Welcome Home! This is your community center.
The Mittleman Jewish Community Center (MJCC) has been a vital part of the
greater Portland community for over 100 years. We provide a gathering place
for the local Jewish community as well as warmly embracing people of all faiths within our membership. The MJCC offers a wide variety of recreational programming for all ages, wonderful fitness facilities, as well as flexible space for your next meeting or event.
The Mittleman Jewish Community Center is an inclusive and welcoming hub for a diverse community, fostering lifelong wellness and providing dynamic social and educational experiences, grounded in Jewish values and culture.
The Mittleman Jewish Community Center envisions a thriving, diverse Jewish community, and embraces a central role in welcoming all to gather, connect, learn and celebrate life.
The MJCC is proud to be your home away from home!
The MJCC is comprised of many top-notch facilities. From the wonderful fitness facility and spa-like locker rooms, to the beautiful, flexible space of our ballroom, to the MJCC SportsPlex with indoor soccer field, you'll find that there's a place for everyone at the MJCC.
Cardio Fitness Center
Our state-of-the-art fitness center includes the latest in Precor® Cardio machines, free weights, Expresso® Fitness Bikes and beyond.
Group Exercise Rooms
With a wide variety of class offerings, the MJCC has two group exercise class spaces to get fit and have fun. Studio I has a wood floor and large mirrored wall, perfect for yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi and Nia. Studio II (The Schlachter Studio) has thickly matted floors that are great for cycling, boot camp, and BODYPUMP.
The MJCC Dance Studio hosts our creative ballet classes, Israeli dancing, and other movement related classes in addition to our drop-in child care during the week.
Our spa-like locker rooms include a sauna, steam room and whirlpool. We offer soap, shampoo and other toiletries. Inside our main locker rooms we have a Schmooze room with a flat screen cable TV. We also have two family locker rooms equipped with changing tables. Our make-your-own-combination lockers are easy to use and you don't have to bring your own lock. We also have disability accessible lockers. We have half lockers available for rent for the low fee of $9/month or $108/year. Please call the Welcome Desk for details, 503.244.0111.
The MJCC has three racquetball courts for free-play or tournament play. If you'd like to reserve a court, please call 503.244.0111. For casual play, the MJCC fitness center has racquets and balls available for use on a first come, first served basis.
Our gymnasium has 8 basketball hoops, an indoor rock climbing wall and gym hockey meet ups.
You'll find 22,000 square ft. of climate controlled indoor sports opportunities open to all ages and abilities. Our in-fill turf plays and feels like real grass for your next soccer match. We also have our Indoor Playground space for ages 0-5 years.
The MJCC has two pools. Our 25 yard main pool has lap swim, open recreational swim, adults only swim, swim team and lessons. Our Warm Water Pool (92-94 degrees) has an ADA accessible entrance and lift for those needing assistance. The Warm Water Pool is perfect for all ages from infancy to senior adults. Highlights include: private and semi-private swim lessons, Arthritis classes and Ai Chi.
Reap the benefits of massage as part of your fitness and wellness routine. We offer therapeutic, sports/athletic, deep tissue and custom massages in both of our massage studios. To book a massage call 503.244.0111.
Drop your child off while you work out or relax at the MJCC. Your child will enjoy playing games, reading books, coloring and more. Child may stay for a maximum of two hours per session. Upgrade your membership to family plus for unlimited childcare use.
Cafe at the J
Portland's ONLY Kosher restaurant is the Cafe at the J, serving kosher dairy breakfasts, lunches and dinners and a once weekly meat dinner. Cafe at the J is owned and operated by Allen Levin and is under the supervision of Oregon K.
MJCC Historical Timeline
1914: The B’nai B’rith Building Association was founded on SW 13th
Avenue and Mill Street
1921: The Center’s Camping program began (B’nai B’rith Camp)
1923: The name changed to B’nai B’rith Center
1924: Mickey Hirschberg joined the staff developing an award-winning
swimming/water therapy program
1938: The name changed to Jewish Community Center
1947: Preschool opened and day camp program started
1954: Celia Lesman served as the Center’s first female board president
1971: Jewish Community Center moved to 6651 SW Capitol Hwy. and
was later renamed the Mittleman Jewish Community Center
1978: Harry “Polly” Policar retired after working at the JCC for 45 years
1986: Hillel Academy merged with the Jewish Education Association
and became Portland Jewish Academy (PJA). PJA occupies the
Min Zidell Education Building on the MJCC Campus
1996: The Marian Abrams Children’s Wing opened
2003: The Sportsplex opened on the MJCC campus
2005: The MJCC underwent a major renovation
2007: The property was renamed the The Schnitzer Family Campus
2014: The MJCC celebrated its 100th Anniversary
Founded in 1914, the Mittleman Jewish Community Center began its life as the B’nai B’rith Building on SW 13th Avenue and Mill Street, quickly becoming the hub of Jewish living for Portland’s growing Jewish population. From its beginning, the Center has always served all families without regard to religion, background or ability to pay.
For many local families, the JCC has been a tradition for generations. Many recall learning to swim from the legendary Mickey Hirschberg (who taught swim lessons for 49 years), or playing basketball with Harry “Polly” Policar (who spent 45 years at the Center). More than one family can trace their roots to the Center since many married couples tell stories of meeting at the Center.
In 1971, the Center moved to its current location on SW Capitol Highway and has expanded immensely over the years. During this period, before they had their own facility, the Portland Trailblazers held their practices in the MJCC gymnasium. The building’s name was changed to the Mittleman Jewish Community Center in 1976 to honor Helen Rena Mittleman following a significant donation from member Harry Mittleman. In 1987 and in 1996, wings were added to accommodate Portland Jewish Academy. In 2003, the Sportsplex was created for indoor soccer and gymnastics.
In 2004, the Center faced a challenging period. Due to the commitment of Jordan Schnitzer and the emergency board he led, the MJCC embarked on a major capital campaign to renovate the building and thrive in a new era. The MJCC’s subsequent capital campaign—Roots & Rafters—has enabled the Center to make much-needed upgrades to the aging building, while providing an endowment to address future capital needs.
Thanks to these major facility improvements, the MJCC is now a thriving community center, with close to 1,800 member units, representing more than 3,750 individuals. Several monumental events and activities take place at the J including Israeli Independence Day celebrations, Purim carnivals, Jewish Community Orchestra concerts, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, quinceañeras and more. The Center welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds for cultural events, sports classes and leagues, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, afterschool activities for kids and drop-in childcare. Over 1,000 people come through the doors daily.
Summer is a particularly busy time on campus when MJCC summer day camp—one of the oldest camping traditions in Portland—is in session, offering full-day coverage to working families with a variety of options including arts and crafts, swimming, sports, theater, cooking, and more. Since 1947, kids love their summers at the J and return year after year.
For over a century, the MJCC has served as the living room for the Jewish community as well as Southwest Portland. With your help, the MJCC will continue to meet the needs of our community for generations to come.
The first Jewish Community Centers were founded more than a century ago to teach Jews, newly arrived as immigrants, how to become good Americans. We succeeded in that mission, and Jews have served this land proudly through the decades, as civilians and in the military, contributing to the arts, the sciences, to government, business, and all facets of community—to the very fabric of American life.
We continue in this mission today. Informed by Jewish values, Jewish Community Centers, open to all and welcoming, provide a connection to anyone who seeks it. Through social, cultural, educational and recreational activities, we provide an inclusive and diverse environment that works to create community and provide sustenance and welcome to all—including newly arrived immigrants. They continue to flock to this country today, seeking the things that Jews themselves still want: opportunity, safety, education and a chance to dream and better themselves within the American framework.
JCC Association and JCCs will be there for those seeking refuge in their time of need. The United States is a beacon of hope to immigrants of all faiths and nationalities. They are what has made us great and will continue to do so.
The Jewish poet, Emma Lazarus, wrote:
Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Her words are emblazoned on the base of the Statue of Liberty. Let them forever ring true.