Shalom Austin Celebrates Opening of New Dell Jewish Community Center
Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Dell Jewish Community Center on May 15, 2023. Courtesy: Shalom Austin
Shalom Austin, the hub of Jewish life in Central Texas, celebrated the grand opening of its newly renovated and expanded Dell Jewish Community Center (JCC) with a variety of events in April and May. The grand opening of the new facility marked the completion of a transformation that began in 2020.
The new two-story, 37,805-square-foot facility now includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, living room, café, education center, meeting rooms, and all-gender restrooms. In addition, a new aquatic center, tennis and pickleball courts, renovated locker rooms, a refreshed community hall, preschool and other upgrades opened in 2022.
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation matched $6.25 million of the over $25 million Shalom Austin Generations capital campaign to aid in its construction. The Dell JCC, named after leading
donors and community members Michael and Susan Dell, celebrated the unveiling of the renovation project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 15, which included remarks from Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, Council Member Alison Alter, JCC Association of North America President and CEO Doron Krakow, and the Dells. The ceremony also included a traditional blessing from Austin Jewish clergy members and the hanging of a mezuzah, a visible sign and
symbol to all those who enter that a sense of Jewish identity and commitment exists within.
“The Dell JCC is one of the best kept secrets in Austin,” said Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus, chief executive officer at Shalom Austin. “These renovations will help us enhance the quality of Jewish life through more opportunities for connection with each other and serve all of our neighbors at the same time. None of this would have been possible without our wonderful community and generous donors over the years; and this is just the beginning. We look forward to what the future holds.”
This milestone is happening exactly 30 years after the 40-acre campus had its first public event, a Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day) celebration, on what was then the future site of the JCC. “Of all the wonderful things we have been lucky enough to be a part of, the Dell Jewish Community Center at Shalom Austin is one that makes us particularly proud because it is home to us and so many others. This project is aptly titled ‘Generations’ because it is truly a place for everyone, and one where lifelong memories are made,” said Susan Dell, co-founder and board chair of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
“After relocating to Austin, it was very important to Susan and me to establish a center of Jewish culture and community here. We wanted to recreate the experiences we both had at the Jewish Community Centers in Dallas and Houston and are grateful to have done that through our work with Shalom Austin,” said Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Technologies and co-founder of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
At the Grand Opening Celebration, JCC current and future members were treated to an afternoon of exercise classes, children’s activities, live music, pizza, giveaways and more. For one member, seeing the building buzzing with excitement reaffirmed her love of the J. “This place is amazing. I joined in November after seeing information a friend posted on Facebook. I love the location, equipment and people – it’s so welcoming here to everyone that I’ve had three friends join with me,” said Chantelle Wallace.
For more information about the facility features and offerings, visit shalomaustinorg/ membership.
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