2016-09-14 / Voice at the Shore

Local donors who keep Jewish community strong and vibrant get special “thank you”

By ELLEN WEISMAN STRENGER
Voice shore editor


Major donors, including (from left) Robert Lang, David Schultz, Alan Friedman, Elliot Beinfest, and Larry Hirsch enjoy the thank-you event organized by Jewish Federation. Major donors, including (from left) Robert Lang, David Schultz, Alan Friedman, Elliot Beinfest, and Larry Hirsch enjoy the thank-you event organized by Jewish Federation. How do you thank people who care enough about the Jewish community that they give thousands of dollars of their own money to fund critical programs and services?

On a rare cool summer evening late last month, the local Jewish Federation showed its appreciation for this group of community-minded individuals— its major donors, who give anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 annually— at a cocktail party given on their behalf at the home of Helene and Robert Hordes in Linwood.

“The party was a way to thank people for their support and for the wonderful work they do to create a vibrant Jewish community in this area,” said Helene Hordes.

She and her husband are the major gifts chairs for the Federation’s Annual Campaign, which kicks off this fall.


Helene and Robert Hordes, Major Gift Chairs for the Federation Annual Campaign, hosted the “thank you” event at their home. Helene and Robert Hordes, Major Gift Chairs for the Federation Annual Campaign, hosted the “thank you” event at their home. “We got involved because we want Jewish programs and services to exist in this area for our children, our peers, and our elders. You can’t assume that these things will always be here, especially now that our area is financially distressed. If people don’t contribute, they won’t be. Every dollar matters.”

During the course of the evening, Jewish Federation president Steven Scherzer presented the Jack M. Sobel Philanthropy award to Susan and Bob Mayer for the couple’s longstanding dedication to the Jewish community, both as donors and as leaders.

“They are quintessential mensches,” noted Scherzer, adding that over the past 30 years each had donated “tens of thousands of dollars” to the Jewish Federation and “encouraged countless others to do the same,” he said. “Together, they have given a lifetime of service to a multitude of causes and organizations, all of which have received tremendous benefit from their contributions.”

The Mayers are among a group of about 200 people in the local area whose donations account for roughly two-thirds of the local Jewish Federation’s funding, said Kirk Wisemayer, executive director for the Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

The generosity of these donors helps support trips to Israel for local teens and adults, programs for the Jewish elderly throughout the community, Hillel at Stockton, services for Holocaust survivors locally and internationally, Camp by the Sea, local Jewish education programs, aid for Israel, and much more, Wisemayer noted.

“Without their gifts, the quality of Jewish life here and around the world would be significantly diminished,” he added. s

Return to top