A Revitalized Community Center

Rendering of future SJCC campus.

The SJCC—a center for community engagement, education, culture, and social connections—is excited to share its proposed plans to better serve the Mercer Island and Greater Seattle Jewish community with a redeveloped and revitalized community center.

VISION: To be the most open and welcoming community-centered Jewish organization in the Puget Sound region.
MISSION: To create opportunities for profound connection at every age.

Our proposed major renovation project builds on feedback from neighbors, members, and our broader community. It addresses the critical need of replacing the obsolete facilities and providing ADA accessibility in a safe, comfortable, and contemporary space to learn, grow, meet, and build community. Planned renovations include:

  • A larger, secure lobby/reception area with elevator for safe, accessible use;
  • Reconstruction of health and fitness facilities;
  • Protected and internal commons area for the community to convene;
  • Reconfigured education facilities to address growing demand for early childhood programs on Mercer Island;
  • Large increase in parking count through a two-story parking garage that is designed with a “green wall” to ensure the structure is minimally visible and reduces sound impact to neighbors;
  • Revised driveway circulation that allows cars to easily drop off students or guests and either continue into the garage or circulate back towards E. Mercer Way;
  • Dedicated recreation / play area on top of the garage to minimize sound impacts to neighbors; and
  • Ample setbacks that exceed the Commercial Office (CO) zone requirements and further minimize noise and sight impacts to our neighbors.

How We Accomplish Our Vision
Rezone the SJCC property from its current Residential zoning to the more appropriate CO zone designation. This action would:

  • Align how this land has been used for the last 54 years within the Mercer Island zoning code;
  • Conform with the CO zoning designation immediately north and west of the SJCC; and
  • Mitigate Island-wide zoning impact, as this policy would be limited to the SJCC property only.

Honoring Our Community Through Design
Provide a safer, code-compliant, ADA-accessible community center that will be better able to serve the entire Mercer Island community for the next 50 years;

  • Incorporate design components that minimize and eliminate neighborhood impacts such as building footprint, lighting, traffic, and noise;
  • Guarantee through the zoning process that this CO designation is conditional upon rebuilding the SJCC only, ensuring longevity for this community asset and consistency for our neighbors on how this property will be used; and
  • Meet the CO development standards with our current design without requiring any variances.


Here you can find the materials shared at the September 7, 2023 Community Open House:

Stay tuned for more details on how you can help the J advance this project. Join our contact list >>