President Beth Klapper’s Farewell Message

It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as the President of the Board of Directors for our Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis these last two years. When reflecting on my tenure, and the range of experiences this position has brought to me personally and the community, I was overcome by emotion.  Never in my wildest dreams could I, nor any of us, have imagined the challenges we faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many people, our household adjusted to a new COVID normal with our four kids working at home and attending school virtually.
My challenges ranged from feeding six people and two dogs, shutting down our business for six weeks, the overwhelming concern when my husband became ill with COVID mid-March, and the absence of my aging parents and extended family in our home. We took it day by day, made daily assessments of what needed to be done, and our entire family pitched in. Everyone did their part, albeit with some complaints at times, but we pushed on and persevered. We got it done.
At the same time, our Federation and community at large faced similar and even greater challenges.  How do we meet the need of feeding Jewish community members during a 10-fold increase in requests at Jewish Family Services? How do we help Hooverwood Living combat the virus and help their frontline healthcare workers? How do we assist the JCC in meeting their obligations to parents who rely on JCC ECE? How do we keep the JCC operational when we are seeing similar facilities go out of business in other areas of the country? How does our Federation raise funds for our agencies when our donors are facing similar financial restraints? These questions continued to pervade our community and I experienced many sleepless nights worrying if we were making the right decisions. Ultimately, we all deserve to be extremely proud of our JFGI family. Just like my family at home, our JFGI family evaluated circumstances day by day, made daily assessments of what needed to be done, and our staff and lay leaders all pitched in. Everyone did their part; we pushed on and perservered. We did what the Jewish community always does. We got it done.
Thank you Debby Grant and the entire JFGI staff for your outstanding partnership the past two years.  You have all made my job a lot easier and we have so much to be proud of. We raised over $4 million in our annual campaign, and another $850,000 in our COVID Community Relief effort. Thank you JFGI Officers, Finance and Planning & Allocations committees, and entire Board of Directors for their heroic efforts in providing strategic leadership during such a challenging time. Lastly, thank you Steve, my husband, and our four kids Hannah, Ben, Sarah and Leah who all provided the love and support that enabled me to fulfill my duties as President.
We are very fortunate to have such a special Jewish Community to live in and raise our children. I look forward to seeing you all again in person and continuing our work to move our community forward.

Beth Klapper
2019-2021 President, JFGI Board of Directors


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