Relax. Rejuvenate. Connect.
We are an all-inclusive community – from the programs offered, to the people served – The J is a place where everyone is welcome.
We have a variety of programs to pique your interest and to engage mind and bodies, from infants to seniors.
No matter your fitness goals, The J can help you reach them. We have the equipment, classes and trainers to help you achieve total body health through a variety of fitness and wellness programs.
We are not just about fitness. We have programs and services for all ages, interests and abilities.
Our Bob Gottschalk Youth & Camp Wing provides a fun and safe environment for youth, including our Club J after school program and new Teen Lounge. For our youngest members, we have our outstanding accredited Early Childhood Center preschool program.
We offer a variety of family friendly activities, including family yoga, story times, Kids’ Night Out and more! And, our expanded Youth Sports programs continue to grow in popularity. We offer basketball, soccer, and swim. Your teen can also join our Maccabi Games team!
Seniors find old favorites, such as Mahjong and Bridge as well as other social activities, including our Let’s Get Together series.
We even have The J Cafe, where you can relax after a workout or catch up with friends.
The J is your place for gathering your family, meeting old friends, making new friends and for trying something new.
You belong here.
Jay J. Jacobs
Chief Executive Officer
The J is a way of life for our CEO. He has been involved with the movement for more than 40 years and brings his passion for The J and all it represents for the community to his work in creating a true “center for life.” Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he is a die-hard Steelers and Penn State fan, so steer clear if they lose. He also enjoys running, hiking and backyard living.
Chief Experience Officer
Audrey comes to The J having served at the Boston JCC for more than two decades. In her most recent role as health, fitness, and wellness director, Audrey oversaw all children’s enrichment and specialty camp programming, adult programming, and health, wellness, and fitness programming. She also worked very closely with membership acquisition and retention with a particular focus on enhancing the member experience. Audrey also serves in a consulting capacity for multiple other JCCs across the nation.
Director of Security
Jimmy Wasson has 30+ years in law enforcement and retired as a Lieutenant with the Scottsdale Police Department. He has extensive experience as a negotiations team commander and as a SWAT team commander responsible for the tactical resolution of high-risk incidents and technical investigations.
Chief Marketing Officer
Melissa Markovsky comes to The J as Chief Marketing Officer with more than 15 years’ experience in brand building and developing strategies for services that fundamentally change the trajectory of peoples’ lives. Through working in high touch industries such as higher education, health/fitness, and financial services she is excited to bring a fresh perspective and an integrated marketing approach to The Martin Pear JCC. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from UCLA.
Chief Administrative Officer
Liz has 20 years of experience in her industry and is excited to thrive in the J Culture. She brings years of treasury, compliance, reporting, team development, streamlining, problem solving and creating a more strategic environment. She has an Accounting Degree from the University of Utah and Master’s from Penn State. In her free time she enjoys relaxing and spending time with her husband of 20 years, 3 kids and 2 Labradors.
Membership Database Administrator
Susan grew up in a J and was thrilled to become part of our team in 2002. Her now-grown children participated in the Maccabi Games and her husband was the Delegation Head when the games were held in Phoenix in 2006. She feels fortunate to be a part of The J and to witness the positive impact it has on the lives of others.
Fitness + Sports
Debbie’s passion for swimming began at an early age, ultimately leading her to compete as a nationally-ranked young adult. Today, she continues to swim as a US Masters swimmer and compete in both pool and open-water events. Debbie enjoys developing a passion for swimming in people of all ages and abilities.
Preschool / Early Childhood Center
Early Childhood Education Director
Leah comes to The J after having most recently served as the director of Camp Daisy and Harry Stein, and has more than 20 years of experience running youth educational and recreational programming. Prior to Camp Stein, Leah spent 13 years living and working on Kibbutz Lotan in Southern Israel. For much of that time, she served as the Education Director for Lotan’s Center for Creative Ecology. Leah has more than 20 years of experience engaging children, teens, and adults in innovative educational programs both in Israel and the United States.
Director of Youth Services and J Teen Connect AZ
Amanda Watsky joins the Youth Department with over 15 years of experience within the sciences and education. She recently relocated from Florida to join the Martin Pear JCC as Director of J Teen Connect AZ. In addition to furthering that program, Amanda will use her experiences within independent school administration and STEAM/Science educational program development to bring a fresh vision to the J’s Youth Programs as Director of Youth Services. She is excited to share her passions for integration, inclusion, and ‘out of the box’ thinking.
Shemesh Camp Director
Kim has more than 25 years of experience working in the Jewish community. She has served in various capacities with youth, camp, and programs during her 10+ years with our J. She strongly believes in the power of community, of bringing people together and of enriching lives. The J is truly Kim’s home and she looks forward to welcoming you and sharing her passion.
Adult Cultural Programming
Before coming to The J, Megan worked for the Phoenix Suns for 20 years in community relations, special events and corporate sponsorships. She uses her vast experience to create relationships, events and connections that not only strengthen the community, but also that make The J a true hub for the community.
Adult Program Director
Nicole is originally from New York and grew up in Scottsdale. She has over 10 years of experience working in the Jewish community as a youth educator, and is excited to have made the leap to working with adults. She is creating meaningful educational, cultural and hands-on programming to help our community learn, grow and make memories. She enjoys working with people and making them happy, by providing the programs they wish to see. Nicole strives to make a positive impact on all of our members!
Chief Development Officer
Andrea has extensive experience in forging corporate partnerships, working with nationwide retailers for over 18 years. Growing up at The J, Andrea was excited to join The J team in 2011 and very enthusiastic to be fundraising for an organization that has made such a meaningful impact on her whole family in so many ways.
Director of Individual Giving & Campaign
The J has impacted Pamela’s life both professionally and personally. Her roots run deep; she served as director for the capital campaign to build this campus and was touched when The J rallied around her family years ago when her daughter was an ECC student and diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer. She truly believes that members are family.
Director of Corporate & Community Relations
Lynette Stein Holsapple is the Director of Community Relations and Corporate Sponsors at the Martin Pear JCC. She will foster new strategic relationships within our community and build upon the amazing ones we already have. Her strong background in corporate communications, leadership roles, event planning, and social media will help her to be very successful in this exciting role. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three young children, Hudson, Brody and Lexi, attending sporting events, hiking, baking, shopping, and of course doing anything social!
Donor Relations Manager
Amy is a native of Phoenix, Arizona and an Arizona State University alum who grew up going to The J. Starting at The J Preschool and later becoming a lifeguard as her first job, the J is a very special place to her. She has experience working for a large Arizona nonprofit focusing on employee and donor relationships and annual stewardship activity. Amy is passionate about being a part of the J team, which has such a strong and meaningful presence in the community for its members and donors.
The Valley of the Sun JCC is a nonprofit 501c3 Tax ID No. 86-0622258.