In welcoming Marc Swatez this past January as the new CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, we turned in our office nameplates of Co-Interim Executive Directors with a sense of excitement for the new beginning our community will embrace in 2022.
Marc brings leadership and experience from the Jewish worlds of Federation, Education, Synagogue life and most recently, Social Services as Executive Director of The Ark, the premier social services organization in Chicago serving the Jewish community, estimated to be over 300,000 people.
During our 8 months in this professional capacity, we were reminded each day of the leaders, past and current, who walked the halls of our office. We could almost hear June Herman (z”l) calling out to us or visualize Carolyn Leeds (z”l) at her desk on the phone raising campaign dollars. They were the first female lay leaders who chose a professional path for themselves. Their example of professionalism, commitment, and the wisdom they imparted resonated with us then and continues to influence us today.
We aspire to have the kind of impact these women did, and to share Jewish values, traditions, and history with the next generation. It’s a responsibility we embrace.
During our tenure, we learned the community is strong and thriving. We learned it is not about any one of us, but it is about all of us, including the people who came before us and the ones who will follow us.
This was exemplified in our 2021 Annual Campaign, reaching a high not seen in over a decade. We’re so proud of our professional staff and the work they do everyday, and we’re so appreciative of our lay leaders, and their commitment to the community which they share with others, all of which brought us to this high mark in our campaign.
Which brings us back to where this article started, as we welcome Marc to our community and look forward to partnering with him in the capacity of lay leaders. The opportunities are endless to bring collaboration and partnership into every corner of our Jewish community as we move from strength to strength.