In the summer, more than 13,000 swimmers from the Madison, Middleton, Verona, and other area communities use the Goodman Aquatic Center, and about 1,000 children of various religions and ethnicities attend Camp Shalom.
Rolling hills, acres of majestic oak savannah and pine trees, and a two and one-half acre pond cover the landscape. Paved roads, a large parking lot, and night lighting make the Campus accessible to all.
The Campus is named for Irwin A. Goodman and Robert D. Goodman, Madison’s most beloved businessmen and philanthropists. The Goodman brothers contributed the lead gift, which allowed the Jewish community to establish its first recreational facility in its 150-year history. Their extraordinary gift is just one of the many they have made to more than 60 community organizations in the Madison area.
The main recreational building is named for the Minkoff family, whose generous and distinguished leadership in the Madison Jewish community is now entering its fourth generation. The Minkoff family tradition of lifelong community service began with Max Weinstein, a Jewish Federation of Madison founder and past president.
The Minkoff tradition of sharing their talents and resources with the community continued with Max’s daughter and son-in-law, Evelyn and Ben Minkoff, who founded Camp Shalom in 1954 and also served separate terms as Jewish Federation of Madison (then MJCC)president. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Joel Minkoff, also an Jewish Federation of Madison (then MJCC) past president, and his wife Debbie, provided the vision, generosity, and leadership that made a Jewish community campus for Madison a reality.
More than 300 community members also generously contributed to the Goodman Campus’ capital campaign, a fundraising effort that is still underway.
How The Vision Became A Reality
In the 1980s, leaders in the Jewish community began to dream about a new, larger home for Camp Shalom. In its fourth decade at the time, Camp Shalom was well established as the finest day camp in the area. As parents lined up to send their children for an enriching summer experience, the Camp outgrew its Madison park location and could not accommodate every family.
In the late 1990s, after years of studying the need, community leaders appointed a site committee to identify a permanent home for Camp Shalom, as well as a site for a community recreation facility. Under the visionary leadership of Joel Minkoff, the committee thoroughly explored the options and on May 14, 1999, Jewish Federation of Madison (then MJCC) purchased 154 acres of land on the corner of Timber Lane and County Road PD in Verona.
The land included a tree farm, barn, a farm house built in the 1880s, and the oldest one-room school house in the area. It also featured a 7,500-square-foot modern private residence, a 5,000-square-foot pole barn, and several storage buildings.
A year later, Camp Shalom opened for its 46th summer in its new home. By the next summer, the pole barn was expanded into a heated year-round 12,000-square-foot recreational center, and the community began to hold events and celebrations there.
In 2002, the 5,500-square-foot Goodman Aquatic Center opened and welcomed both Camp Shalom children and swimmers from all the area communities.
Call us today at 278-1808 for more details about the Goodman Campus.