Paul Geduldig in 2016. (Photo/Sharon Giordano, Peninsula JCC)
Paul Geduldig in 2016. (Photo/Sharon Giordano, Peninsula JCC)

JCCSF goes a few miles down Peninsula to find new CEO who is ‘a big believer in JCCs’

Two-decade Jewish communal professional Paul Geduldig is set to become the next CEO of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, the organization announced on Wednesday.

The Oakland resident, who said he’s excited to bring a “Bay Area vibe” to the JCCSF, will be just off a 5½-year stint as CEO of the Peninsula JCC in Foster City when he starts on May 17.

“I’m a big believer in JCCs and what they can do,” Geduldig told J. “What we do best is helping people to gather.”

Originally from Atlanta, Geduldig made his way to the Bay Area in 1995, a couple of years after having worked in community outreach for the Israeli consulate in that city. In the Bay Area, he worked at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael in teen services and youth and family programs, then for 11 years starting in 2004, he served as executive director of Temple Sinai in Oakland.

In 2015, he became the CEO of the PJCC. There, Geduldig said, he and his team were able to expand partnerships with other Jewish organizations and develop new relationships with donors.

“I’m really proud of the PJCC staff,” said Geduldig. The PJCC is searching for his replacement.

As he takes over the reins in Laurel Heights, Geduldig acknowledged the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

an inscription on the wall: "welcoming strangers -- let your house be open wide, pirkei avot"
Inscriptions on the wall in the main lobby of the JCC of San Francisco. (Photo/Joyce Goldschmid)

Though the JCCSF opened its indoor fitness center on March 8, the organization’s budget for this year has been slashed from $35 million to $17 million, CEO Marci Glazer said in an interview in late February. Glazer, the CEO since 2015, is stepping down this month.

By the end of June, the JCC expects to be able to regain 60 percent of its employees.

“It’s been a difficult year,” said Geduldig, who last June said he was cutting the budget by 45 percent at the PJCC. “I think this last year has taught us that we need to be flexible and nimble. And keep adapting how we serve the needs of the community. I’m hoping that things will be on an upswing.”

Geduldig said he is looking forward to rebuilding and bringing back programs at JCCSF that have been put on hold during the pandemic. He also said he wants to be at the “cutting edge” of making certain experiences at the JCCSF, like talks or exercise classes, accessible to members both in-person and virtual.

“Now the audience can be not only people in San Francisco, but throughout the Bay Area and throughout the world,” he said.

“The Board of Directors would like to thank Marci for her years of strength and leadership, especially throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and wish her the best of luck in future endeavors,” Melissa White, the JCCSF board president, said in a press release.

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler is a staff writer at J. You can reach him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ggreschler.