Leaders and Award Recipients Honored at 2024 Annual Meeting

More than 250 guests attended Federation’s 2024 Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 9. Distinguished community leader Barry S. Berg was announced as the Federation’s new Board Chair for a two-year term, succeeding Board Chair Susan Shulman Pertnoy.

“Despite facing significant challenges locally and globally this past year, and the troubling rise in antisemitism, there is still much to celebrate as Jewish Palm Beach launches new initiatives to connect people to Jewish life,” shared Michael Hoffman, President and CEO of Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. “I’m immensely grateful for Barry Berg’s leadership as we look ahead and have the utmost confidence for a vibrant today, tomorrow and forever.”

During the event, guests celebrated Susan Shulman Pertnoy for her significant accomplishments as Federation’s Board Chair from 2022 to 2024. Mark F. Levy and Lynn Levy Peseckis, two of Federation’s most devoted leaders, surprised Pertnoy with the announcement that she will be the recipient of the 2024-25 Jeanne Levy Community Leadership Award, the Federation’s highest honor. The award is named for the mother of Levy and Peseckis, who served as a founder and matriarch of the Palm Beaches’ Jewish community.

Additional new leadership announcements for Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County include:

  • Ronda Starr, Development and Campaign Chair
  • Marilyn Comiter, Women’s Philanthropy Board Chair
  • Patti Lehrhoff, Women’s Philanthropy Campaign Chair
  • Lynn Levy Peseckis, Community Strategy and Planning Chair
  • Brett Sandala, Friedman Commission for Jewish Education (CJE) Chair
  • Jason DelGrosso, Emerging Leadership Program (ELP) Chair

Ken Tillman, an active leader, and volunteer fundraiser for decades, received the Hope Silverman Campaigner of the Year Award. This annual award celebrates an individual who advances Federation’s mission, demonstrates leadership, empowers philanthropy and serves as a role model to others. In addition to his longtime role as a campaign ambassador for Federation and several other Jewish organizations, Tillman was honored for inspiring several of his neighbors to contribute to Federation’s Israel Terror Relief Fund following the events of October 7.

Community leaders Barri Litt-White and Jason Kalisman received the Robert S. and Ceil N. Levy Young Leadership Award for their dedication to the Jewish community. The award is given annually to two exceptional community members under the age of 45 who have demonstrated continued service to Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, as well as potential for future leadership roles. Litt-White received the award for her service on the Mandel JCC Board of Directors, as Chair of the Mandel JCC Audit Committee, for graduating from Federation’s Mandel Leadership Institute, and for serving as a connector to Jewish families in the Boynton Beach area. Kalisman was honored for his involvement with Federation’s Palm Beach Center to Combat Antisemitism &Hatred and for his efforts that led to more than $3 million in contributions to Federation’s Israel Terror Relief Fund.

Federation’s awards for Jewish educators were given to Sandy Wilensky, director of Temple Beth Torah’s Leonie Arguetty Preschool, and to 15-year-old Benjamin Bagatell, a volunteer classroom aide at Temple Israel.

Shannon Schneider, Federation’s Accounting Manager, received the prestigious Debbi Roshfeld Professional Leadership Award. The annual award recognizes the outstanding achievement of a Federation professional who exemplifies Roshfeld’s legacy of professional leadership, excellence, and commitment to enhancing the Jewish community. 

Click here to watch a recording of this amazing evening for our community.

Click here to see the photo gallery.