Staff Spotlight: Ronnie Levine
Ronnie Levine is one of the tireless AJCC staff members who really makes this place run. She does so much for the J that it’s hard to know how she gets it all done. As Adult Program Coordinator, Ronnie helps with the Senior programs, the Jewish Life and Culture programs, and most of the special events, including the Jewish film festival, Purim Carnival, vendor fairs, and the upcoming Yom Ha’Atzmaut program. Most of the trifolds in the Promenade are Ronnie’s handiwork, and you can see her staffing many programs. Ronnie is truly an invaluable part of the AJCC team.
Ronnie was born and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where her parents met after World War II. Her mother and brother are both Holocaust survivors who came to the Unites States in 1947. Her father emigrated here from Hungary in 1927 when he was 16. Ronnie went to Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, where she got her bachelor’s degree in English Lit. Her brother had moved to California in 1962, and when she graduated from college, he invited her to go to Yosemite with his family. She fell in love with California and never went home! Ronnie got a job working for the Irvine Company, which, she says, “was a great place to work at the time, and that’s where I met my husband, Mike.
“When I got married, I had to get a different job, and I started working for CASA advertising, a job I absolutely loved. Mike got a job with the Contra Costa Times, and we moved up to Walnut Creek where we lived for for 14 years. I had a number of different jobs in those years. Mike then got a job at The Daily Breeze in Torrance in 1991, and we moved back down. My parents had already moved to Orange County, and I joined my brother and his family, my cousin, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and extended family. It was nice to move back and be so close to family!
“My son was born in 1994, and I found the J in 1999. I was looking for a pre-K program, and once we found it, that was it! Once you’re here, you’re a part of the JCC for life! My son went to camp here, and he was involved with Summer Stock, which I volunteered for. I also volunteered for the film festival, and I got to be really good friends with Susan Paletz. Most of my friends are people that I’ve met here—parents I met at preschool, people that I work with, and some of the members that I’ve met.
After my job with the text book company ended in 2008, I went to work in the office at Temple Beth Shalom. In 2010. I realized I needed more than a part-time job, and Lori Davidson, the ECE Director at the time, hired me to be a teaching assistant with the ECE. When the Adult Department was restructured in 2014, I started working full-time as the Program Administrative Assistant.
“This is the best job I’ve ever had. I love working here. I like the diversity of the job—I get to work with a lot of people and do a lot of work on my computer as well. I’ve gotten to know many members, and there’s such variety in the programming. You just don’t get that anywhere else. My co-workers are all hard-working and nice. I feel like my department—Susan Paletz, Susan Mathieu, and Shlomit Jackson—make a really great team. I also work a lot with membership, customer service, our graphic designer John Reynoso, and the entire maintenance team. Irene Velasquez even helped me solve a parking lot emergency once!
More than anything, I love my job because I feel like I’m making a difference.” Ronnie is definitely making a difference, and we appreciate everything she does here at the Alpert Jewish Community Center!