June 12, 2023
By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
Every year at this time, your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle holds our Annual Meeting to honor leaders who have made a remarkable impact on Jewish life and to look back on all that we have accomplished together for our community.
The Annual Meeting is a special gathering for celebrating, and we invite you to join us on Thursday, June 22, at the Stroum Jewish Community Center. There is a livestream option for attending virtually if you prefer.
This year’s gathering will be especially poignant for me. As many of you know, I am retiring from Federation, so this will be my final Annual Meeting as President & CEO. Earlier this week, we shared with the community how excited we are that Solomon “Solly” Kane will start in November as the Federation’s new leader, bringing to Jewish Puget Sound his years of experience across the communal landscape, impressive business and management skills, and most importantly, his enduring commitment to our people. I feel blessed to be passing the baton to such an accomplished professional.
Solly will step in as Federation continues to build on our work and impact over the past 12 months, made possible entirely because of generous donors like you and your commitment to paying it forward for Jewish life. There are two highlights from this year that I’d like to call attention to now, a preview of what I’ll be sharing on June 22.
Fighting Antisemitism: There is no more important task before us than combating this ancient hatred. Over the past 12 months, your Federation has been active in multiple ways to counter the alarming increase we have seen in antisemitic rhetoric and actions. Our work has included helping communal organizations obtain federal Nonprofit Security Grants, advocating for increased security grant funding, and training community members to address some of the most challenging incidents of antisemitism that we see locally. You can be sure that our fight against antisemitism will remain our highest priority in the months and years ahead.
Leadership Development: Securing a strong future for Jewish Puget Sound depends a great deal on preparing talented, motivated individuals to step into lay leadership and professional roles through immersive learning. The Beit Midrash that drew to a close this month, the final segment of enriching experiences that emerged from the Courageous Leadership Initiative, has deepened a culture of learning among dozens of communal leaders. Together, they acquired tools for addressing the many questions facing Jewish life in our complicated, ever-changing world. Our community’s future will be in their capable hands.
The Community Award recipients whom we will honor on June 22 have set an inspiring example of what transformative leadership looks like. I invite you to join us in recognizing this year’s honorees:
Pamela Waechter z”l Jewish Communal Professional Award
Dr. Charles & Lillian Kaplan Board Chair’s Award for Outstanding Service
Rachel Blum and Jason Okrent
Jack J. & Charlotte Spitzer Young Leadership Award
Jared Nieuwenhuis, Deputy Mayor of Bellevue
Tikkun Olam Award for Public Service
Judge John Erlick
L’Dor V’Dor Award
In addition to voting on the 2023-2024 slate for the Federation Board of Directors, we will be honoring our outgoing Board Chair, David Isenberg, for his three years of outstanding service and we’ll be welcoming our new Board Chair, Lisa Brashem.
Our Annual Meeting will be an evening to celebrate our award recipients. It will be an uplifting event to share our appreciation for our amazing volunteers and to take stock of all the good things we accomplished and the lives we touched by working together. We look forward to seeing you on June 22!