Apr 19, 2016
Ain’t No Mountain Chai Enough: Federation’s 2016 Annual Meeting
With enthusiasm abounding, the theme rang true for nearly 300 dedicated Federation and Jewish community leaders gathered in Zinman Hall for the 2016 Annual Meeting on April 12. The warmth and ruach, unity and commitment left no doubt: there “Ain’t No Mountain Chai Enough” to keep our community from doing what it takes to care for our Jewish family near and far, today and into the future. The evening’s emcee, Arthur Goldberg, and his wife, Hedy, chaired a night full of our year’s highlights and local luminaries, punctuated with Motown music.
Passing the gavel after two years as Chair of our Federation’s Board of Directors, Al Gortz, delivered a State of the Federation address, “Possibilities Fulfilled” reflecting on his tenure’s remarkable progress - from his unique perspective as a founder of our Federation whose leadership has been integral for more than 36 years. Click here to read or view Al’s remarks online as well as a “Stand by Me” musical and photographic tribute to him.
Matt Levin, Federation’s President & CEO, gave his fourth multimedia Annual Meeting presentation, A Call to the Future, lauding our shared accomplishments while engaging the leaders in addressing the challenges ahead. He spoke of increasing our commitments to day school education, Jewish camping, and Israel immersion for young adults; to special needs services; to broader Israel involvement; and more, and of the impact the newly opened Sinai Residences will have on our community. Matt particularly emphasized the overriding challenge of our Federation community’s rapid demographic shift - and the urgency for everyone to expand our reach by engaging their friends, colleagues and neighborhoods in the rewards of helping as part of a caring community. Click here to read or view Matt’s remarks.
With Ken Pritzker representing the broad-based Nominating Committee that had been chaired by Stewart Kasen, we welcomed our new 2016-17 Board of Directors. At the top of the list, Anne Jacobson took the reins as new Chair of the Federation.
A longtime Federation philanthropist and leader, Anne took those reins along with the gavel, offering poignant, powerful remarks about her path to philanthropy and leadership and her vision for her term ahead. Click here to read or review Anne’s remarks, as well as the “My Girl” music video starring lip sync experts Norman Jacobson, Ken Pritzker, Mark Schaum and Rich Steinberg.
The meeting also paid well-earned tribute to five members of the community for their extraordinary contributions. Longtime prominent donor and leader, past Board Chair Etta Gross Zimmerman received the James H. Nobil Community Leadership Award, presented by Al Gortz. Matt Kutcher, whose leadership includes being Chair of our Foundation’s Investment Committee, accepted the James and Marjorie Baer Outstanding Young Leadership Award from David Pratt and Rich Steinberg. The JFNA National Endowment Achievement Award was presented to Irving Eckhardt (z”l) by Mark Schaum and Sid Savelle. Debra Corso and Ted Morris accepted this year’s James H. Nobil Professional Achievement Awards from Marla Weiss Egers and Mel Lowell.
The 2016 Annual Meeting was generously sponsored by Akerman, Greenberg Traurig, Marsh & McLennanlFlorida, Proskauer, Sunstates Security and WGI. Boca Magazine was the exclusive magazine sponsor and Southern Wines & Spirits of America, Inc. was the generous in-kind sponsor.