2017-10-25 / Columns

Saluting those with vision who brought us to where we are today

Federation President

Tonight, we celebrate the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey’s 95th Annual Meeting and our 20th anniversary on the Springdale Road campus. Those are big numbers that our entire community should be very proud of. We have grown from humble beginnings where Federation focused on the delivery of food, clothing, and shelter to the Jews of Camden to today being one of the largest non-profits in the area, a communal organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing Jewish life throughout South Jersey and around the world.

Federation’s impact in our community and in other Jewish communities in Israel and around the world touches people at every age and stage in life. From early childhood education to in-home health care for older adults and everything in between, the Jewish Federation is there. From friendship, family, and wellness for the mind, body, and soul—the Jewish Federation is there. We are on the front lines providing programming, services and events that are integral to making ours such a vibrant Jewish community. And, while not as glamorous, Federation is also behind the scenes making sure that the lights stay on and that we have the space and infrastructure necessary to run those programs, services and events.

I would like to acknowledge and thank those who came before me and who made possible the journey that would lead us first from Camden to the old building on Route 70 and now to our current location at 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill. To call our current location a building is an understatement. It’s not just a building but also a campus and a warm welcoming Jewish home. In direct response to the ever-changing and ever-growing needs of our community— Federation is there.

It often feels as though that we are literally bursting at the seams. In response to the needs of our community, in 2014 Federation purchased The Commons, the property located at 1721 Springdale Road. Initially, this property handled the overflow of programs and services provided by Federation and its agencies. As you have hopefully heard, we will soon be embarking at that location on a new project to provide affordable housing for older adults and adults over 21 with special needs. We were thrilled to recently have secured the necessary tax credits from the State of New Jersey so that this project can become a reality, with groundbreaking to take place at the end of 2017 or early 2018.

This new housing project will bring to reality the dream of many leaders in our community, some of whom are no longer with us but without whose hopes, planning, dreams and vision, this housing project never would have been. Additionally, it’s not just housing, but housing with wraparound services. For these older adults and adults with special needs, not only will there be affordable housing, but also the support, the opportunity to work, and the opportunity to engage in social activities right where they live, and also readily available at 1301 Springdale Road.

The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey helps raise the dollars needed to provide for the community’s needs and to assist Jews in Israel and throughout the world. Please join me in recognizing our Jewish Federation, its incredible professional staff; its legions of volunteers, and all whose generosity has helped make our communal dreams come true. 


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