The Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut held its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 13. The evening started with a wonderful invocation from Rabbi Eric Polokoffurging us to be brave in the pursuit of what matters most for our community. Before getting to the business of electing officers and directors, there were two “surprise” celebrations honoring Federation President Pauline Zimmerman. The first presentation was led by Vice President Roy Walzer on behalf of the Board. I followed with presentation on behalf of staff and the Federation more generally. We all wanted to recognize Pauline for her four years of amazing service as Federation President and to thank her for agreeing to continue as President for an additional six-month period. It was clear that the entire assemblage at the Annual Meeting also appreciated all that Pauline has done for the Federation.
The Federation also made a presentation to our friend Steven Reps. Steven is the President of B’nai Israel Southbury who also finds the time to provide his numerous talents and skills to helping the Federation in many ways, especially when it comes to recording Federation events. In fact, Steven had to leave his recording post at the back of the room to accept his gift.
Our guest speaker, Deacon Arthur L. Miller, was an absolute hit with his motivational remarks. He started his presentation with a very moving four-minute video demonstrating how wrong we can be in making judgments about other people without fully understanding their circumstances. He then talked about our obligation to stand up for people who are being victimized by others. He noted that if G-d had given us an 11th commandment, it would have been “Thou Shall Not Be A Bystander”. Federation members and friends who attended the meeting are still talking about Deacon Art’s presentation.
In additions to reports from Pauline and me, Roy provided a summary of the work of the Grants and Allocations Committee of the Federation for the past year, noting that we have provided over $400,000 in funding to support Jewish schools, campers, college students, students engaged in Israel study programs, Israeli social service agencies, and local Jewish and secular nonprofit organizations.
In terms of the election of the Officers and the Board, all current Officers and Board members were re-elected unanimously. We are very fortunate to have Kathy Peck-Marks join our Board by unanimous vote as well. Below is the full slate of Officers and Directors:
List of Officers:
President - Pauline Zimmerman
Vice President - Roy Walzer
Treasurer - Matt Magida
List of Board Members:
** Indicates New Board Member
I encourage you to click on the link below to view the Annual Meeting. I want to thank Pauline and all of our Board members for their hard work and inspiring leadership. I also want to thank the Federation staff: CFO Tom Harris; Program and Events Manager Cathy Conti; and Administrative Assistant Pamela Perkins for their hard work and dedication in helping to execute the vision of our Board. Finally, I want to thank my long-term dear friend, Deacon Art, for agreeing to share his inspiration with all of us.