Your Story: Meet the Hessels

Posted by: JCC Member Services on Monday, April 2, 2018 at 8:00:00 am

The Hessel FamilyEllen and Ira Hessel and their four daughters, Joanna, Melissa, Kathryn, and Sarah, have been members of the JCC since the early 1990s. Although their daughters are all grown up now, both Ira and Ellen continue to use the JCC facilities and so much else that the J has to offer!

Ira, a Doctor of Organic Chemistry with a degree from the University of Texas, is now retired and enjoying his days, which always include a daily trip to the J. Ellen received her Bachelors in Organic Chemistry from the University of Texas, since getting her Masters in Counseling from the University of North Texas she has been working as a counselor.

The Hessels do it all! They enjoy watching performances at the critically-acclaimed, award-winning Sheldon Vexler Theatre, attending special events, such as the annual Passover First Night Seder or the JCC’s Author & Speaker Series, and, of course, working out in the many available fitness classes and getting great use out of the fitness facilities. In fact, Ira’s main goal for himself is to get in a daily workout. He explains, “As I go through my senior years, I have found that maintaining my body has been a safeguard to my health.” Ellen enjoys playing tennis on one of the seven lit tennis courts, or relaxing pool-side with a book during the hot Texas summers.

As for their overall J experience, the Hessels agree “the friendly greetings from the staff, the camaraderie of the members, and of course the great sense of community” is what always brings a smile to their faces upon entering the building. “The JCC has been a beacon to our community, not only to the Jewish members, but also those from other faiths who are like-minded.”

Ellen and Ira, we like the way you think, and are glad you belong here®!


Wanna Share YOUR JCC Story?

We want to hear from YOU! Share your story one of these easy ways:

  1. Online - Just complete the form and a JCC representative will contact you for any additional information and photos.
  2. Email - Using the subject line "JCC Story", include your story in the body of the email or as a Word document. Be sure to include a family photo!
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