May 16, 2017

Generous Gift Creates Judi and Allan Schuman Center for Israel Engagement at Federation

The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County President and CEO, Matthew C. Levin, has announced a gift of $1 million from Boca Raton residents and philanthropists Judi and Allan Schuman. The visionary gift has created the Judi and Allan Schuman Center for Israel Engagement at the Federation.

“We are thrilled and grateful for Judi and Allan’s heartfelt and generous gift, which will go far to bring our community to Israel and Israel to our community by supporting missions, study and volunteering, expanding Israel programming, and more,” said Levin. “It has been deeply rewarding for all of us to be able to match their desire to make a major impact for our community and our people with Federation’s longstanding desire to significantly expand our Israel engagement. Together, we have created a vehicle to fulfill both our dreams.”

Despite very modest upbringings, both Judi and Allan Schuman learned from their families the importance of helping their Jewish family.

As a child, Judi walked her Brooklyn neighborhood with her tiny grandmother and a blue Hadassah tin. “All I knew was that we were collecting money to help Jews,” she remembers.

Her husband, Allan, recalls the JNF tin in the small three-room apartment his family shared in the Bronx. “My father worked 12 hours a day in his butcher shop trying to make ends meet, but still my parents gave,” he recalls.

Though they began married life in what Allan calls “the minus column,” as Judi puts it, “Helping just got into our blood and stayed there.” As their union thrived and prospered, they became able to help in ways they could not have imagined. And the most recent of these these ways is their gift to the Federation to establish the Center.

Allan began his career at ECOLAB, working his way up to President, CEO and Chair of the Board, and relocating to the facility in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There, Allan chaired a partnership of 55 local CEOs dedicated to renewing St. Paul, and served on the University of Minnesota board – as Judi chaired Minnesota Orchestra Symphony Balls and St. Paul’s First Night New Year’s Eve festivals for 30,000, and raised funds for Sholom Senior Residence. Retired from ECOLAB, where a life size statue honors his achievements, Allan now serves on several corporate boards.

Moving to Delray Beach in 2004, the Schumans are Prime Minister Council donors to the local Federation, and members of its Ketubah Society. Judi has endowed her Lion of Judah gift, and the couple has made a significant legacy gift to the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center.

As leaders in Jewish South Palm Beach County, they’ve served in many capacities. At the Federation, they currently chair the King David Society, Judi is a Federation Vice Chair, and Allan chairs Federation’s Business & Professional Division’s INSPIRE mentoring program. Judi chaired Women’s Philanthropy at the Federation from 2014-16, and both serve on the Levis JCC Board. Allan also chairs the Florida Atlantic University College of Business board.

The Schumans’ efforts have been recognized with the 2017 Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) National Endowment Achievement Award, the 2015 Levis JCC Phyllis & Harvey Sandler Crystal Award, and as Polo Club’s 2015 Volunteers of the Year. Yet, their proudest achievement is how their children and grandchildren have followed their footsteps into philanthropy and Jewish life.

Missions to Israel and across the globe have been instrumental to the couple’s philanthropy. Joining Federation’s Israel & Overseas Task Force Mission last fall was pivotal for Judi. “After personally touching so much of our work in Israel and seeing so many opportunities to connect people with our homeland, our gift to create the Center for Israel Engagement really began to take shape,” she says.

“We are deeply concerned with keeping new generations involved,” said Allan. “To help Israel remain thriving and secure, we must keep Jewish life thriving and secure, and vice versa. Federation does so much toward this, and is a terrific organization for our investment.”

“I only wish that my parents could have seen and understood what our gifts will accomplish,” he added.