Apr 25, 2019
Growing. Evolving. Thriving: Federation’s 2019 Annual Meeting
Nearly 300 dedicated Federation and Jewish community leaders celebrated Federation’s milestone 40th Anniversary with an inspiring look back, a review of the past year and a view toward the future at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s Annual Meeting. With power, poignancy and inspiration, the theme “Growing. Evolving. Thriving.” came alive for them on April 10, in Zinman Hall on the Federation campus.
The night began with a reception and buffet dinner that resembled a warm family reunion far more than a governance meeting, and a D’var Torah from Rabbi Robert Silvers of Congregation B’nai Israel. The evening’s multimedia program included moving photos from four decades; poignant and visionary videos featuring seven current and past board chairs; and stirring remarks. Enjoy a brief video celebrating our Federation’s history through photos from four decades » and 3 powerful, inspiring short videos featuring 6 past chairs & the current chair of our Federation »
“Looking back at our 40 years, and around this room at so many of our Federation leaders and donors, side by side with our agency leaders, our community rabbis and our staff, I see just what a caring Jewish community is supposed to look like,” said Al Gortz, a Federation founder and past Board Chair, who chaired the evening.
“I see the leadership, the generosity and investment, the partnerships and unity it takes. I see what our founders dreamed would fulfill our mission of caring for the vulnerable and building community for generations to come,” Gortz continued. “It is the combined wisdom, generosity and commitment of all of you that makes what we do for our community and our people possible.” Read Al’s remarks in tribute to our Federation’s history »
Entering his second year as Board Chair, Arthur Goldberg lauded the foresight, chutzpah and acumen of Federation’s Founders and past leaders in addressing a wide array of challenges and forging ahead with opportunities. He identified some of the current and future challenges facing the Federation and community, along with his confidence in meeting them.
Goldberg also shared some findings from the recent demographic study of this Jewish community, which was conducted “to help all of us become more responsive to our community's future needs.” He cited the findings that the 135,000 Jews in our geographic area make up about a third of the population; that our median age has dropped from 71 to 56 since 2005, and that our residents have, comparatively, an extremely low rate of intermarriage and extremely high connection to Israel.
“This study has a wealth of information, but one thing stands out loud and clear to me: we live in a very dynamic, engaged Jewish community, maybe like no other,” said Goldberg. Read Arthur’s remarks »
Federation President & CEO Matthew C. Levin’s seventh Annual Meeting presentation lauded the year’s accomplishments, including moving forward with the expansion of Toby & Leon Cooperman Sinai Residences on the Federation campus; offering more missions both large and small; the phenomenal growth of the Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation’s assets and commitments, and responding to becoming a younger, multigenerational community. Read Matt’s State of the Federation address »
“We’ve felt it, we’ve seen it, and now our demographic study confirmed that we have far more children, young adults and families,” said Levin. “But we’ve been on it for years, ramping up programming for millennials, singles and young marrieds, children and teens throughout our Federation. Folks, we have a real Jewish future. It’s our young people and they’re already here!”
Levin and Goldberg both found it critical to address one alarming issue. “Right now, an overriding challenge confronts our entire Jewish family near and far, as all of our work takes place against the backdrop of the global rise in anti-Semitism” said Levin. “Our brothers and sisters were murdered at shul in Pittsburgh. We read every day about shocking numbers of defacements, hate-spewing remarks and literature, and violent attacks. It affects each of us personally, as a community and as a people.”
“This is an issue Federation was built for!” Levin continued. But we can only be here in times of crisis if we are here and ready in the days and weeks and months and years before. Only the Federation has the infrastructure and network to mobilize locally on a moment’s notice. And only the Federation system is prepared to come to the aid of our people whenever and wherever we are needed.” Read Matt’s remarks »
Dale Filhaber, Nominating Committee Chair, presented the slate for the 2019-20 Board of Directors, which was received with unanimous approval. Arthur Goldberg began his second year as Chair, Larry Feldman became Chair Designate, and Judi Schuman became Vice Chair, Financial Resource Development. The other officers are: Debra Halperin, Vice Chair, Campaign; Laurence I. Blair, Vice Chair, Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation; Jill Rose, Vice Chair, Women's Philanthropy; Jeffrey Newman, Vice Chair, Program Funding Council; Dr. Gail Greenspoon, Vice Chair, Israel & Overseas; Richard D. Steinberg, Treasurer; Bryan Drowos, Assistant Treasurer; Albert W. Gortz, Secretary; Robin Rubin, Assistant Secretary; Wes Finch, Vice Chair; David Pratt, Vice Chair; David Schimel, Vice Chair; and Anne Jacobson, Immediate Past Chair.
Five members of the Federation community received awards for their extraordinary contributions. David Pratt, Federation Vice Chair, presented the JFNA National Endowment Achievement Award posthumously to William Newman, of blessed memory, whose magnanimous, historic multi-million dollar commitment is, by far, the largest Annual Campaign endowment received to date by the Federation. Newman’s daughter, Debbie Bernstein, accepted the award.
Longtime donor and leader, Ron Gallatin, received the James H. Nobil Community Leadership Award, presented by Matthew C. Levin, Federation President & CEO. Miriam Klein accepted the James and Marjorie Baer Outstanding Young Leadership Award from Jill Rose, Women’s Philanthropy Chair. Frank Monzo, Federation Transportation Services Dispatcher, and Lottie Nilsen, Director of Foundation Development, accepted this year’s James H. Nobil Professional Achievement Awards from Mel Lowell, COO, and Cathrine Schwartz, Chief Legacy Officer, respectively.
The 2019 Annual Meeting was generously sponsored by BB&T, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Gerson/Preston/Klein/Lips/Eisenberg/Gelber, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Proskauer, Hotwire Communications, The Silverman Group of Raymond James, Sunstates Security, WGI and Virgin Printing. Southern Glazer’s Wines & Spirits was the generous in-kind sponsor.