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New president elected to lead State Association
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New president elected to lead State Association

Gordon Haas, second from right, displays his Recognition Award as immediate past president of the State Association; with him are, from left, executive director Jacob Toporek and president Marlene Herman, and Dov Ben-Shimon, executive vice president/CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
Gordon Haas, second from right, displays his Recognition Award as immediate past president of the State Association; with him are, from left, executive director Jacob Toporek and president Marlene Herman, and Dov Ben-Shimon, executive vice president/CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.

DR. MARLENE HERMAN of Edison was elected president of the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations at its annual meeting; a representative of the Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ, she will serve a two-year term.

Tammy Murphy, Gov. Phil Murphy’s wife, was keynote speaker at the meeting, which was held July 16 at the JCC of Central NJ in Scotch Plains.

As the government affairs and advocacy arm for New Jersey’s eight Jewish federations, the State Association interacts with the Office of the Governor, state legislators, and Congress on behalf of the interests of the federations and their beneficiary agencies.

Herman is a former president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County, a forerunner of the Heart federation, of whose board of governors she has been a member. She is a former cochair of the New Jersey-Israel Commission and has served on the board of the Hebrew Free Loan Association of NJ and at a number of senior residence facilities in central New Jersey.

“I am pleased to accept leadership of continuing the advocacy efforts of the State Association and helping to secure Jewish community interests for all Jews in our state,” said Herman. She also anticipates “directing our efforts to address rising anti-Semitism in the state and the safety vulnerabilities of our community facilities and institutions [and] growing the relationship between our state and Israel.”

According to State Association executive director Jacob Toporek, Tammy Murphy in her remarks reaffirmed “that the Jewish community has a significant role to play in the future of the state.” She emphasized that Gov. Murphy supports such association priorities as “welcoming the growth of business and cultural relations with Israel, embracing diversity, zero tolerance for bigotry and acts of hate,” and enforcing laws that counter the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, said Toporek.

At the meeting, NJ Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Dist. 37) received an award for serving as cochair of the 2018 NJ Legislators’ Study Mission to Israel, accepting on behalf of her cochairs, State Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Dist. 16) and Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-Dist. 39).

Herman succeeds Gordon Haas (Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ). Other officers affirmed at the meeting are: vice presidents Myra Gutin (Jewish Federation of Southern NJ), Eric Lavitsky (Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties), Shelley Newman (Jewish Federation of Ocean County), and Leonard Posnock (Greater MetroWest NJ); secretary Susan Penn (Jewish Federation of Northern NJ); treasurer Sam Pepper (Greater MetroWest NJ); and members at large Annabel Lindenbaum (Ocean), Toby Shylit Mack (Heart), Ronald Lieberman (Southern), and Roger Jacobs (Greater MetroWest NJ).

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