Palo Alto JCC has new name

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It’s official. What was for years the Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto is now the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center.

The name change presages a physical move from the JCC’s Middlefield Road location to the sprawling Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life, which is scheduled to open in September. Until then, regular classes and programming continue on schedule, with memberships to the new JCC on sale beginning March 1.

Making the change now gives the community time to get used to saying the name “Oshman,” said JCC Executive Director Alan Sataloff.

“We couldn’t just change it the day we moved,” he said. “We couldn’t have two JCCs going on at the same time.”

According to Sataloff, the most remarkable aspect of the name change has been the comity between the Schultz and Oshman families. The former voluntarily relinquished the naming rights of the JCC; the latter waited years after having made a large donation to see the Oshman name attached to the institution.

“It’s a testament to Albert and [the late] Janet Schultz” of San Francisco, said Sataloff. “The Schultzes recognized the [new] JCC would need to raise a significant amount of money, and should a donor arise who could make a very magnanimous gift to make this dream a reality, they would relinquish their name, which is pretty amazing. You don’t see that.”

At the same time, he praised Ken and Barbara Oshman, who donated $10 million to the JCC early in the capital campaign, yet waited years before the name change took place. “Barbara and Ken have been incredibly nice about this,” he said of the Atherton residents. “They were concerned about not hurting the Schultzes’ feelings.”

The Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life will name its future cultural arts center after Albert and Janet Schultz.

Meanwhile, as construction continues at the Taube Koret site, Sataloff and his colleagues at the JCC are making the switches, ordering new letterhead, catalog and marketing materials bearing the Oshman name.

“The biggest thing is trying to remember the name,” Sataloff said. “You want people to have the same good feelings for the Oshman Family JCC they have about Albert L. Schultz JCC.”

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a contributing editor at J. He was a longtime staff writer at J. and retired as news editor in 2020.