Remarks by Outgoing Board Chair Anne Jacobson at the 2018 Annual Meeting

Delivered at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Annual Meeting, “A Year to Celebrate. A Future to Imagine,” on April 24, 2018.

Two years ago when I first stepped up to this podium as your Board Chair, I told you that for me our Federation’s mission and our work are deeply personal. I shared how my heart bursts when I see up close what we mean to the people we help… and how it breaks for those who still wait, and for those who will need us in the future.

These past two years, I’ve learned that there is really no limit to how far my Jewish heart can grow. Because the more I see up close the fragility of Jewish life here and across the globe… and the more I see the comfort, the hope, the joy our work together brings to so many… the more engaged and committed I become.

But my heart is also full of pride at all we have accomplished during these two years. I say “all we have accomplished.” Because your tributes belong not to me, but to what we have done together.

As leaders and donors, together we have increased our resources to help more people in more ways. Our financial footing is firm and we are laying an ever-stronger foundation for the future of our sacred mission. We’re engaging more people from all corners of our Jewish community. And we’re charting a solid course for our promising future.

But whatever your roles around the Federation community, you’ve probably seen a lot of me. I am so connected to almost every one of you here. I can’t possibly thank each of you individually. But please know that I am thinking of you and hold you in my heart tonight.

First, my Norman. From family to business, philanthropy and community-building, you have always been my partner, my rock and my inspiration. For sharing and supporting my leadership journey to help our people, I thank you.

To my officers and board colleagues. For your support, your careful deliberations and your commitment at the very core of all we do, I thank you.

For our donors – it is only through your compassion and your generosity that we are able to do our vital work. For enabling us to be where and when our people need us, I thank you.

For our Foundation donors– through your philanthropic vision and concern for the tomorrow, our Jacobson Jewish community foundation keeps growing - far beyond the expectations Norman and I had when we named it just six years ago. You are securing our Jewish future, and I thank you.

To our agency directors, professionals and lay leaders – it is through your wise and caring efforts, and your creative collaborations, that we make a difference for so many people each and every day. I thank you.

And our rabbis – our visionaries and partners, your leadership extends far beyond your congregations into the entire Jewish community. I thank you.

To our Toby & Leon Cooperman Sinai Residences Board of Managers – when I entered your world, I learned things I’d never imagined. It has been a privilege to work alongside you. With your wisdom and vision, Sinai will go far to help us make our dreams a reality. I thank you.

The Federation staff: from the guard gate, to downstairs, to upstairs and beyond. It is because of you that we accomplish so much, that our dreams and visions can become realities. I thank each and every one of you.

And Matt – it has been my privilege to be your partner in crime. We’ve deliberated, we’ve strategized, we’ve learned from and challenged each other. We have worked tirelessly to build this community. And we have delivered. I am so proud of what we have done together, Matt, and I thank you for everything.

By now you know how committed I am to our Jewish future. I’ve taken great pride in naming the Foundation, helping to start our Create a Jewish Legacy initiative and bringing PJ Library to our community. And I’m never too busy to get to know our young leaders, our teens, our young families.

But charting a course for our broader future is a far bigger undertaking. So I am very excited to let you know that, while it has been my honor and privilege to serve as your Chair, the next stop on my leadership journey will be as the first chair of our Committee for the Future.

This new Federation committee will allow us to take a longer, wiser look ahead, to plan as informed visionaries and strategic thinkers what we need, and determine what we can best accomplish to meet those needs as a community.

And as for our Federation’s future with Arthur Goldberg as our new Board Chair, I assure you we can be very confident. Two years ago I told you I couldn’t fill Al Gortz’s shoes but I had my own size and style. Trust me. Arthur has a whole closet full with something perfect for every occasion.

My dear friends and colleagues: I got involved with Federation and leadership from the heart, to make a difference. But I didn’t realize what a difference my work with you would make in my own life - filling it with such meaning, purpose and growth… and such wonderful friendships and relationships built along the way. Thank you for making my job a joy and inspiring me every day.