David Lieberman to become new Federation president
As of April 1, the Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May Counties will have a new president—46-year-old David Lieberman, a local business owner with young children, who represents a new generation of leadership in the Jewish community.
Lieberman and his wife, Ali, are familiar faces in the Jewish community. In addition to their very visible role as chairs of the Federation’s Annual Campaign for the past two years, they can also be seen around town volunteering for JFS, attending Federation Young Leadership events, and taking their children (Zoe, age 5, and Jack, age 9) to Shirat Hayam and Chabad’s Community Hebrew School— and the list goes on.
David, a natural-born marketer who owns an Allstate Agency in Somers Point, may look especially familiar to many people: An ad for his business that includes his picture can almost always be found in newspapers and even on shopping carts at Shoprite.
Yet Lieberman is more than a familiar face. He is also someone who does the work to make things happen in the community.
“He is creative, innovative, and has demonstrated leadership skills as a Federation board member and in many other Jewish organizations in the community,” said Federation Executive Director Kirk Wisemayer. “He’s demonstrated an ability to bring people together. We’re very excited to have him as our incoming president.”
Another hugely important advantage Lieberman brings to the position is an understanding of a new, younger generation of Jews in the community, many of whom have not been involved in Federation thus far. While many older people give money to
Federation and other Jewish organizations because they grew up believing that if you’re Jewish, that’s what you do, the younger generation is different, explained Wisemayer. “They support organizations that resonate with their values and they want to be engaged in the community. David is clearly aware of this—in many respects he feels the same way, and he will take us in that direction.”
Lieberman said he sees new his new role as a huge honor as well as an opportunity to draw more people into the community.
“I’d like us to become more inclusive as a community. I look forward to meeting with people throughout the community, sharing ideas, working together, and making sure everyone’s included. No one should feel left out,” said Lieberman.
“It’s definitely a critical time right now for rebuilding,” he added. “We need new people.
Our community is shrinking.”
Getting the younger generation involved is among his priorities. “I’d like to see more 20- somethings and 30-somethings involved. People need to know how and where to participate,” he said.
This also means offering fun activities that appeal to this demographic, including purely social events (such as last fall’s campaign kick-off event featuring the popular local band Don’t Call Me Francis) as well as events that are both educational and social (Young Leadership’s “Schmooze and Learn” program was one of his favorites).
Wisemayer is excited about the new ideas and energy Lieberman will inevitably bring to Federation. “Hopefully we’ll transition to a new business model under him that resonates with both the business community and younger Jews in our community. He realizes—as do others on our board—that Federation needs to look for new ways of engaging people. Someone doesn’t become a donor until they feel part of the community and part of the organization.
Lieberman, the consummate marketer, believes that “rebranding” the Federation will help to get more people involved. “People need to understand all the good that the Federation does,” he stressed.
Many people unfamiliar with the Federation associate it primarily with raising funds for Israel, not realizing this is only part of its mission, he added. “The Federation needs to rebrand as an organization that does great work in the community.”
Although Lieberman grew up attending Jewish day school in Lakewood, NJ, and lived for several years in Cherry Hill before moving here six years ago to start his business, he only became active in the Jewish Federation after his friend, former Federation board member Michael Burns, invited him to join the board. “That’s how it all began,” said Lieberman.
After several years as a board member, and of chairing the Annual Campaign, he now has a deep appreciation of all that the Federation does.
“There are so many agencies and organizations the Federation touches that do amazing work” for people of all ages, he stressed. “People also look to Federation for guidance and support when going through crisis, and the Federation also reaches out to people in crisis.”
“Being able to cut substantial checks for Beron-Jewish Older Adult Services, Jewish Family Service, the JCC and others, being able to provide scholarships, helping people in desperate need in the community—this is all great work done by our Federation,” he said.