During July and August, our thoughts drift to vacation and having some “down time.” But here at the Federation, it’s a busy planning time for our new fiscal year, which began July 1. We have several exciting things planned for this coming year, including a new keynote program in December for donors $360+ featuring world-renowned Israeli chef Michael Solomonov of the Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia. Each of this year’s programs is designed to closely align with one of the four pillars of our mission: helping those in need, enriching Jewish life, building community, and strengthening global peoplehood. We are also launching our 2019 Annual Campaign this fall. One of our goals is to close 80% of your pledges by December 31 so we can continue to provide the programs and services our community has come to value and expect.
We have hired new staff and realigned roles and responsibilities to serve our community more effectively. I am happy to announce that we have retained Ralph Grunewald, formerly our interim Executive Director, as our permanent Executive Director. We have also just hired a new Annual Campaign Director, Susan Bauman Stuart, to replace Meghann Schwartz, who has moved with her family to Florida to pursue new opportunities. Later this month we will be welcoming Melissa Goldberg, the new BBYO Associate Regional Director in Howard County and our new shaliach (Israeli emissary), Shay Rubinstein. Our other “newer” employees include Amy Bober-Schenerman, Campaign Associate; Shauna Leavey, Program Manager; Allison Weil, PJ Library Assistant; and Michalah Hoffman, Jewish Community Social Worker. And, of course, we still have our Marketing & Communications Associate, Hanni Werner and our office administrator, Jamie Nelson.
As busy as the staff has been, there’s always time for fun. We have a terrific opportunity to come together as a community and see the Frederick Keys play the Carolina Mudcats at the upcoming Day at the Ball Park on August 26. We’ll be sitting at the game with our friends from Columbia Jewish Congregation. Throughout the coming year, you’ll see a number of programs or events where we partner with our community synagogues. We are fortunate to have a diversity of Jewish life in Howard County and strong collaboration with our synagogues and religious schools. Please watch your email and check our calendar to see all the exciting things we have planned. In the meantime, enjoy your summer and stay cool!