Tribute to Outgoing Foundation Board Chair Anthony Morrison was highlight of Jewish Community Partners 7th Annual Meeting

by JCPConnect-

Jewish Community Partners (JCP) and its managed organizations Memphis Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Memphis celebrated meeting the needs of the Jewish community at its recent Annual Meeting. Framed with the themes of Our Global Responsibility and Securing Our Future, the program featured the myriad ways Federation and Foundation collaborated with donors and lay leaders to address needs and facilitate charitable giving during the last 12 months, while working together to strategize for a shared future. The meeting was held on June 22 at 7:00 P.M. in the Belz Social Hall of the Memphis Jewish Community Center.

JCP Board Chair Scott Vogel, Federation Board Chair Cindy Finestone, outgoing Foundation Board Chair Anthony Morrison, and JCP President and Chief Executive Officer Laura Linder shared highlights from an impactful year still marred by COVID and under the new shadow of the war in Ukraine. Board members, officers, and members whose terms ended were applauded for their commitment to the Memphis Jewish community and global Jewry, and new leadership was elected.

“The fiscal year ending June 30 has been incredibly impactful for Jewish Community Partners, Memphis Jewish Federation, and the Jewish Foundation of Memphis,” said Scott Vogel, JCP’s Board Chair. “Our Annual Meeting is an opportunity to share our accomplishments with the community as well as our pledge to continue working diligently to improve lives while sustaining Jewish Memphis, and promoting Jewish continuity in our hometown, in Israel, and around the world.”

Board members nominated for election or re-election for Jewish Community Partners were Jordana Berger, Mitch Hodus, and Josh Sanderson. David Greenberg was elected to serve as Treasurer/Secretary.

“While the factors we rally against can shift, Federation remains rooted where it was planted decades ago,” said Federation Board Chair Cindy Finestone. “I had a challenging time crafting my comments tonight because there is so much I would love to share with you our lay leaders, community leaders, board members, donors, and friends. The dollars contributed by 1,300 families helps support the infrastructure of our local and global Jewish community. This includes programs that serve everyone in the community, from the earliest stages of life like Shalom Baby and PJ Library programs, to teens and young adults, including BBYO, Birthright, and Hillel. We also support programs and services for more seasoned adults like missions to Israel, community programs, and services for seniors. We strive to make sure everyone is cared for, connected, and engaged at all stages of life.”

Board members elected or re-elected for Memphis Jewish Federation were Hal Fogelman, Jan Groveman, Martin Klazmer, Michelle Katz, Sarah Lewis, Jimmy Ringel, Adam Saslawsky, Jill Shanker, Daniel Snyder, and Jason Susser. Steve Libby and Jimmy Ringel will serve as Annual Community Campaign Vice Co-Chairs.

In an emotional farewell as Board Chair, Anthony Morrison shared past-year successes and future plans for the Foundation.

“Today we are proud to have grown into a $118 million dollar Foundation, and last summer began shaping a new Strategic Plan to chart a course for our future,” he said. “Concurrent to the planning, Foundation continued helping donors achieve their philanthropic goals through funds and endowments, training the next generation of donors through the B’nai Tzedek teen philanthropy program, building our Professional Advisory Group, and setting new benchmarks through these and other initiatives.”

Launched in 2020 when it was awarded posthumously to its namesake, the Raymond Shainberg Professional Advisor Award was created in memory of the long-time Jewish community leader who was instrumental in the formation of the Jewish Foundation of Memphis and helped encourage a culture of charitable giving among local attorneys, CPAs, and other allied professionals. It is awarded annually to a Professional Advisor who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, dedication and commitment to the Foundation.  

Anthony Morrison presented this year’s award to Sandy Blockman, CPA and a tax advisor with Watkins Uiberall. A past president of the Jewish Foundation of Memphis, Sandy is a trusted advisor to many and has been devoted to strengthening the Jewish community for decades.

Board members elected or re-elected for the Jewish Foundation of Memphis were Lawson Arney, Pace Cooper, Ron Lazarov, and Elkan Scheidt. Jason Salomon was elected to replace Anthony Morrison as Foundation Board Chair and named Jeff Wallace as his special appointment to the board.

Agency appointees to the Foundation Board of Directors were Dot Bilsky, Judy Bookman, Marlene Gerson, Paula Jacobson, Emily Lennon, Alla Olswanger Lubin, Laura Paller, Judy Royal, and Elaine Wagner Skopp.

“As my time as Board Chair of Jewish Foundation of Memphis ends with this meeting, I’m filled with a sense of gratitude- for living in a Jewish Community as generous as Memphis and for having the opportunity to help lead such an incredible group of lay leaders and staff,” said Morrison. “Foundation has become an important part of my family history and will continue to be a huge part of my life for years to come.”

Following a video tribute and special presentation to Morrison, he then welcomed Foundation Chair-elect Jason Salomon into his new position. Salomon, an estate planning attorney with Harkavy Shainberg Kaplan PLC, has served several terms on JCP, Federation, and Foundation boards, as well as other non-profit organizations in Memphis, including a recent term as chair of the board for Plough Towers.

“I’m truly honored to be elected as the chair of the Jewish Foundation of Memphis. It is humbling to be among a group of leaders that include Anthony, Charles Jalenak, Ken Steinberg, Sandy Blockman, Kay Saslawsky, Nick Ringel, Ronna Newburger, Nat Landau, Jerome Makowsky, L.R. Jalenak, and last, but certainly not least, Ronald Harkavy,” said Salomon. “I look forward to working with the new slate of board members, as well as Laura, Sheri, and the entire staff in the upcoming term to accomplish the goals of the Foundation.”

JCP President and Chief Executive Officer Laura Linder offered closing remarks. “The Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to recognize the achievements of JCP-managed organizations as well as share plans for the future,” said Linder. “It has been an honor to lead this organization and work with outstanding leaders such as Anthony, Cindy, and Scott. Although we will miss Anthony’s leadership, we know he will continue to be committed to the mission and ideals of both Memphis Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Memphis.”

Ms. Linder continued by sharing priorities for the coming year including a year-long celebration of Israel @ 75 including 5 specialty missions to Israel, a beautification project for Hillels of Memphis, and the launch of a new program for Memphis Lions of Judah. 

“We don’t know what the coming year will bring. But what we do know is that whatever it might be – we will be ready,” said Linder. “Together, we build the foundation for a strong community today so that we can respond to the urgent needs of tomorrow and help ensure flourishing Jewish communities around the world always.”

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