Investing In Our Future
Federation’s 2013 Annual Campaign focuses on the long-term strength of the Jewish community.
Ask Federation’s 2013 Annual Campaign and Community Development Chairs Larry Wolfe and Sandy Muskovitz Danto to sum up the goal of this year’s campaign and they’ll likely respond with a single word: Transformation.
“Detroit has been through a difficult time, and the Jewish community is now at a pivotal moment,” says Wolfe. “Our objective is to help move this community from a place of uncertainty to one of sustained stability and health, and not just for today or tomorrow, but for generations to come. It also means continuing to invest in the future of the State of Israel and in Jewish communities everywhere across the globe. This is a major transformation and it can only take place if we are collectively willing to invest our time, energy and, of course, financial resources.”
With this in mind, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit formally kicked off its Annual Campaign effort, Step Forward 2013: Invest In Our Future.
In 2012, Federation introduced the theme “Step Forward” as a rally cry to build engagement across the community and begin this shift. A year later, Federation is confident that the message is being heard, as there are already close to 2,000 new donors to the campaign. Federation leaders are looking at 2013 as an even more critical year than 2012. The Step Forward theme will continue, with the phrase “Invest In Our Future” added to bring emphasis to the role of the campaign as an essential investment in the future of the Jewish community.
“The concept of investment is incredibly powerful for everyone in the community,” adds Danto. “For the next generation, it means ensuring that there is a prosperous and vibrant place to put down roots. Older, established individuals want to make sure that the community they know and love continues to thrive into the future. And all of us, regardless of age, want to maintain the sense of community that is so important in our lives. Of course, caring for those in need today remains an essential part of what we do. But we are also recognizing that we all have a huge stake in the future of Jewish Detroit as well as in Israel and across our global community. This campaign is our chance to do our part.”
The goal of the campaign is continued growth in both the number of donors as well as the total achievement, with a target of $30 million from 12,000 donors.
“We want this to be the fourth consecutive year of growth in terms of those engaged and making gifts, and the third consecutive year of growth in terms of dollars,” says Federation President Douglas Bloom. “For the transformation we’ve begun to succeed, we must continue to sustain these increases. And we certainly have the ability to do it. Detroit is a unique community. The commitment and generosity is extraordinary and not something you’ll find in most cities. Our job is to remind people how important this is, and that everyone has a role to play.”
The 2013 Goodman Family Challenge Fund
Another key aspect of the campaign is the 2013 Goodman Family Challenge Fund. Each year since the early 1990s, the Detroit Jewish community has been fortunate to have had a family who has challenged others, through their own generosity, to make an additional commitment toward the care of the community. Detroit is the only major Jewish community to have maintained a successful Challenge Fund for the past 19 years.
This year, Mark and Teri and Gary and Enid Goodman are providing the Federation Challenge Fund. With their gift, the Goodmans hope to inspire their fellow Jews throughout the community to offer additional support to the most critical members of our Jewish future: children, teens and young adults. The Fund will positively impact a variety of youth-oriented programs throughout the community, including Jewish education, identity-building, summer camp and Israel experiences.
Campaign Leadership Steps Forward
As Federation CEO Scott Kaufman points out, the Annual Campaign and Challenge Fund are the work of numerous lay leaders in the community, in addition to the Federation staff. “We have a remarkable team of lay leaders running our campaign,” Kaufman says. “More than ever before, we have younger leaders with new ideas and new energy working side by side with experienced individuals that hold a
tremendous depth of experience in Jewish communal work. And, in a way, that collaboration represents what this campaign is all about: Multiple generations of Jewish Detroiters working together to build our future. It can’t just be one facet of the community. We need everyone to step forward together.”
Additional Annual Campaign Key Leaders
Campaign Cabinet: Lowell Salesin, Carolyn Bellinson, Jeff Forman, Steve Migliore, Leah Bold, Jordon Wertheimer, Marty Maddin and Rachel Wright
Women’s Department President: Lisa Lis
Women’s Department Campaign Chair: Roz Blanck
NEXTGen Detroit President: Marty Maddin
NEXTGen Detroit President-Elect: Rachel Wright
NEXTGen Detroit Campaign Vice Presidents: Steve Migliore, Leah Bold and Jordon Wertheimer
By Ted Cohen, marketing director for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.