6-year Anniversary

Last month, I celebrated 6 years as CEO. Beginning year seven, I reflect upon all we have accomplished for our community and I, too, have found it very good.

I have worked with four presidents: Paul Kraft, Offer Korin, Mike Rubin and now Beth Klapper. Each of them have marked significant milestones in our successes. I would like to thank all of my professional colleagues within all of the organizations & Synagogues that we support. They have taken their respective organizations to new heights; they have collaborated with us in new ways; and are working together with the understanding that we are all “stronger together”. Everyone who has served in a volunteer leadership role, especially those who have chaired and participated on boards and committees —

I sincerely thank you for working tireless for our great mission. Our Jewish community is blessed with dedicated professionals and I am so proud that I get to work with each and every one of you.

Looking back to 2013, we increased our campaign donations to $3.8 million, up 3.9%, adopted the new JFNA logo as our own, continued our strong relationships with our Israel & Overseas partners especially our Partnership with Israel & Shaliach programs and met one on one with more than 150 donors and Indianapolis community leaders.

Moving forward in 2014, we offered ATID IV, established the transformational Life & Legacy program for our Jewish community, expanded our engagement efforts including BBYO teen programming, and changed the name of our senior services center to Jewish Family Services.

By 2015, we started our Interfaith Family Engagement initiative, concluded ATID IV with an incredible group of leaders, and increased our campaign efforts raising $3.93 Million, which included 65 new gifts.

In 2016, we began work on our first Jewish Community Study in 80 years, expanded our efforts with Women’s Philanthropy, NextGen and Israel programming, and launched the inaugural year of the Israeli Film Festival. A small group of leaders also began our Working Group to work closely with our agencies to understand their physical needs and imagine our Campus for the next 25 years.

Continuing in 2017, with our Jewish Community Study completed we dove deep into the results and data and spent much time digesting the impactful results. We proudly received a significant grant from the Lilly Endowment benefitting the agencies on our Jewish Community Campus and began having focus groups that led to a Strategic Plan for the Federation. As 2017 ended and we moved into 2018, we began the very difficult process of closing our beloved Bureau of Jewish Education and worked with our congregations to incorporate Hebrew education into their Religious School programs.

2018 and 2019 brought the implementation phase of our strategic plan, aligned our allocations process to the priorities and greatest impact set for the Federation in our Strategic Plan, and created our newly named Center for Jewish Engagement & Learning. I am incredibly proud of the efforts of our Annual Campaign and Planned Giving & Endowment professionals and leadership; their dedication has welcomed more than 110 new donors (so far) to our Annual Campaign. Each year we have seen significant percent increases across our donor levels and each year have gotten closer to our goal of a $4M campaign.

Our PG&E team completed year four of Life & Legacy with 13 partner organizations, 710 legacy commitments AND approximately $32 million in expectancies for our Jewish community. We made close to $5M in grants from our various Endowment funds back into our community on behalf of our Donor Advised donors and restricted Endowments. We are growing in many ways both in our fundraising efforts and in the programs and support that we are offering to our Jewish community.

I am looking forward to our journey together in 2020 as we continue to carry out our strategic plan with a new planning and allocations process, increased marketing and communication efforts to enhance engagement, an increase in our funding dollars, and the public phase of our comprehensive capital campaign as we reimagine our Jewish Community Campus.

Speaking of new beginnings, this month we also celebrate our Jewish New Year, 5780! L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu; maybe we all have a sweet and healthy New Year.


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