Dec 13, 2013

Elegance, Inspiration & Insights with David Gergen at Record-breaking Sandler Family Major Gifts Event

As promised, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s most awaited fundraising event of the year delivered an evening of profound elegance, insights and inspiration on December 5 at St. Andrews Country Club. With 320 guests welcomed by Co-chairs Marilyn & Stan Barry and Dale & David Pratt, this years Sandler Family Major Gifts Event was the largest such gathering in Federation history. Amid warmth, sophistication and compassion, the evening featured a cocktail reception and dinner, awards and testimonials, major announcements and a compelling keynote from David Gergen, Senior Political Analyst for CNN.

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The event paid homage to giants lost by Federation this year: Stewart Harris, Abby Levine and Jim Nobil, as it honored some of today’s remarkable role models whose extraordinary generosity and vision continue to transform our community.

Harvey and Phyllis Sandler, for whose family this important, growing event was named, were lauded as the “embodiment of the true meaning of Tzedakah and family.” The Sandlers warmly welcomed Anne and Norman Jacobson as the latest members of the Federation’s Ketubah Society. Beautiful displays around the reception room featured this prestigious group’s members, whose cumulative financial commitments to the Federation’s annual campaigns are one million dollars or higher.

Honorary Event Chairs Beverly Saltz and Bill Newman received a shofar in recognition of their “incredible acts of Tzedakah and kindness.” A life-long dedicated philanthropist to the Jewish world, Bill, with the love and support of Beverly, is the current single largest annual donor to Federation’s 2014 campaign.

Debra and Jerry Kramer were honored for their remarkable recent legacy gift. By establishing the Kramer Advisory Fund with our Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation, their Prime Minister’s Council gift will support our Federation’s vital work for future Jewish generations.

Bill and Jerry even further raised the passion and compassion in the room by sharing parts of their poignant, powerful philanthropic journeys.

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As the evening celebrated the power of our major donors’ giving, it also challenged them to continue to build on this vision, to tap our exceptional potential and to move further toward a bright future for our community and our people.

“I’m thrilled at how far we have come and the possibilities that are now on our horizon,” said Matthew C. Levin, Federation President & CEO. “I thank you all for the major impact you have on thousands of lives each and every day – and your steadfast commitment to building our Jewish community and keeping it strong.” Matt also exhorted the major donors to “encourage at least one other person to join you at this level,” as part of the new Make a Major Difference campaign that has already counted 20 new major gifts.

Captured on video, “fellow investors” Linda & Dan Brodie and Gail Greenspoon shared how their Jewish journeys have transformed their lives (as well as the world around them). The Brodies’ Prime Minister Council gift of the previous day was announced, further building the momentum. Campaign Chair Betty Kane completed the compelling call to action, citing “the will as well as the power in the room” to “raise the bar and change the philanthropic landscape of the community through Tikkun Olam.”

Before Mr. Gergen, a renowned commentator, journalist, professor, best-selling author and adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton addressed the appreciative audience about domestic and world affairs including Iran, there was yet one more celebratory announcement.

“With tremendous pride,” Wes Finch proclaimed that, “After seven years, and with 70 percent of the project sold, we (Federation CCRC Development, LLC) will be breaking ground on Sinai Residences of Boca Raton next month.” Wes shared six naming opportunities for “this finest in Jewish senior living environments” that will provide revenue for the Federation’s vital work “as it changes our campus forever.”

Of course, the evening’s sponsors were lauded for their generous support: Federation’s Major Gifts Program sponsors Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC; Proskauer; and Steinberg Global Asset Management, Ltd; Exclusive Magazine Sponsor, The Boca Raton Observer; and Exclusive Décor Sponsor, Atlas Party Rental.

In a new opportunity for young major donors, Federation’s Emerging Jewish Philanthropists enjoyed Drinks and Intimate Conversation with David Gergen immediately following the main event.

For more information about the Federation’s Major Gifts opportunities and activities, contact Ida Novack at 561.852.3342 or

Click here to enjoy more photos from this powerful evening.