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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

December 5, 2014  RSS feed
Federation

Text: T T T

Mark’s Mensches

Mark Segel
Executive Director The Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties

David Delrahim

Who are our next generation of leaders? This is a question I find myself pondering on a regular basis.

There are no doubt some standouts currently serving on the various boards of directors of our local Jewish organizations but the leadership is primarily made up of many of the same people who have been serving as our community leaders year after year.

Many of them feel they have done their part — and rightfully so. Some have shared with me that they’re ready for others, and especially younger people, to step up and take the reins. Unfortunately, I too often see folks continuing to serve in leadership positions because no one else is willing to do so.

What are we doing about it? The Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties joined with the Tampa JCC & Federation for another Tampa Bay Jewish Leadership Training Institute where we are providing 23 young people, between the ages of 25 and 40, a comprehensive overview of Jewish Tampa Bay that includes learning about philanthropy, leadership, and history as well as opportunities to give back and make a difference now. The intent is that each graduate will take on a leadership position at one of our local Jewish organizations.


David Delrahim David Delrahim A graduate of this program that is proof in point of its potential is David Delrahim. I’m pleased to include him as one of Mark’s Mensches and I believe you’ll enjoy his story.

For David, giving back to his community is something that comes naturally and has been a part of his life since he was young. It began when he was 15 years old and David and his family moved to Boca Raton from the Chicago area. He didn’t know anyone when he moved to Boca and made an active effort to get involved in the community.

He reached out to the Jewish community and quickly became involved in B’nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO). He was also involved in several service and business clubs in his school, but it was his work with BBYO that truly set the path for community involvement.

“My stepfather first encouraged me to get involved in BBYO when we moved because I didn’t know anybody. BBYO was very encouraging and easy to get involved in.”

David continued on this path through college at the University of Central Florida and at Stetson University College of Law. He was active in Hillel and continued to be involved in service organizations. He volunteered at community organizations like a local retirement center and the local Boys and Girls Club. He also continued his involvement in BBYO, working through law school as an advisor and then continuing to help as needed.

He was recognized for the work he did. At UCF he won the Knight in Shining Armor award, given to a student devoted to community service. In law school he also won an award for community service.

But recognition is not why he does it.

“It has always just been part of my thoughts on tikkun olam. It’s how I’ve been raised, that you should be giving and encouraging giving to your community.”

Today, he practices law at Englander and Fischer, LLP, specializing in business and real-estate litigation. He continues to give back to the community. He is on the board of Menorah Manor and has recently been named treasurer. He is also on the board of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services and sits on the Board of Trustees for St. Peterburgs Downtown Business Association. In addition he served on the Jewish Federation’s Young Adult Division Council, and volunteered in the emergency room at All Children’s Hospital, among other community activities.

Heandwife,Heather,havea5month-oldbaby, another motivation for David to act as an example and give back to the community. “I plan to bring him to the events that I do, act as my mentors have and impart a strong sense of community service. I will also help him become involved in groups that are meaningful.”

David gives a lot and he gets a lot back as well. “I get to meet great and bright people that share a similar passion to help the community. I also get to see results and see what people get out of the work I do.”

David also has advice for those looking for opportunities to give back to the community. “Most organizations desire people, especially young people, who want to be involved. For those who don’t know how, I suggest they reach out to the board chair or any board member of the organization they want to be involved with and let them know.”

David’s advice is spot on. If you’re interested in doing your part to make a difference, simply contact the Jewish Federation at (727) 530-3223. We’d be pleased to learn about your talents and passions and help you find the right opportunity for you. Help us achieve our community’s highest potential.

Know a mensch? Contact marksegel@jewishpinellas.org or call the Federation office, (727) 530-3223.


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