A New Federation World

I have been the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern NJ for two and a half years. Prior to assuming this position, I was the executive director of our local Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Because of this experience, I understand what an agency needs, insight that has greatly informed my actions as a Federation leader.

While we have inherited the struggles of the Federation system, my colleagues and I are embracing a new Federation world that is both promising and encouraging.  Numerous communities are facilitating difficult but necessary conversations about how we react to changing demographics, how we can grow and create even greater impact, and how we embark on new ventures to strengthen our mission.

For me, how Federation provides relevance and resources to myriad service agencies is tremendously important. We solicit for our annual JFUND campaign as well as for directed giving to our agencies and Israel and overseas. Who else can do this? We are stronger together.

Each week I spend hours gaining input and critiques from those in my community, that makes both the community at large and the Federation specifically stronger.  I appreciate every opinion which differs from my own-I learn and educate others as a result.

Last year we did a POP study of our community and this year we are implementing our findings. Our mission is driven by Jewish values which remain constant in an ever changing Jewish world. These findings will foster community growth and success.

Southern NJ is a thriving Jewish community. While we face certain difficulties, I believe we are on the right track to give new meaning to our Federation system and community.  Engagement is key to our moving forward: how do we reach out to more individuals, develop their passions and dig deep to face the challenges before us.  I am excited for what lies ahead and for what our Federation can and will become.

About the Author
Jennifer Dubrow Weiss is the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey.
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