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New foundation executive has legacy of his own
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New foundation executive has legacy of his own

Planned-giving head followed his father into communal work

Daniel Staffenberg, with his wife and children, said he is eager “to keep the momentum going” at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
Daniel Staffenberg, with his wife and children, said he is eager “to keep the momentum going” at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ.

Daniel Staffenberg said he leapt at the chance to become executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ, which has a national reputation for innovation and commitment.

The foundation, the planned giving and endowment arm of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, is the largest community foundation in the state, with assets of over $390 million.

As a participant in the national Life and Legacy program, meant to expand planned gifts and endowments, the JCF is on the cutting edge in training lay and professional fund-raisers to expand the number of Jewish donors who designate charitable giving in their wills and estate planning.

Life and Legacy “is a game changer. It could be the key to the future,” Staffenberg said. “I’m eager to see how it looks going forward, and to helping to keep the momentum going.” The program enables people to direct their long-term giving to benefit the specific institutions they care about most, he said, bringing the community together while supporting personal values.

Staffenberg succeeds Joshua Rednik, who left last January after six years in the post. Assistant executive director Jessica Mehlman had served as interim leader.

Staffenberg takes up the position on Sept. 2, just as Dov Ben-Shimon takes over as the federation’s new CEO. At the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Staffenberg served as director of principal gifts, working with lay and professional teams on the major gifts’ aspect of the annual campaign and on development of planned and legacy giving. 

His team also launched Create a Jewish Legacy Miami, a program similar to one launched earlier this year in GMW. He helped the Miami fund secure over $24 million in legacy gifts to benefit 17 local agencies and synagogues since inception in January 2013.

The president of JCF, Scott Krieger, said, “Daniel’s energy, federation background, and people skills will be a great addition to the team.”

Staffenberg’s “federation background” goes way back. His father, Drew, worked for many years with Jewish nonprofits around the country, recently as executive director of the JCC of Princeton Mercer Bucks. In 2011, Drew returned to Calgary, Canada, where the family used to live, to become director of the Calgary Jewish Federation. Drew plans to return to the Princeton area after retirement, another factor his son welcomed in taking the job in New Jersey.

Staffenberg’s Twitter account provides a key to his personal life: In addition to listing his new title, he describes himself as “Dad of 3 awesome boys, cyclist, sports lover!” And that, together with his marriage to his “wonderful” wife, Jill Grossman Staffenberg, he said, pretty much sums up his life outside the office.

“I am humbled by the selection and look forward to building on JCF’s impressive history of philanthropy,” he said.

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