May 5, 2017
Our Federation. Our Community. Our World: Federation’s 2017 Annual Meeting
When the lights went down and a live feed from Poland appeared onscreen, the theme of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s 2017 Annual Meeting came alive. As larger than life greetings from three members of our March of the Living delegation, Marla Weiss Egers, Rabbi Josh Broide and Hal Klein, infused a packed Zinman Hall on April 25, there could be no doubt: we are, indeed, Our Federation. Our Community. Our World.
As the program progressed through the evening, the connections among our Federation, community and world were made ever more vivid through speeches, videos and awards. Margie and Ed Marlowe chaired the meeting, which began with the warm bonds of a family reunion amid a cocktail reception and buffet dinner. Rabbi Jack Engel of Congregation Anshei Emuna in Delray Beach delivered a D’var Torah.
Federation Board Chair Anne Jacobson presented the State of the Federation address, reflecting on the past year’s accomplishments as “our Federation reaches into our community and our world.” Jacobson reported continued increases in the Annual Campaign and Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation (JJCF), as well as many positive developments regarding the Toby & Leon Cooperman Sinai Residences of Boca Raton, as well as the Federation’s campus, allocations, engagement and programming.
“If you’ve been here awhile, you know how far we’ve come!” Jacobson said. “Yet, with many achievements to celebrate, we know there are waiting lists for vital services, with people struggling. But having seen all the good we do every day at such close range, I’m more convinced than ever that, with Federation as the cement that binds us, this community can step forward and see that no one is left behind.”
Jacobson also expressed deepest gratitude to Immediate Past Board Chair Al Gortz, and to Larry Feldman as he began his third year as Campaign Chair. She further welcomed Arthur Goldberg as the Board’s new Chair Designate.
Federation President & CEO Matthew C. Levin’s fifth multimedia Annual Meeting presentation also lauded the year’s accomplishments, while urging leaders to “view our accomplishments and look ahead fully cognizant of the major demographic shift advancing around us - and its impact on our ability to meet the growing needs of our large Jewish community and across our Jewish world,” and to “take our extraordinary community collaboration to a whole new level.”
“We’re putting tremendous effort into adapting to our community’s shifting demographics through both our revenue and our allocations,” Levin said. “But even amid that momentum, it’s simply going to take more for us to continue to be there, when and where we are needed…. and, to be clear, the dollars we will receive through the Sinai project will in no way lessen our obligation to build a successful Annual Campaign and other revenue streams.”
Levin announced that the community’s first comprehensive demographic study in twelve years would soon get underway, because “by better understanding who needs what services here, we’ll be far better able to accomplish what’s best for our entire community.”
“Tonight, I call on my agency colleagues and their boards to begin working with Federation to strategically define where your agencies need to be in three to five years,” he continued. Only by looking together at our community as a whole and with solid information, can we effectively plan to accomplish what’s needed.”
Betty Kane, Nominating Chair, presented the slate for the 2017-18 Board of Directors, which was received with unanimous approval. Among the Officers: Anne Jacobson entered her second year as Chair, and Arthur Goldberg became Chair Designate; Richard Steinberg moved from Vice Chair, Foundation to Treasurer, and Eric Stein from Vice Chair, Israel and Overseas to Assistant Treasurer; Larry Blair now chairs the Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation, and Gail Greenspoon has taken the Israel and Overseas portfolio, and David Kirschner received appreciation for his tenure as outgoing Assistant Treasurer.
Five members of the community received awards for their extraordinary contributions:
- Longtime donor and leader, Adele Lebersfeld received the James H. Nobil Community Leadership Award, presented by her sons Ken and Eric.
- The JFNA National Endowment Achievement Award was presented by Matt Levin to Judi and Allan Schuman, who recently established and named Federation’s new Center for Israel Engagement.
- Yudi Gross accepted the James and Marjorie Baer Outstanding Young Leadership Award from Federation’s Young Adult Division Chair Sarah Lippy.
- Andrea Kalkstein and Dana Vizner accepted this year’s James H. Nobil Professional Achievement Awards from Mel Lowell, COO and Jennifer Koenig, Sr. VP, Campaign, respectively.
The 2017 Annual Meeting was generously sponsored by Akerman, Hotwire Communications, Marsh & McLennan Agency, The Mordis Group/Merrill Lynch, Proskauer, Stifel/The ECJ Wealth Advisory Group, Sunstates Security and WGI. Southern Glazer’s Wines & Spirits was the generous in-kind sponsor.