rachel at their new home in Breinigsville for a few weeks before heading back to school.
Here at the JCC, Jeff’s door is always open. “Please stop by and see me,” he urged members of the community. “If you are not yet a member of the J, please stop by our Welcome Desk, pick up an application, and I’ll help you fill it out in my office.” His office is adorned with Judaica, each piece or art with a unique story of his; including a giant shofar he can blow as a mitzvah during the holidays. He encourages members and the community to introduce themselves, engage in conversation and help us move forward.