As Steve Ingber transitions into his role as CEO of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, he and his family know they are making a sacrifice on behalf of the community.
As is highlighted in our cover story, Steve Ingber is the newly appointed CEO of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
Now, that may seem like the often-reported “People on the Move” that we see in various publications regarding a job change or a promotion.
However, this is no ordinary announcement.
Having spent 12 years of my career working at the Jewish Federation, initially as chief financial officer and eventually as chief operating officer, I have been behind the curtain, and I have seen how the kosher sausage is made.
Federation executives, those who work at Federation, other agencies or within our synagogue network, don’t have easy jobs. It is not for everyone.
The needs and demands of the community are complex and ever-changing, and it takes a steady hand and a strategic mindset to make it work. It is a series of balancing acts between mission and margin, between governance and management, and between risks and rewards.
Most of the opportunities for Federation are difficult to land and most of the challenges are not easily solved. But over the many decades and over the body of work through the years, the mission is realized.
I had the unique opportunity to learn from two of the profession’s finest, Bob Aronson and Michael Berke. They ran the Federation playbook with an air of sophistication and the art of diplomacy. Until you have spent a day within the cherished walls of the Max M. Fisher Federation Building, you cannot possibly appreciate what happens there every single day. It’s fast-paced, dynamic and unpredictable.
The Federation is the address where many of the community’s most complicated issues and unexpected crises get delivered. And it is the CEO who must sign the receipt accepting that delivery, working with lay leadership partners who ensure Federation is best positioned to find the solutions, raise the funds and, above all, protect the health, wellbeing and continuity of our community.
As Steve Ingber transitions into this role, he and his family know they are making a sacrifice on behalf of the community. Near the completion of my tour of duty at Federation, those closest to me would ask, “Why do you do it?” I would respond, “It’s not for the stock options.”
You only take on such roles because it is in your DNA and because it is in your heart. You come out the other side a different person, but it is worth every moment.
Years from now, and hopefully many years from now, when Steve completes his tour of duty, the community will say, “Thank you.”
Well, I say “thank you” to Steve Ingber today. Thank you for your community service. Thank you for stepping up and leaning in to take on this role.
You have our support, and you have our commitment. All the very best on the journey ahead.
Mark Davidoff is senior advisor to the Detroit Jewish News Foundation Board and oversees the Detroit Jewish News.