Dec 6, 2013

Campaign 2014 Ignites with Extraordinary Energy

This year, the spark caught early and fast, and our Federation is ablaze with Campaign activity. All around us, in our offices and meetings and at our events, you can see and feel the enthusiasm and focus. From Campaign Ignition a couple of weeks ago, where more than 100 of our key lay leaders and professionals learned with JFNA President Jerry Silverman and master trainer Rae Ringel, to last night’s record-breaking Sandler Family Major Gifts Event, it’s clear we’re on fire.

We’re building on last season’s $600,000 campaign growth with even more ways to get involved. Because to provide help for the ever-increasing number of Jewish family members who need us - right here, in Israel and around the globe - we simply must do even more extraordinary things.

You’ll be hearing more about two new important initiatives to reach both deeper and broader into our diverse Jewish community over the next 18 months:

Make a Major Difference will bring us 100 new major donors. Though we’ve just begun this project, we already have 20 new major donors – including one at the $100,000 Prime Ministers Council level.

Everyone Counts is recruiting 1,000 brand new donors at all levels from the community at large – and our donometer has already clicked in 90 newcomers.

We’re also expanding on last year’s successes. To note just a few positive developments:

• Even before Campaign Ignition’s formal launch, Women’s Philanthropy kicked off their season with 225 women at a spirited evening of Decks, Dots and Desserts. They went on to host a series of Pomegranate Parlor Meetings throughout our community, and next week we head into an array of eight women’s outreach events. And we already have a number of new Lions, as well as Lion of Judah Endowments that will support our annual campaign far into the future.

• After the phenomenal success of our Business & Professional Division’s first year, and a great launch to our 2nd Industry Icon Series, we’ve added a mentoring program, as well as Business Casual for women seeking a fun, dressed down approach to networking.

• Our Young Adult Division continues to socialize, learn and forge a new generation of caring community together. More than 100 people spent hours decorating 1,840 cookies alongside JARC residents for the JFS/JCC Thanksgiving Dinner for those in need.

• The strong response from a wider range of contributors to this year’s Chanukah mailing shows we are indeed extending farther the message of our community’s needs and the opportunity to help.

• And, last night, in one of the pinnacles and bellwethers of our campaign season, 320 of our major donors gathered at the Sandler Family Major Gifts Event for the largest of these annual events in the history of our Federation. We celebrated the generosity of these pillars of our campaign, paying special tribute to some for their exceptional annual and cumulative gifts. We’ll proudly share photos and details of this remarkable evening in the coming week.

At Campaign Ignition, we explored the compelling power of stories to engage newcomers and deepen the commitment of those who already contribute to our important work – stories not only about the people we help feed, save, comfort, rescue and teach, but also about the “aha moments” that move us to help them.

Since I arrived in this community 16 months ago, I’ve been hearing so many of your powerful stories. Now our community and our people need you to tell the stories. How many people do you know who are unaware of all that our Jewish family needs from us? How many would be moved to care and invest in our community if only they were informed, understood your commitment and were asked to help?

So what moves you? That no child should go to bed hungry? That every senior has the right to live with dignity? That all Jews should have the opportunity to learn about their heritage, and be able to live without fear of persecution? Tell your story and be part of our community’s next chapter of caring.

I look forward to hearing your extraordinary stories and ideas at


Matthew C. Levin, President & CEO
Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County

Past Messages from Matt