AJCOP 37th Annual Meeting and New York Professional Development Day

AJCOP held its 37th Annual Meeting and a Professional Development Day in New York City in the new 7th Floor Conference Center of the UJA/Federation of New York on Friday, September 8th. "Tactics & Strategies for 21st Century Community Builders" was the theme of the day planned by Daniel Allen, Robert Hyfler, Mandy Kaiser-Blueth, Eric Levine, Mark Weintraub, William Bernstein, Louis Solomon and Marlene Solomon.

Registration for the days activities was accompanied by coffee and greeting colleagues old and new.


Mandy Kaiser-Blueth helped with registration.            Marcy Felsenfeld, Stu Botwinick and Renanit Levy 



Andrea Schwartz enjoys coffee with Ferne Katleman        Dick Jacobs catches up with David Edell



Tim Cohen shares a moment with Dick Jacobs and Peter Wells            Herb Tobin chats with Bill Bernstein               

Eric Levine and Lou Solomon

  Mark Weintraub welcomes new member Roman Shmulenson



Danny Allen and Lou Solomon, two of the five                              Bill Bernstein & Lou Solomon compare notes 
AJCOP Past Presidents in attendance at the meeting.                   before the meeting begins.
Peter Wells, Max Kleinman and Dick Jacobs were also on hand.


  Bill Bernstein opened the Professional Development Day  and John Ruskay (right) gave an inspirational and challenging opening address, after citing the contribution made to his own professional development by three very special mentors in the room that morning ~  Ted Comet, Don Feldstein and Ferne Katleman (below).



Concurrent breakout sessions filled the morning:

Session A:  Building Your Personal Strategy:  Career Advancement in the Jewish Communal Field was geared to young professionals.  Facilitated by David Edell, CEO of DRG, Inc., the panel included: Audra Berg, Program Director, Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, and incoming Assistant Vice President of Leadership Development for the Jewish Federation of Chicago; Andrew Gertraer, Executive Director, Rutgers Hillel; Gila Hadani-Ward, Director of Life Long Learning, Temple Beth Sholom, Roslyn Heights, NY; Melanie Levav, Director of Volunteer Programs and Fellowships, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; and Elisa Slobodin, Planning Director for the Caring Commission, UJA/Federation of NY.


                                            (L-R) Audra Berg, Melanie Levav, David Edell, Elise Slobodin, Andrew Gertraer, 
                                            Gila Hadani-Ward and Mandy Kaiser-Blueth who planned and coordinated the session.


Renanit Levy, Stu Botwinick, Mandy Kaiser-Blueth and Erik Kessler.  The participants didn't want to leave the session, even to eat lunch!

Session B:  Building Your Professional Integrity: Balancing Vision & Marketplace
The professional landscape of the 21st century American Jewish Community is becoming increasingly complex and challenging.  This session explored the FRD roles professionals will be likely playing ~from organizer and solicitor to those of visionary, broker, spokesperson and ethical arbiter.  It did not only explore how professionals will be able to balance the many competing roles, but how to deal with the competing and conflicting constituencies with whom they will work.

Presenter: Herb Tobin, Principal, Herb Tobin Consulting; Moderator, Mark Weintraub, Director of NY Campus Advancement, Hillel; Respondent, Robert Hyfler, Executive Director, Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey; Respondent, Staci Light, President, Philanthropic Alternative, LLC.

Session C:  Building our Global Jewish Community:  Peoplehood and the Role of the Jewish Community Organization Professional and Their Organizations
Concern has been expressed about the declining feeling of Jewish Peoplehood.  How do we, as Jewish Community Organization professionals, deal with this in our practice in regard to supporting the Jews in need in Israel, the FSU, Ethiopic, Europe, etc?


    Moderator:  Dr. Eric Levine, Vice President, Renaissance & Renewal, UJC;
    Presenter:  Dr. Alisa Rubin Kurshan, Vice President, Strategic Planning and 
    Organizational Resources,UJA/Federation of NY
  Presenter:  Max Kleinman, Executive Vice President, UJC of MetroWest, NJ

            Morning Sessions were followed by lunch and the AJCOP Annual Meeting.

Colleagues compare notes from the morning sessions.  Maxyne Finkelstein chats with Bob Hyfler. 

(L-R) Steve Becker shares lunch with Harvey Paretzky and Erik Kessler.

Max Kleinman goes over the afternoon plans with Danny Allen. 

Lisa Loraine Smith visits with Elisa Schindler.


Left: Bill Bernstein, AJCOP President, calls the AJCOP Annual Meeting to order.  Center:  Ron Meier, a proud member of AJCOP, brings greetings from JCSA as their past-president.      Right: Max Kleinman, past president of AJCOP and JCSA and current President WCJCS, brings greetings from WCJCS.       


Lou Solomon picked the winning ticket for the AJCOP Early Renewal Lottery, as Marlene held the bag.  And the winner of the free AJCOP membership for 2007/08 is none other than AJCOP Past President, Mitch Orlik.


Afternoon Session: 

Building Bridges:  Fundraising Strategies & Responses to the Crisis in Israel

Panel:  (L-R)  Mel Bloom, Executive Vice President, American Technion Society
Danny Allen, Executive Vice President, American Friends of Magen David Adom
Bill Bernstein, President & CEO, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County

It was a great day!


4th Annual Retiree's Reunion Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

AJCOP held its 4th annual Retiree's Reunion Luncheon on the campus of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County in Boca Raton on Monday, February 13, 2006.  Murray Schneier and Norman Schimelman coordinated the event.  Guest speaker was Dr. Ira Sheskin, Director of the Jewish Demography Project of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami.  Dr. Sheskin has completed or is currently working on 35 major demographic studies for Jewish Federations throughout the country, including Boca Raton, Miami and Palm Beach.  Bob Hiller presented the AJCOP Rosichan Retiree of the Year Award for 2005 to Marty Waxman.  Four past presidents of AJCOP were in attendance, with professionals attending from Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Maryland.  As usual, it was a great day!

AJCOP Retirees Reunion 2006: (L-R) Joel Telles, Arthur Flink, Murray Schneier, Dick Jacobs, Norm Schimelman,
Sarah & Harold Zalesch, Marty Waxman, Peter Wells, Murray Kamen, Lowell Lander, Edith Steindler, Alan Kandel,
Monty Pomm, Lou Solomon, and Steve Rose. (Allan Gelfond not in photo.)

AJCOP Exec Lou Solomon, coordinators, Murray Schneier and Norman Schimelman, and Monty Pomm.

Alan Kandel joined us from Detroit.


Dick Jacobs, Bob Hiller, Norm Schimelman, Leah Siskin and Paul Levine

Murray Kamens, Edith Steindler, Monty Pomm and Paul Levine


Norm Schimelman and Joel Telles                                        Lynne Stolzer congratulates Marty Waxman


Bob Hiller presents the AJCOP Rosichan Retiree of the Year Award to                Dr. Ira Sheskin shared the results of his 
Marty Waxman with Lou Solomon, AJCOP Exec.  The award is a framed            demographic  studies of the Jewish Communities 
page  from the Moss Hagaddah.                                                                                  of Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties.




AJCOP at the GA in Toronto

Toronto is always a warm wonderful gracious venue for the annual gathering of North American Jewry at the United Jewish Communities General Assembly.  As is the case at all GAs, there are those meetings on the schedule and those that are beyond and in-between the schedule.  All will agree, there was no warmer session than the one jointly sponsored by AJCOP, The World Council of Jewish Communal Service and JCSA on Tuesday morning, November 15th,  recognizing the Professional Leadership Role in Response to Disaster.  It was a wonderful opportunity to understand that the system works because we--the professionals-- make it work together.

AJCOP President Bill Bernstein opened the meeting with a D'var Torah.


Adam Bronstone, Director of Community Relations, Planning, Allocations and Gift of Israel for the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans received the Edell Fellowship from David Edell.  The Edell Scholarship was established in loving memory of Norman Edell, in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the Jewish Communal Service profession in 2000 by his wife, Laura, and his sons Mark and David. The Edell Award sends one AJCOP young professional to experience the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities for the first time, with preference given to those from a small or intermediate agency.  Adam's mother came in from Winnipeg to share in his simcha.  

Members of the Edell Committee shared breakfast with Adam during the GA.  (L-R)  Elaine Steinger, chair; Adam Bronstone, David Edell and Lou Solomon.



Ted Comet received the AJCOP Rosichan Retiree of the Year Award from Max Kleinman.  Ted quipped that he didn't retire, but was "re-tired"--with new tread he will keep rolling along until at least 120.

Lots of folks were there to pay tribute to our colleagues who worked selflessly on behalf of the New Orleanians who were displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Becky Sobelman-Stern, Jay Rubin, Rick Meyer, Cindy Donen Goldstein share a cup of coffee before the meeting begins.


Max Kleinman, past president of AJCOP and JCSA and current president of WCJCS shares a moment before the meeting with AJCOP President Bill Bernstein.

Tribute Honoring Colleagues from
New Orleans ~ Baton Rouge ~ Birmingham ~ Houston ~ Nashville ~


Eric Stillman, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of New Orleans spoke on behalf of the Evacuated Communities.  Lee Wunsch, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston spoke on behalf of the Hosting Communities.  Howard Feinberg, Senior Managing Director, UJC Consulting and Lead Staff, UJC Emergency Preparedness & Mitigation Committee spoke on behalf of the National Agencies.

JCSA presented Young Professional Awards to three rising stars:


Leonard  Petlakh                                              Lisa Colton                                Amy Wagner Biloon

Lou and Marlene ran into many colleagues from all over the continent at the GA.

Ari Schuchman does outreach for Nefesh B'Nefesh.

David Edell introduces Adam Bronstone to Alan Gill, a past president of AJCOP working for JDC in Israel.

It's a Tennessee Reunion.  Jeff Feld, Memphis Exec; Steve Edelstein, Nashville Exec; Gary Siepser, Cleveland Federation and Lou Solomon, AJCOP Exec.  Those still in Tennessee had big news:  The GA will be in Nashville in 2007!  Get ready!



Lou met up with Jeff Levin, Exec of the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor), Jeffrey Cohen, Senior Vice President, Development of the JUF in Chicago, Judah Segal, Exec of the Raleigh-Cary Jewish Federation and Howard Ross, Exec of the Jewish Federation of Northern Louisiana in Shreveport.

He saw Sam Kooperman, Youngstown Exec, and Shimon Pepper of Rockland County and Past President Allan Gelfond of Detroit.  He even caught up with the guys from Louisiana, Howard Ross, Shreveport Exec and his President Herb, and Eric Stillman of New Orleans.


Howard Rieger and Eric Levine in special costume.  Howard hurt his wrist hiking in Israel--Eric simply fell off a ladder while putting up his sukkah.  Schver tzu sein a yid.




AJCOP Professional Development Day 
36th Annual Meeting

Over 130 Jewish Communal Professionals attended the AJCOP Professional Development Day and 36th Annual Meeting held Monday, August 29th on the campus of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County in cooperation with The Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, The Greater Miami Jewish Federation and The United Jewish Community of Broward County.

Jeffrey Klein, CEO, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County; Jacob Solomon, Exec. VP of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation; Bill Bernstein, President & CEO, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County; Danny Allen, AJCOP President; Lou Solomon, AJCOP Executive Director.


There was time built in to catch up with old friends and to make some new acquaintances over a morning cup of coffee.



 Jay Rubin and Danny Allen were on hand for the meetings.



Howard Tevlowitz visits with Marcia Bronstein.         Jason Shames (center) chats with colleagues.


Michelle Wasch visits with Bob Tropp.        Steve Rose congratulates Jacob Solomon.

Brian Silberberg was on hand to answer questions about AJCOP retirement planning and insurance plans.

Concurrent forums were held in the morning:

Forum I. Leading and Managing Change:
Professional Challenges, Opportunities, Lessons Learned

Facilitator: Robert Hyman, Senior Vice President of Operations, UJC (left)
Presenters: Jeffrey Klein, Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County & Jacob Solomon, Executive Vice President, Greater Miami Jewish Federation. (right)

Forum II. Changing the Culture: Implementing a Collaborative Financial Resource Development Program

Facilitator: Bill Bernstein, President & Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
Panel: Seth Katzen, Marketing Director, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County; Jason Shames, Vice President, Campaign & Community Development, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County; & Michelle Wasch, Senior Executive Vice President, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.

Forum III. Sharing the Challenges of Working in Regional Offices

Facilitators: Stephen Rose, Consultant & Joy Siegel, President, Joy Siegel & Associates

Forum IV: The Role of the Jewish Professional in Advocacy

Panel: L-R: Pepi Dunay, JCRC Director, UJC of Broward; Luis Fleischman, CRC Director, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County; Judy Gilbert-Gould ( facilitator) JCRC Director, Greater Miami Jewish Federation; Harriet Kurlander, Southeast Regional Director, American Jewish Congress; Anne Chernin, JCRC Director, South Palm Beach County Federation.

Outgoing AJCOP President, Danny Allen, called the AJCOP 36th Annual Meeting to order.  Danny gave the State of AJCOP Report and the Nominations Committee Report.  Elections had been held by electronic ballot, and the proposed slate was elected.  Danny thanked the retiring AJCOP Officers and Board members for their service and passed the gavel to incoming AJCOP President, Bill Bernstein.  Below, Bill thanks Danny and presents him with a beautiful tzedakah box as a token of our appreciation.


Bill Bernstein shares his vision for AJCOP in the years to come.


AJCOP Vice President, Marcia Bronstein, shares the value of her AJCOP membership.


Marlene Solomon holds the ballots as Marcia Bronstein draws the winner of the AJCOP Early Membership Renewal Lottery. The winner is....Steven Terner, of Columbia, SC.  

A second drawing was held for those in attendance at the Annual Meeting.  The winner was...Lori Abrams, of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.

Here are some of the witnesses!


Jeffrey Klein presented the Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award to Jacob Solomon and congratulated him.

Jacob Solomon humbly accepts the Mandelkorn Award.


Following the Annual Meeting Luncheon, was:

Forum V:   Implications of Demographic Studies on Professional Practice


Facilitator:  (L) Bruce Yudewitz, Director, Community Planning & Allocations, Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Panel: (R-L) Ephraim Goldberg, Director, Planning & Allocations, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County; Phyllis Greenhalgh, CO/CEO Annual Campaign, UJC of Broward County; Bonnie Reiter, Director, Communications, Greater Miami Jewish Federation; & Leah Siskin, Director, Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.

The Professional Development Day was wrapped up with an Ideas and Best Practices Exchange by Discipline

Facilitator: Carole-Ann Levine, Executive Vice President/Campaign,Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County

Planned Giving & Endowments 
Facilitator: Steven Lande, Director, Foundation of Jewish Philanthropies, Greater Miami Jewish Federation

Facilitator: Martin Weinbaum, Chief Financial Officer, UJCof Broward County

Community Relations 
Facilitator: Pepi Dunay, Vice President/Community Relations, UJC of Broward County

Non Federation Agency Professionals 
Facilitators: Stephen Rose, Consultant & Joy Siegel, President, Joy Siegel & Associates

Marketing Clayman Room
Facilitator: Andy Rose, Director of Marketing & Communication, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
Human Resources & Leadership Development 
Facilitator: Dany Shandler, Director, Human Resource Development, Greater Miami Jewish Federation

Planning & Allocations & Israel & Overseas 
Facilitator: Conrad Koller, Assistant Director, Community Planning & Allocations, Gre
ater Miami Jewish Federation

Many thanks to our wonderful planning committee:  Lori Abrams, Daniel Allen, Hope Cutler, Marla Egers, Keith Goldmann, Robert Hyman, Richard Jacobs, Seth Malin, Stephen Rose, Norman Schimelman, Murray Schneier, Dany Shandler, Joy Siegel, Bruce Yudewitz, Louis Solomon and Marlene Solomon. 

It was grrrrreat!

Last updated, February 1, 2009
Material may be reproduced only with  permission of Marlene Solomon.