(Published Aug 1, 2017)
Eric H. Koehler, JCC’s new CEO, has been on the job a little more than a month and is already a regular fixture in the Mordoh Fitness Center as is his wife Sandy. Even son, Gedalia, has jumped right in as staff at Camp JCC.
The Koehlers come to Indianapolis from Stamford, CT where as CEO of the JCC there, Eric raised more than $7 million in two capital campaigns. Eric was CEO there for six years. “By the time I retire, I would love to have the same number of years as Ira,” Eric said in referring to Ira Jaffee, the JCC’s CEO who retired in June after leading the organization for 33 years.
Eric’s background is in Psychology (B.A. from Boston University) with an M.S. degree in Counseling from Salem State College, with a concentration in Industrial Organizational Behavior.
“As a person who has dedicated my career to Jewish communal work, I have an ongoing vision of bringing the Jewish community together at the JCC, and engaging the non-Jewish community through living our Jewish values. For me, this is more than just a transient career decision; it is my life mission,” Koehler said. “I believe that it is the JCC’s role to be the thread that ties the community together.”
Favorite activity outside the JCC: Loves fishing
Favorite book/movie: The original Star Wars. Is a comic book fan. The Flash series is one of his favorites.
For professional development, his go-to is Leading with Meaning: Using Covenantal Leadership to Build a Better Organization by Moses Pava
Favorite word: Kehilla (turns out it’s one of JCC Indianapolis’ values. It means “enriching our neighborhoods and Jewish community, making them better”)
Least favorite word: Silo
Favorite food: The tuna wrap from the J Café (the Koehlers are Orthodox and keep kosher). Eric liked that the tuna was slightly sweet.
“I can cook, but my wife is the chef,” he said. He likes that she’ll do different combinations that he wouldn’t think to combine. The tuna wrap is similar; he never would have thought to make it sweet, but really likes it.
Day job: Speech therapist for adults
Loves: Walking and the outdoors; you may catch her kayaking on the White River
Favorite read: Likes current books, but also classics. Anything by author Jodi Picoult
About the Kids
Eliana just returned from a gap year in Israel; will be going to Brandeis University
Gedalia just graduated high school and will be taking a gap year in Israel before going to Drexel University