It's About People Like Ben

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Jewish life continually changes: how or where people choose to express Jewish traditions, how they form and raise families, how they support Jewish causes… The Federation changes along with them – not because we’re responding to them or we’re ahead of them, but because we ARE them. 

Susan Antman shared these words in a recent interview with New Jersey Jewish News. Susan is the new Executive Director of the Jewish Federation effective January 1, 2019, though the 18-year Federation veteran is hardly new to our work. She has held such positions as Executive Vice President of this Jewish Federation and Executive Director, Director of Planning & Allocations, and Director of Financial Resource Development with the Middlesex Federation before the merger with Monmouth.  

Susan succeeds Keith Krivitzky, who announced earlier this month he is moving on to pursue new opportunities after some seven years at the helm. Our community has grown and benefited in important ways as a result of Keith’s vision and passion for Jewish life. 

At our Annual Meeting on December 13, outgoing president, Jeff Schwartz, passed the gavel to newly-elected president for 2019/2020, Cheryl Markbreiter of Ocean Township.  

Cheryl has more than 20 years of Federation leadership experience as a board member and 8 years as an officer. She insists it’s not about who’s president or executive director, though. It’s about the elderly neighbor who can live in dignity because of us. It’s about the family suffering mental health crises that gets help because of us. It’s about the teenager becoming a leader for the Jewish community’s next generation because of us. It’s about all the Jews gathering in safe places because of us, donors investing in a strong Jewish future because of us... 

The work is bigger than any one person – and so is the impact. 

  • In 2018, Federation helped bring 40,000 kosher meals on wheels to seniors who can’t afford or prepare their own meals; 
  • We funded close to 6,000 mental health counseling sessions for people without adequate insurance; 
  • We helped bring another million dollars in government security grants to local Jewish organizations and trained hundreds of professionals in safety protocols; 
  • We promoted dozens of organizations’ Israel@70 celebrations and brought Shinshinim (Israeli teen ambassadors) here for the year to help local community members build personal connections with Israel; 
  • We helped Rutgers Hillel serve between 300 and 400 Shabbat dinners on any given Friday night to connect Jewish college students with their community; 
  • We involved hundreds of teens in service and leadership programs, and 3,000 kids to age 11 in PJ Library and camp grants to foster their Jewish identity; 
  • And we propelled 10 Jewish organizations in the Life & Legacy program to cultivate legacy gifts with estimated future value of more than 11 million dollars;

… among other accomplishments. 

There’s more to be done and that is why you care. That is why you give. That is why you support Federation. You know it’s the best way to do the most good in the Jewish world.

Why you care

Thank you for your continued support year in and year out. You make Jewish life sweeter, more just, more accessible, and more sustainable for all. If you haven't yet made your gift for 2018, please do it today. Thank you.

Early wishes for a happy, healthy 2019!

By Lisa Karasic, the Jewish Federation's Chief Marketing Officer.

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