Home Agencies JCC’s Michael Blanchard selected for JCC Association’s Martin Pear Israel Fellowship

JCC’s Michael Blanchard selected for JCC Association’s Martin Pear Israel Fellowship


The Weinstein JCC is proud to announce that the JCC Association of North America has selected Michael Blanchard for The Martin Pear Israel Fellowship’s second cohort.

The Pear Fellowship is designed to develop and retain JCC talent by welcoming early-tenure professionals within the movement into an 18-month educational journey that includes in-person gatherings, web-based learning, and a rigorous, immersive Israel experience.

Blanchard is the senior director of marketing and member experience at the Weinstein JCC, where he leverages more than 28 years of marketing expertise.

The events of Oct. 7 and the ensuing war have intensified the desire of North America’s Jewish communities to connect with Israel and its people and Pear Fellows will be well-positioned to spearhead these efforts.

Members of last year’s inaugural cohort of Pear Fellows, whose fellowship will overlap with the new cohort for six months, have stepped up to meet the current challenge and their leadership is having a tremendous impact in their local communities and the movement’s more than 170 JCCs.

The fellowship honors Martin Pear, z”l, longtime CEO at Valley of the Sun JCC in Scottsdale, Ariz., and one of the field’s most beloved leaders, who believed strongly that all Jewish professionals should anchor their practice in a deep commitment to Israel.

Part of JCC Talent and the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Jewish Education, the fellowship is open to full-time employees of any faith and from any area of a JCC who are early in their tenure in the movement.

The final cohort each year comprises professionals who look to thrive, both individually and collectively, within the rigorous program.

This experience will empower and equip them to explore their own relationship to Judaism and bring Israel, in all its facets, to the work at their JCC.

With a robust professional background, he has collaborated with esteemed brands such as Capital One, Chrysler, Con Edison Company of New York, Dodge, Girl Scouts, Jeep, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Prudential.

Outside his professional realm, Blanchard, a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer, and marathon coach, embodies the ethos of hard work and its rewarding outcomes. In his role at the Weinstein JCC, he showcases unwavering strength, offering clear and comprehensive leadership to each department.

Known for strategic thinking and encouragement, Blanchard brings out the best in those around him. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and is certified in direct marketing by the Interactive Marketing Institute.

“Martin Pear, z”l, was a pioneer. He was steadfastly committed to the idea that building Jewish community anywhere requires connections with Jewish communities everywhere and that Israel holds a unique importance to this conception,” says Doron Krakow, president and CEO of JCC Association of North America.

“We are honored to be launching the second cohort of this fellowship established in his honor amidst one of the greatest crises to face Israel and the Jewish world in our lifetimes. This remarkable group of professionals will help to markedly enhance Israel engagement in their JCCs and become powerful assets in our field’s growing commitment to being the preeminent engine for greater Jewish community on the continent.”

The cornerstone of the fellowship is a nine-day intensive seminar in Israel, anchored by monthly education sessions leading up to and following the Israel experience.

As part of the fellowship, he will implement a project inspired by his experience that brings Israel to Weinstein JCC in a new and purposeful way and will also overlap with the following cohort by six months to execute and report on their projects, engage in evaluation, and interact with their colleagues.

For more information about The Martin Pear Israel Fellowship, visit: jcca.org/news-and-views/jcc-association-launches-second-cohort-of-martin-pear-israel-fellows/.