The merger of the Jewish federations of Greater Middlesex County and Monmouth County took another major step toward becoming a reality when the Middlesex board voted “overwhelmingly” for the merger.
The 34 to four vote, with two abstentions, which took place at a closed meeting on Sept. 3, was confirmed by federation president Mitchell Frumkin. The Monmouth board will hold a similar vote Sept. 11.
Once both boards have approved the merger, Frumkin said, each will schedule a public meeting next month at which community members can cast their own votes. The date will be confirmed shortly and the community will be notified through various channels.
The board vote helps to ensure that the federations will be able to meet their stated planned merger date of Jan. 1.
“The board, after diligent investigation and analysis, has recommended that people vote for this merger,” said Frumkin, “and I believe this merger will propel us into an exciting and beneficial future for the Jewish community of both counties.”
Assuming the Monmouth board also gives its approval, he said, the two boards will probably form a committee to explore names for the new federation.
“We’re looking at possible names that just don’t say what counties we are in but rather something possibly a little different,” said Frumkin.
The merger process, which has been discussed for years, has taken on steam in recent months. Representatives of both federations have said it will bring together the strengths of each, that the resulting larger staff will allow for better leveraging of resources toward fund-raising and programming, and that the larger size of the new body will give it a greater voice within the Jewish Federations of North America.