JFed 2007 Campaign Sets Historic Record

JEWISH LIGHT EDITORIAL

The 2007 Jewish Federation Campaign raised a total of $11.03 million, setting a new all-time record in the 107-year history of the communitywide fundraising organization.

Overall fundraising, including endowments and other gifts totaled an impressive $26.3 million. The Annual Campaign fell just short of its goal of $11.15 million, but this fact does not diminish the accomplishment of the Jewish Federation lay and professional leadership. The 2007 Campaign raised $218,000 more than in 2006, and was the fifth consecutive increase for the annual drive which funds essential agencies, services and programs which benefit Jews locally, nationally and globally, including human needs in the State of Israel.

ADVERTISEMENT


The 2007 Jewish Federation Annual Campaign was blessed with outstanding and dedicated leadership on both the volunteer and professional levels. Bill Miller very ably served his second consecutive year as JFed vice president/Campaign; he was supported by Sherri Frank Weintrop, assistant campaign chair and Ken Kranzberg, who chaired the Jewish Community Foundation. Barry Rosenberg, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation and Ruth Lederman, assistant executive vice president and director of development, provided excellent professional leadership, helped by others on the JFed staff. In addition, let’s not forget the lay volunteers who personally handled hundreds of pledge cards and organized numerous imaginative and successful campaign events.

Unfortunately, despite the record-breaking performance, we must sound a note of caution that the Federation did not meet its declared goal. It is vital that our community do more to support our Federation and equally important that the Federation find more innovative ways to promote giving among its donors. JFed must strive to make certain that its message remains relevant to the giving public.

The Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign provides essential funding to support a network of agencies, services and programs which assure that the dynamic and vibrant 60,000-member Jewish community will continue to thrive. Among those services and agencies are: the Central Agency for Jewish Education; the Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library; the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center; the Jewish Community Center; the Jewish Community Relations Council; the Jewish Family and Children’s Service; the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry; MERS/Goodwill; St. Louis Hillel; and the St. Louis Jewish Light. Funds raised by the Jewish Federation also support services to our senior population, including adult day care through the JCC; the Covenant/CHAI Apartments, and the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) program. The scope of the services offered and provided by these agencies and programs is truly staggering, serving our children and youth; young adults and our aging population.

The record-breaking 2007 Campaign is even more remarkable considering the additional pressures created by the financial crises faced at the Cedars and the Jewish Community Center, which are running huge deficits.

In addition to funding the above vital local services, Federation dollars also provide essential support to national and overseas Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which assists needy Jews in numerous countries overseas. Also, the funds support the Jewish Agency for Israel and the United Jewish Communities which fund humanitarian service in the State of Israel.

The Federation’s endowments are also providing a vast array of special services and programs, matching donor interests and a willingness to contribute to identified needs in the community. The Lubin-Green Foundation, a major supporting Jewish Federation foundation, has provided grants for such important new programs as JProStL, the organization of Jewish professionals serving our local Jewish agencies and programs. Other foundation grants have made it possible to create specialized programs beyond the missions and scope of existing agencies.

We congratulate the Jewish Federation lay and professional leadership for the record-shattering results of the 2007 Campaign, and we also applaud the entire St. Louis Jewish community for once again very generously supporting this vital effort.

As the Talmud tells us, “We cannot complete all the work, but neither are we free to desist from it.”

Sign up for Your Morning Light