Who We Are | Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

Who We Are

The Osher Marin Jewish Community Center plays a vital role in Marin County. Since its founding in 1948, the JCC has served as a community center, a gathering place, a fitness facility for community members of all ages and abilities, and an educational and cultural center for everyone. 

We all seek meaning and fulfillment in life. We want to be part of a warm, accepting community and to do our part to make the world a better place. We believe people are hard-wired to seek human connections and experiences infused with deep-rooted values. We also believe that our community has a responsibility to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and equality, and we remain hopeful that human kindness and decency will always prevail.

Our JCC stands as a beacon of tolerance and inclusion. We strive to sustain Jewish culture and build cross-cultural understanding while enhancing the lives of those in the community at large. We work with a multitude of partners to collaborate towards an over-arching goal we all desire of tikkun olam, to repair our often times downtrodden world and society.

Brief History

The idea for a multipurpose Jewish center began in 1946 when a small group of Jews living in Marin first gathered to form a Jewish Community Center. The group was inspired by a rabbi’s moving presentation of a Torah discovered during World War II in Czechoslovakia in an abandoned building about to be demolished. Declared the rabbi, “I have come half-way around the world to bring this Torah from a Jewish community that died to a Jewish community that is about to be born.” In 1948, the dedication of the Marin Jewish Community Center occurred and the JCC began operating in a house at Mission and Forbes Streets in San Rafael.

Within two years, more than 75 families were members and several youth groups formed. By the early 1960s, the JCC had outgrown its facility and the demand for additional services required a larger space. The result was the creation of a new home for the JCC in 1967 on North San Pedro Road. In 1980 a partnership of the Osher Marin JCC, Congregation Rodef Sholom, and Brandeis Marin Day School was created to develop a Marin Jewish Community Campus, one of the first of its kind in North America. The new campus opened in 1991 with a 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art JCC that featured a fitness facility, indoor and outdoor pools, a 400 seat theater, youth and teen center, and an early childhood education center for toddlers and young children.

Seventy years ago a dedicated group of leaders determined this region should have a Jewish Community Center. This past year 15,000 people – all ages, faiths, and backgrounds - came through our doors every week for a broad-breadth of innovative programs, learning opportunities, and services to live a healthy life. The Osher Marin JCC has earned nationwide respect for its

model toddler and preschool programs, commitment to lifelong wellness, award-winning camp and teen programs, and outstanding performing arts center. We are dedicated to providing a warm, welcoming place for all who join us and to continually embrace new ways to achieve our mission.

Our Future

Over the past six months, our Board of Directors adopted our vision for the coming years to ensure we remain a financially sustainable thriving community hub for the next 100 years. We are now defining our strategies and laying the foundations to embark on a three-fold plan for capital improvements, annual program support, and debt reduction. We are especially grateful for our tremendous donors, outstanding staff, loyal members and our wonderful extended community. You are collectively a source of inspiration and renewal, and provide the energy for us to face our challenges and achieve our goals.