During its annual meeting on May 14, 2019, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County welcomed new board members, celebrated the dedication of community leaders and shared key findings from its community demographic study that will guide the strategic priorities of Jewish and secular institutions over the next decade. More than 250 community members attended the event at Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach. Renée and Robert Gordon served as event chairs.

The following community leaders were appointed to Federation’s 2019-2020 Executive Committee: Ira M. Gerstein, Hope Silverman, Lynn Kaston, Mark Levy, Arthur S. Loring, Debbie Shapiro, Robert Gordon, Ronald P. Pertnoy, Raymond L. Golden, Joel Yudenfreund, Cindy Schlossberg, Martin Cass, Steven Ellison, Charles Gottesman, Susan Shulman Pertnoy, Richard B. Comiter, Sam Liebovich and Brian Seymour.

Federation also appointed the following individuals to its 2019-2020 Board of Directors: Richard B. Baer, Jim Baldinger, Andrew Comiter, Sheryl Davidoff, Malka Fingold, Libby Fishman, Dick Flah, Juliana Kohl Gendelman, Bowie Jacobson, Herbert Javer, Michel Kohner, Arthur Lehrhoff, Brian Lemelman, Gary Lesser, Vivian Lieberman, Cynnie List, Bente Lyons, Morton L. Mandel, Justin Paul, Lynn Peseckis, Rabbi Andrew Rosenkranz, Gary L. Schottenstein, Ronald Schram, Alyson Seligman, Kevin Shapiro, Beryl Simonson, Sydelle Sonkin and Ronda Starr.

Several awards were also presented:
• Josephine Gon, Vice President of Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), received the Debbi Roshfeld Professional Leadership Award. 
• Shikma Araky-Cohen, an educator from Arthur I. Meyer Jewish Preparatory School, received the prestigious Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education from Federation’s Friedman Commission for Jewish Education (CJE). 
• The Cohn Family Innovation Lab at Meyer Preparatory School also received CJE’s Hiddush Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

During the annual meeting, Board Chair Ira Gerstein, and President & CEO Michael Hoffman, shared several areas of growth and achievement including:
• Completion of the massive Jewish Community Study of the demographic makeup of the Jewish population in Palm Beach County; 
• Creation of the Mandel Leadership Institute, a new community leadership development program; 
• Federation earned the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches 2019 Health and Human Services Organization of the Year Award;
• Launch of the new Israel Program Center, focused on developing innovative ways to bring Israel and Israeli culture to the local community;
• Relaunch of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC); and
• Successful integration of the Friedman CJE as Federation’s department for education and learning.

A poignant moment in the program occurred when Hoffman recognized the incredible contributions made by devoted philanthropist and visionary leader Barbara Kay (z”l). Kay, who passed away on May 8, 2019.

Another meeting highlight was the in-depth presentation by Jewish Community Study Chair Jim Baldinger and Vice Chair Alyson Seligman, about how data from the study will guide the future planning of Jewish and secular institutions across Palm Beach County over the next decade. Key findings from the expansive study highlight the rapid growth of young Jewish families in Palm Beach County, an increase of interfaith families and the need for expanded services for vulnerable individuals and families.

The program concluded with a celebration of the 100th birthday of dedicated community leader and philanthropist, Dorothy Adler.