About Arna

On June 30 2011, Arna Meyer Mickelson will retire as the Chief Executive Officer of the Washington District of Columbia Jewish Community Center -- a position she has held since January 12, 1987.  For nearly twenty five years Arna has shepherded this agency from its infancy to adulthood. 

Her distinguished leadership has created a Center known far and wide for the excellence and breadth of its programs and services.

In 2010, over 500,000 people came through the Center’s doors to participate in the activities of the Sports and Fitness Center, Cultural Arts, Community Service, Jewish Life and Learning, and Early Childhood Education.  Arna’s supervision and guidance allows each department to innovate and thrive.  The nationally acclaimed Theater J and Washington Jewish Film Festival are stellar examples.  The Center’s Community Service programs, especially Behrend Builders and the December 25th Project, are models for Centers around the country. Arna has also helped create other popular programs like EntryPointDC, the Jewish Woman’s Project,Interfaith workshops and the Kurlander Program for GLBT Outreach and Engagement (GLOE). The Center's Q Street Preschool and fitness center have served as community anchors, and helped transform its Dupont East/Logan Circle neighborhood. As the Center’s budget grew from $450,000 to $7.1 million, Arna brought a unity and integration to these diverse departments by successfully implementing the JCC’s “multiple business structure.”

The Center’s milestone move to its historic 16th and Q Street home, was made possible by Arna’s unwavering commitment and determination.  She directed the purchase and renovation of the Irwin P. Edlavitch building.  When the doors opened on January 12, 1997, Arna and the Washington DCJCC began a new and exciting chapter. 

Arna has served as a co-chair of the Executives’ Council for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Beneficiary agencies.  She served as consultant, along with the Jewish Federation, to the Budapest Balant JCC, and developed a cooperative program with the MOED JCC in Moscow.


In honor of her retirement, the Washington DCJCC has established the Arna Meyer Mickelson Endowment for Professional Development which will be inaugurated at a special evening saluting her on June 21, 2011.

Born in Miami, Florida, Arna holds an M.A. in Education from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Psychology from Boston University.  Prior to joining the Washington DCJCC, Arna served as Director of Family and Camping Services and Program Director of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington. She received the Bernard Olshansky Award for Outstanding Young Center Professionals.

Arna is devoted to her family.  She and her husband Alan love to spend time with their two grown children and five grandchildren who all live nearby.