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LJCC community remembers Garth Potts

Shiva will be at The J on Tuesday, January 2, 3-7 p.m. (more details below)

Garth Potts’ long career of Jewish communal service included 22 years leading the Levite Jewish Community Center.

Garth Potts, who served as executive director of the Levite Jewish Community Center from 1991 to 2013, died at a care facility in Las Vegas on December 25 after a years-long battle with dementia. He was 76.

Garth enjoyed a successful career in Jewish communal service that spanned more than 35 years. Accomplishments during his 22-year tenure in Birmingham include the opening of the outdoor pool and Sokol Fitness Center, and the revival of an adult theater program. During this time the facility was renamed the Levite Jewish Community Center in honor of longtime supporter Ted Levite.

Before landing in Birmingham, he also worked at a number of Jewish Community Centers across the continent, including Buffalo, New York; El Paso, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Oklahoma City.

An accomplished artist, Garth held a master of fine arts degree in printmaking and painting from the University of Oklahoma. His work included a 21-print “Judaic still lifes” series that incorporated Jewish themes, plus an educational animal art series that was used in what is now the Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center. A third series, the “10 Commandments of Health and Fitness,” was a popular display on the fitness floor. The LJCC theater program also relied heavily on his talent (view some images here).

Garth is survived by his wife Ann; his children Shoshana (Mark), Micah, Gabriel (Ashley), and Zachary (Sarah); his stepchildren Aaron, Brian, and Joel Hadley; his grandchildren Momo, Kivi, Beckham, and Adelynn; and his sister Wendy (Tom).

Read more about Garth at Southern Jewish Life.

Services and memorials

A graveside funeral service will take place in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday. The Birmingham community is invited to sit shiva at the Levite Jewish Community Center on Tuesday, January 2, 3-7 p.m. Minyan, led by Rabbi Adam Wright, will begin at 6 p.m.

Contributions in Garth’s memory can be made to the Levite Jewish Community Center and to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s research.

May Garth rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing to all who knew him. May God comfort these mourners among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Garth Potts (second from left) last visited the Levite Jewish Community Center with his son, Gabe (in cap), in early 2022. He was welcomed by longtime staff members (from left) Kirsten Thomas, Barbara Traweek, and Ruth Nomberg.