Susan Paletz grew up at the Long Beach JCC. She was involved with teen programs, summer stock (she made her debut as a bird) and she was extremely active in BBYO (BBG). She went to Chapman University Semester at Sea, a phenomenal experience traveling around the world for seven months. This experience, Susan explains, is “what really shaped me and motivated me to get involved with a non-profit. Seeing different cultures and different challenges that people around the world were facing really made an impression on me and I wanted to give back.”
Susan graduated from San Diego State with a B.A. in Psychology, and she took graduate classes in Education at Cal State Long Beach. Susan met her husband Mark at a Jewish singles dance in San Diego and they have been married for 36 years. They have two sons, Jeffrey and Michael, who spent their formative years at the JCC in preschool through teen programming. When asked why she loves working at the J, Susan says this “It’s been the best job and the best experience because it’s not just a job—it’s my life. It’s a community that I feel so much passion for. I love meeting all the new people that come through the door. I like helping staff and supervising them and helping them grow into their positions. I enjoy all the programming, but some are my all-time favorite programs, like the Women’s Weekend and the Adult trips. The Israel/Poland trip was life-changing and set me on a new course here at the JCC as far as Holocaust education and our connections to Israel."