Collaborations key to State Association’s success

Collaborations key to State Association’s success

Thank you to Max Kleinman for his opinion piece, “From Weequahic to the State Capitol” (May 9). Max’s words were a wonderful review and tribute of how, together, the federations and the State Association of Jewish Federations rebuilt the community’s profile and brought strength to our advocacy efforts in securing Jewish community priorities.

As CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ for most of the 12 years that I served as executive director of the State Association, Max brought experienced leadership and dedication to our mission. Throughout those years, he remained committed to the 1981 vision the founders of the association had in creating the government affairs arm of the then-15 Jewish federations in New Jersey.

It is the unity and collaborative efforts of the federations and community members that were key to its success. The support of Max and federation executives throughout my tenure at the State Association is appreciated.  Thank you, as well, to Roy Tanzman, Ruth Cole, Mark Levenson, Gordon Haas, and Dr. Marlene Herman, presidents of the State Association, who were not only able and inspiring N.J. Jewish community leaders, but also partners engaged in rallying State Association advocacy efforts.

The association, and I, personally, were fortunate to have benefited from the good counsel of so many lay leaders who served as board members and advocates for federations’ and the association’s initiatives.

Never last and never least, I gratefully acknowledge the day-to-day and hands-on worker bees of the State Association who without their dedication to purpose, the accomplishments of the State Association, on behalf of our Jewish federations, would have been diminished. Jane Lemberg and Rivka Weiner Walk, thank you for being executive assistants in the fullest sense of the job title. 

And, to Lori Price Abrams, vice president, government relations at MWWPR, your value as an associate in advocacy strategy and building Jewish community and Trenton leadership relations is immeasurable. Your guidance, advice, and professionalism ensured that the advocacy initiatives of the federations were productive and beneficial to our community.

Max, as you inferred in your closing and in looking to the future, may the community’s profile and the federations’ advocacy continue to move from strength to strength in the future. Todah rabah, chaverim all. 

Jac Toporek
Executive director
N.J. State Association of Jewish Federations
Scotch Plains

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