Imported from Detroit
By Vivian Henoch, Editor myJewishDetroit
February 1, 2019
by Vivian Henoch
After a remarkable tenure with the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit, Miryam Rosenzweig, Chief Development Officer, is moving on to become President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation of Milwaukee.
This is not a goodbye, not really.
Reflecting on her journey – the roads she’s taken and the road ahead – Miryam shared, “I came to Detroit with a focus on redefining NEXTGen engagement, but the benefit I could never have imagined was the gift of finding and defining what it means to have a hometown. I was born in Canada; I have lived in Israel, in Cleveland, in Windsor and in New York. And when people asked me where I’m from, my answer used to be ‘everywhere.’ Now I say Detroit. And I say it wholeheartedly and with pride, because Jewish Detroit has taught me the true meaning of community – a place in your heart where you know you belong, a place you can always call your hometown, no matter where you go.”
As Miryam explains, having a hometown has given her a perspective – one that’s different from anything she has ever experienced. “In all my years in New York, working as a Jewish communal professional, my ‘community’ was a group of like-minded people. Here in Detroit, I not only have my brother’s family to come home to – I have “my people” – a community that includes a full spectrum of people who practice Judaism differently, people who live in different neighborhoods, people of different interests and ages. It was here in Jewish Detroit where I learned for the first time what it means to meet and connect, to be interdependent , to need one another, to care about one another and to support one another, no matter how ‘different’ we may seem.”
“Miryam leaves Jewish Detroit in a better place than she found it, which is a great legacy indeed,” stated Federation CEO Scott Kaufman. “Miryam’s ability to see what could be without being trapped by what is paved the way for ground-breaking initiatives and unprecedented achievement s for our community.”
“I came to Detroit in a career move and found so much more,” says Miryam. “Nowhere but in Detroit have there been so many opportunities to hone my professional skills and learn from extraordinary community leaders. Scott, in particular, has shown me the way to lead, to be a mensch, to inspire and challenge others, to think outside the box, to work and play as a team, to reach for the stars – and to have fun in the process.”
Miryam joined the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit in 2011 as the founding Director of NEXTGen Detroit, a ground-breaking initiative she helped develop from prior young adult engagement groups. With her bold and innovative approach to outreach, engagement and leadership, Miryam has created a dynamic model that has influenced Federations across the country in the engagement of young adult populations.
Following her success with NEXTGen Detroit, Miryam served as the Federation’s Senior Director of Community Development, leading the organization’s Community Engagement teams, before assuming the role of Chief Development Officer. As CDO, she led a number of new strategic approaches, including the successful Campaign Acceleration and the Family Philanthropy initiative.
Asked what drew her to Milwaukee, Miryam emphasizes its similarity to Detroit in terms of strong, committed stakeholders in a vibrant Jewish life. “Though the timing was a bit of a surprise, I knew I was joining a community that had the same mission and vision we have in Detroit – caring about local needs, caring about Israel and global Jewry – and caring about one another in a very personal, practical way.”
Miryam added that her new role with the Milwaukee Federation presents an extraordinary opportunity – and a privilege – for her to continue her lifelong journey of Jewish communal service and leadership. “I look forward to applying everything I’ve learned along the way to make a difference now at a new level.”
On a personal note, Miryam is happy to share that her husband, Matt Burchi, is completely aligned with their move to Milwaukee. In fact, the Jewish community there has welcomed him with open arms. “When they heard we were coming, they asked for his resumé and, as a result, Matt has made connections and landed meetings he could never have had on his own. That’s the power of community.”
Yes, Miryam concedes there will be a lot of adjustments in leaving Detroit – the town where she met her husband, where she bought her first house, where she bought her first car. “Detroit showed me a life I never knew I wanted,” she says. “I have met some of the most generous, wonderful people in the world – friends for life, people who I will admire forever. I couldn’t go anywhere other than a community I envision would be similar.”