Bert J. Goldberg has been appointed interim executive director of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County. He started work on Nov. 8.
Goldberg, who lives in Marlboro, succeeds Howard Gases, who served for 12 years as the top executive of the umbrella fund-raising organization.
Goldberg is associate director of the Center for Nonprofit Management and Governance of the School of Social Work of Rutgers University. He teaches fund-raising and marketing courses.
For 22 years, until his retirement several years ago, he worked with the Baltimore-based Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies, serving as president and CEO. He will fill his post with the federation while continuing his part-time work at Rutgers.
In a press release, federation president Dr. Stuart Abraham described Goldberg’s appointment as “the first step in the plan to enable the federation to address the challenges facing the Jewish community today.”
Abraham said it would “position us to move into the future as a strong and responsive organization.” He noted that Goldberg is a member of the Monmouth community and has been engaged in the federation’s strategic planning process. “He brings to us the skills which will keep a focus on the critical priorities that our next federation executive must address,” he said.
Last month, in announcing the change in the executive position, federation leaders said the organization was facing “a major revamping and internal re-structuring in response to the current economic conditions and evolving expectations of donors and the community.”
Goldberg has agreed to stay in the interim position until a new executive director has been appointed. Speaking last week, Abraham said a search committee was being formed, under the leadership of Ken Philmus of Matawan, the federation’s vice president of personnel.
The Jewish Federations of North America has been asked to help identify suitable candidates.
Goldberg joked that when Abraham approached him he thought it was for a campaign donation. “But then I remembered I’d already given,” he said.
But he readily agreed to help out. “This is my community; it’s where I live,” he said. “I’ve worked as a professional in the Jewish community for 45 years, in various places, so I feel I know what’s involved. I hope to help find exactly the right person for the job.”
Whoever takes on the position certainly faces a challenge. Goldberg said there is more competition for philanthropic dollars, and the economy is making things all the more difficult.
“We need to change the way the Jewish community is viewed,” he said, to encourage younger donors to channel their philanthropy through the federation system.