Dorothy P. Seaman Department of Women's Philanthropy
Though perhaps most widely known for her remarkable $1 million gift in 2007 that named the Dorothy P. Seaman Department of Women’s Philanthropy in perpetuity, Dotti (z”l) was involved with the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County for twenty years and illustrated a breadth of philanthropic interests and depth of commitment throughout this community. We’re extremely fortunate that she chose this community as her new home after leaving West Hartford, Connecticut.
And Dotti felt fortunate as well. “Federation gave me a very clear meaning and purpose: to help others and to ensure Jewish continuity,” she said. “And the close relationships I have made - the friendship that I enjoy with so many people through Federation - feel like family to me.”
Dotti’s dedication to Women’s Philanthropy was unmistakable. As donor and leader, inspiration and role model, she has been instrumental in forging our community’s women into a philanthropic force that accounts for half the Federation’s Annual Campaign revenues. She chaired the Federation’s Women’s Division from 2003 to 2005, and served as ex officio member of the Women’s Philanthropy board as well as Federation Board Director Emeritus until her death.
Dotti was a recipient of the esteemed Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award, honoring her extraordinary service to the community through Women’s Philanthropy. And each year since 2008, the Federation’s Dorothy P. Seaman Leadership Award has been recognizing a member of the Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy Board who embodies the values of tikkun olam, tzedakah and leadership so exemplified by Dotti.
Generously increasing her own annual gift over the years, Dotti was a Zahav Lion of Judah, signified by the canary diamond. Dotti and her husband, Larry (z”l), were members of the Federation’s prestigious Ketubah Society that honors those whose cumulative annual campaign gifts are $1 million or higher. Adding to her campaign gift during the economic downturn of 2008-2009, she said, “When I thought of the Jewish people served by our Federation, I realized that, with lower gifts coming in, I had to step up and give more than I had in the past – to help those who have the least and are hurting the most.”
Equally concerned with building a stronger community for those who will depend on us in the future, Dotti fully endowed not only her own Lion gift but that of her daughter. She also encouraged others as a Chair of Lion of Judah Endowments – helping our community reach and sustain a longstanding lead in the nation, now with 280 LOJE’s. Further, Dotti endowed the annual PACE gift of her husband Larry (z’l), and created a memorial fund in his name that supports the cultural arts programming at Jewish Association of Residential Care (JARC). Continuing to respond compassionately and creatively to current and future needs, in 2013 Dotti endowed a dog therapy program for JARC residents. Dotti was recognized nationally for her endowments at the Star of David Society Level 4.
Dotti very simply explained her gift that named the Dorothy P. Seaman Department of Women’s Philanthropy, “I’m dedicated to Federation’s mission of furthering the welfare of our Jewish people. I want to make sure that the children, who are our future, grow up to be caring, involved and dedicated to Jewish causes.”
She said her “big hope” was that her gift would inspire other women to give as well. “I don’t need too much. And my philosophy is if you have it, share it. Do something meaningful with it. I have received so much by giving, more than I can ever express.”
”Dotti truly created an incredible legacy in this community through philanthropic giving and her commitment to Jewish needs, making an indelible mark on the hearts of so many people,” says former Federation Board Chair Ellen R. Sarnoff. “She was also a wonderful personal friend and a real mentor to so many women. We are so lucky to have had her in this community.”