“A consummate communal pro”. . . “A strategic visionary” . . . “Her deep understanding of our community’s needs are unmatched” . . . “An outstanding leader.” With well-earned praise from colleagues, Leah Rosenbaum, President and Chief Executive Officer of JVS, is the recipient of the 2016 Mandell L. and Madeleine Berman Award for Outstanding Professional Service to the Jewish community of Detroit.
You won’t find a Jewish agency exec more in-step with the needs of her clients than Leah. A passionate advocate for the most vulnerable members of the community – caring for the elderly, youth at risk, the unemployed and those with living with disabilities - Leah has devoted her career to empowering people to get the support and training they need to achieve their fullest potential.
Fourth generation Detroiters, married 37 years, Sue Ellen and Alan Jay Kaufman have been active and ardent supporters of educational, civic and Jewish communal causes since their days as young lawyers in Federation’s “Junior Division” and “Women’s Department.” Steadily and quietly through the years, they have dedicated their energies and resources where their hearts have led them: to Federation, Hillel Day School, Hebrew Free Loan (HFL), Cranbrook, JCC, Yad Ezra, Adat Shalom Synagogue, Frankel Academy, JARC, Jewish Studies at U-M and MSU, the Eli Broad College of Business at MSU, the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), Technion and Bar-Ilan University in Israel, the DIA, the Detroit Zoo.
As their names grace the rosters of so many organizations in Jewish Detroit and beyond, both Alan and Sue play active community leadership roles as well. Currently, Sue serves as Federation’s Campaign Chair of Women’s Philanthropy; Michigan Co-Chair of Birthright; Board Member of HFL and the Holocaust Memorial Center; and Committee Member of Federation’s Partnership2Gether and Missions to Israel. Alan is President Elect of the United Jewish Foundation, starting his term in mid-2017, and holds numerous posts on boards, including the Detroit Zoological Society, the Detroit Economic Club and Walsh College.
Not everyone likes a place in the spotlight. For their volunteer roles and impressive work on behalf of the Jewish community, Jonathan and Stacy Schwartz have been refreshingly hesitant to take the kudos. “Let me begin by saying that we’ve never done anything like this interview,” says Jonathan, “But we want to raise awareness in the community about Federation’s NEXTGen outreach to interfaith couples and to the Jewish LGBTQ community. We also wish to express our gratitude to Federation and its wonderful staff for the extraordinary opportunities we’ve had and the friends we’ve made as Co-Chairs of Federation’s First Interfaith Couples Mission to Israel."
Theirs is a story that needs to be told. So kudos to Jonathan and Stacy! Or as we say, Yasher Koach.
She grew up on Velvet peanut butter and Krun-Chee potato chips – her father’s industry and inspiration. Daughter of Velvet Peanut Butter Company founder, Paul Zuckerman, Linda Z. Klein proudly maintains the Z in her name - her signature signifying her family legacy and her longtime role as a community leader, fundraiser and philanthropist.
Linda was 21 and newly wed to Tom Klein when she attended her first Federation Annual Meeting. She vividly recalls that Irwin I. Cohn was named that year as the recipient of Federation’s highest honor - the Butzel Award – the award her father would receive in 1969. This is Linda’s year. Recognized for more than four decades of outstanding service to Federation, greater Detroit and to Israel, Linda is one of the rare and few: a second generation Fred M. Butzel Memorial Awardee.
Their journeys have taken them far and wide. When asked where they started – what inspired them to become rabbis - each shares a story of profound self-discovery. From Jewish youth groups to summer camps, college Hillel activities, residencies in Israel, song leader workshops - and on to rabbinic schools and first pulpits, they have brought us their spark.