Fresh Faces at Federation
Hot on the heels of a busy spring season, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas (JFGD) didn’t slow down over the summer. From its new board chair to its 2020 campaign kick-off to its Connecting | Dallas launch, it is here for you and here for good. Here’s how.
In early June, A.J. Rosmarin was formally installed as board chair. Rosmarin has served in philanthropic roles in the Dallas Jewish community for nearly 40 years and his service extends to Israel, where he is on the board of the Friends of the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. His leadership at JFGD began in 2006 when he co-chaired the Annual Campaign. Rosmarin’s leadership helps to guide the Federation as it enters a new era.
Effective Aug. 1, the Federation welcomed Mariam Shpeen Feist as president and CEO. Feist was formerly the Federation’s Senior vice president and Chief Development Officer and is only the second woman to lead the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas in its 108-year history.
“My goal was to find the best person available for the position because Dallas is a great place to live with a strong Federation serving Jews in need locally, Israel and throughout the world,” said Rosmarin. “We are on a great trajectory, and I’m confident Mariam is the right person.”
Feist has more than 33 years’ experience in fundraising. She has held roles at the UJA-Federation of Greater New York, the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network and World ORT. She began her tenure at JFGD in 2012 as chief development officer (CDO) and assumed the role of senior vice president and CDO in 2014.
Part of an elite group within Jewish nonprofits, Feist is also a member of the CEO Onboarding Program at Leading Edge. The Leading Edge program provides CEOs with a supportive peer network at nonprofits in the American Jewish community and beyond. The diverse cohort represents 14 major national and local organizations across the country and includes federations, JCCs, social service agencies, advocacy organizations and denominational leaders.
This month the Federation also announced its new executive director of the Center for Jewish Education (CJE), Rabbi Mordechai Harris, who now serves as the Federation’s primary education representative to the Jewish educational community. He comes to Dallas with his wife, Nisa, and their three daughters. Harris was most recently the director of the Center for Jewish Living and Learning in Memphis, Tennessee.
New ways of connecting
New members to the Dallas Jewish community can reach out to Connecting | Dallas. The Federation recently rolled out Connecting | Dallas to assist and connect Jews to everything Jewish in Dallas. Led by Peta Silansky, this new initiative helps Jews find their place in our vibrant community. Connect today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214- 615-5250.
The safety of the Jewish community has long been a priority of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. The Federation’s Community Security Initiative (CSI) is responsible for convening, preparing and equipping Jewish organizations with the information and education needed to be safe and secure through training sessions and programming. CSI continues to launch new programs to help meet this goal. Initiatives planned for the incoming campaign year include Run Hide Fight, Shul Watch/School Watch, Cyber Security and more.
One meaningful way to connect with the community is at the Shabbat table. The Federation is now a host of OneTable. OneTable empowers those who do not yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to find and share the Shabbat experience by connecting together to build one that feels authentic, sustainable and valuable. It is available for young adults, ages 21-39, who do not yet have children. To join or host OneTable Shabbat, visit onetable.org and select “find a dinner” or “become a host.”
Starting in 2020 the Federation will launch another connection opportunity: Honeymoon Israel. Honeymoon Israel is a Jewish organization that provides trips to Israel for couples with at least one Jewish partner. Each trip includes 20 diverse couples from the same city — couples with one Jewish partner, couples where both partners were born Jewish and couples where one partner is converted/Jew by choice.
Soon couples in the Dallas area will be invited to apply for Honeymoon Israel via the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. JFGD is excited about this new adventure and the opportunity to help connect couples with an integral part of Jewish heritage.
Continuing to lead
National Young Leadership Cabinet is the premier leadership and philanthropic program within The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and throughout the Jewish world. Cabinet comprises approximately 300 men and women, ages 30 to 45, from across the United States and Canada who are deeply committed to shaping a bright future for the Jewish people in North America, Israel and around the globe.
National Young Leadership Cabinet is a six-year journey with a variety of destinations, all of them reached by stronger, more vibrant leaders.
In April, three Cabinet members traveled to St. Petersburg and Moscow to learn about the work Federation does overseas (Jonathan Rubenstein reported on this trip in the Aug. 1 issue of the TJP). At the end of July the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Affinities director, Janine Zaltsman Reutter, joined seven Cabinet members for a retreat in Toronto. More than 250 young adults attended the retreat, which is a four-day leadership program with inspiring speakers, learning opportunities and relationship building aligned around shared values and a common, collective purpose.
“The retreat helped me articulate why I care about Federation giving in the context of my overall charitable agenda, and I can proudly say I am now all-in,” said new Cabinet member Bobby Gibbs.
New Cabinet members include Jared Eisenberg, Bobby Gibbs and Andrew Miller. Current members Jonathan Rubenstein, Ophir and Sharron Laizerovich, Alex More, Jay Post, Eric Axel, Sean Dalfen, Ryan Milstein, Jacob Ratner, Seth Weisblatt and Dana Lipp continue in their NYL Cabinet tenure.
Here for you and here for good
In October the Federation will kick off its Annual Campaign. This year’s tagline connotes the Federation’s commitment to the community, the organization’s mission and its longevity. JFGD is “Here for you. Here for good.”
Soon yard signs will be visible at Jewish community landmarks throughout the Dallas area.
Digital and marketing manager of the
Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas