2016-10-26 / Columns

Looking to build on the tremendous accomplishments of the past

Federation President

L’dor v’dor, from generation to generation. This phrase, inscribed on the front of the building, has influenced virtually everything I do, and will continue to influence everything I do as the incoming president of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey.

To me, this saying represents an obligation to ensure the viability, sustainability, growth, and continuity of the Federation and our Jewish South Jersey community. To that end, I thought that for my first Voice column, I would outline some of my objectives, which includes continuing the amazing work of Immediate Past President Vicki Zell and prior leadership.

My first goal is the need to increase our fundraising. Because of your efforts and generosity, the Federation and the agencies raised approximately $6.5-million this past year. This is an accomplishment we should all take great pride in, however, when we look at our annual needs as well as our long-term vision and anticipated future needs, it becomes clear that the level of funds being raised is simply not sufficient.

To ensure this goal, we have to start thinking differently about how we do business. I don’t have the answer today, but I have already started to work with Federation CEO Jennifer Dubrow Weiss and all of the leadership within the system to make Federation increasingly impactful and innovative.

My next goal is to continue to build our Life & Legacy program. This program has been developed to promote and ensure legacy giving in Jewish communities across the country, including ours. Now in year three of the four-year program, we will continue to develop new legacy commitments and to formalize legacy gifts made in years one and two.

Over the next two years, I hope to continue the vision laid out for The Commons, our property located at 1721 Springdale Road. This will include Federation’s plans to eventually construct two buildings of affordable housing units for those over 55 and for individuals with special needs. We truly believe it is a matter of if, not when, this project comes to fruition and we will work with the state of New Jersey to ensure the tax credits needed to make this a reality.

Let’s not forget our primary home at The Weinberg Jewish Community Campus. With so many programs, services, and events taking place, I am thrilled to announce that we will, in the near future, be purchasing land from the Diocese in order to expand parking and provide the potential for future development.

Another goal for 2017 will be the successful rollout of the new 100/0 surplus plan. This year, for the first time, agencies will be permitted to retain 100% of any year-end surplus, with up to 50% being permitted to go into the next year operating budget and a minimum of 50% being placed into an endowment fund.

For literally a lifetime, I have been a beneficiary of all that the Federation and the agencies have provided to my family and me. I look forward to my time working with you. s jfedpres@jfedsnj.org

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