All in: That’s Scott Kaufman. Absolutely, positively, whole-heartedly, Scott has been all in at the helm of the Detroit Federation. It’s been 10 years, a long time in a challenging job. And now? He’s stepping away from his day-to-day role in an astonishing, bold move. Call it a mid-career reboot – a self-imposed opportunity to reset his focus on community initiatives in development and see them to fruition. “Jewish communal work is in my blood,” Scott says. “I was the right leader for the times, but the time is right for me to step aside and share the lessons I’ve learned. Federation is in a great place for others to step in and lead in new directions. I’m not walking away from our community. I remain here for our community. And all in.”
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.