When Carol Pollard and her husband moved to the Princeton area years ago as newlyweds, neither had a strong Jewish background.
However, through the local institutions and organizations she learned the concept of tikun olam, or repairing the world, which has guided her through years of service.
“I was introduced to the Jewish community by The Jewish Center and Princeton Hadassah,” recalled Pollard in a phone interview. “Through this wonderful community, I learned what it means to help others and to give back.”
Pollard went on to become president of UJA Princeton Women’s Campaign and of United Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks from 2002 to 2003. She created the new database for federation and has been involved in developing the planned Jewish Community Campus in Princeton Junction.
She has also been an active member of the American Jewish Committee and The Jewish Center of Princeton.
The PMB federation will bestow the 2010 Community Service Award on Pollard and celebrate the charitable vision she embodies at its annual meeting, on Thursday, June 24, at Adath Israel Congregation in Lawrenceville.
“She is beloved in our community,” said federation executive director Andrew Frank. “She has been active in this federation and in community agencies and organizations forever.”
The evening will also feature the election and installation of the federation board, including Lisa Smukler of Princeton as president, Mark Merkovitz of Princeton Junction as vice president of campaign, Stacey Wasserman of West Windsor as Women’s Campaign president, and Stephanie Will of Skillman as Women’s Campaign chair.
Pollard recalled a trip to Budapest, where she and her husband, Mark, saw the results of vital support given to the Jewish community through organizations like the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee — which receives funding from the federated community — including providing meals to the elderly.
“I realized how much we help and how many need our help,” Pollard said. “We can all make choices and we are fortunate to be able to make choices. However, there are so many people in this world who can’t make those choices, so we must choose to help.”
Frank also said the meeting will launch a year that is to include “new branding” for the campaign and a new marketing effort for federation.
“We want people to think of federation not as a place that just asks for money, but as a linchpin of the community that makes things happen all over the world,” said Frank.
As part of boosting the federation’s role as community “linchpin,” new approaches are being undertaken, including for Super Sunday. In addition to its serving as a major fund-raiser, plans call for turning the annual phonathon into a community programming event. Federation will reach out to day and congregation schools, synagogues, youth groups, and agencies asking them to brainstorm on programming ideas, especially activities directed at young people. “Hopefully the kids will come and bring their parents” to Super Sunday, said Frank.
The phonathon will be held at Rider University in Lawrenceville, which, Frank said, made it much more accessible than past locations, and it will be moved from the traditional first week in December to Nov. 21 to avoid conflicts with Hanukka celebrations.
“Making it the weekend before Thanksgiving will also give those who traditionally make charitable contributions at the end of the year some time to think over their gift,” said Frank.