Jennifer Gorovitz, Acting CEO
For a century, the Federation has worked diligently as the face of collective Jewish philanthropy with an abiding, positive and hopeful mission. In approaching our centennial anniversary, let us re-focus, re-connect and re-energize around the strengths of this Jewish community – generosity, engagement, innovative leadership, and a dedicated, capable professional staff who are committed to making the Federation strong from the inside out.
As Daniel Sokatch moves on to take his new position as Executive Director of the New Israel Fund, we wish him well. Daniel sparked a broad vision for change, and in his 14 months at the helm, he helped us begin to make great inroads.
Today, I feel confident that we will continue to forge ahead in addressing the changing economy, as well as the interests and needs of our diverse community, a community grounded in a proud history and built on a strong foundation.
In assuming the role of Acting CEO, I want to briefly introduce myself to you. After more than a decade of law practice in the private and public sectors, I joined Federation’s Endowment Fund, and after 5 years was promoted to Chief of Staff before assuming this position. I am the 4th generation in my family to roll up my sleeves to work on behalf of, and raise money for, the Federation. Early in the 20th century, my great-grandfather was part of the first generation of leaders of the Hebrew Free Loan Association, one of the handful of fledgling social service agencies that came together to found the Federation. His daughter, my grandmother, went door-to-door with a manila envelope to solicit funds for the Federation year after year with her young daughter, my mother, in tow. My mother, in turn, did the same while at Cal and continues to be an active community leader today. I, too, raised funds for the Federation while in college, though in rebellion, I attended Stanford.
During my tenure here, I have been moved by the consistent kindness of our donors, and the generosity that enabled Federation to immediately respond to the profound economic challenges we faced this past year. To all of our donors, past and present – Thank you! Our longevity as an organization has proved what we have always known: that we are infinitely stronger when we work together. In entering our 100th year, and the year 5770 of our people, I encourage a renewed and re-energized commitment to each other and hope that you will join us in experiencing joy in this shared effort of repairing the world together.
On behalf of the entire Federation leadership and professional staff, may this upcoming year be one of peace, harmony and renewal. Best wishes to you and your family for a sweet and joyous New Year.