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2015-04-24 digital edition

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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.


April 24, 2015  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Federation to welcome new executive director

Emilie Socash Emilie Socash The Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties has announced that Emilie Socash will step into the role of executive director of the organization effective July 1.

Socash will transition into the role between now and the end of June. She also will continue “halftime” in her current position as executive director of the Tampa Orlando Pinellas (TOP) Jewish Foundation.

Mark Segel, who has led the Federation since 2012, is returning to the private sector.

“Emilie is joining our organization at a critical time in our lifecycle, and I’m confident that she will put her experience and talents to good use in helping the Federation grow in both its campaign and its reach into the Pinellas community,” said Margot Benstock, 2015 campaign chair of the Pinellas/Pasco Federation.

“I’m tremendously excited and honored to be stepping into this important leadership role. As a Pinellas resident, and a long-time Federation professional, I’m committed to fulfilling this role and assisting the organization – and really the entire community – in becoming its very best,” said Socash. “The backbone of every effective Federation is a strong and relevant annual campaign, and I look forward to the opportunity to increase connectedness in our Jewish community and to infuse both fresh, innovative perspectives and traditionally effective approaches to this effort.”

Three years ago Socash became the executive director of the TOP Foundation, which administers philanthropic funds for Jewish community members. In that time, the organization’s portfolio has grown by 30 percent (more than $10 million). In addition, TOP was recently chosen by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation for the highly selective Life & Legacy program and is working with 15 area organizations to secure after-lifetime gifts. TOP also has continued to distinguish itself with its anti-terror investment policy, gaining national attention for this work, most recently being on the program of the Jewish Federations of North America’s national Investment Institute in February 2015.

Among many other accomplishments, Socash has played a leadership role in raising nearly $20 million for a capital campaign for the Tampa JCC & Federation’s new JCC. Previously serving as director of development of the Tampa JCC & Federation, Socash took the annual financial resource development activities beyond $2 million.

Taking a break from the Jewish non-profit world, Socash was the founding executive director of the popular freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg, from 2011 through mid-2012.

She started her career in the Federation sphere as the Women’s Division director at the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland.

Socash said her primary emphasis at the Pinellas/Pasco Federation will be on growth of the annual campaign, which will enhance the Federation’s ability to increase its support of Israel and local agencies. She will also keep endowment gifts at top of mind, as the Federation participates as a Life & Legacy team, and will continue to expand the programming in place.

“As she has done with the TOP Jewish Foundation, Emilie will bring a fresh approach to developing leadership and making the work of the Federation relevant, while looking for every opportunity to enhance community partnerships,” noted Craig Sher, longtime

Federation supporter and current trustee and Pinellas chair for TOP.

“My work with the foundation is not done, and I believe that this hybrid position will allow for both organizations to benefit significantly in an integrated fashion,” Socash noted.

Socash will follow Segel, whose tenure has overseen improved relationships between the Federation, synagogues and Jewish agencies. He also increased corporate giving as well as enabled the Federation to send more than $650,000 to Israel over the past three years.

During a time of significant transition, Segel aided in the Federation’s absorption of some of the major components of the JCC Suncoast when it closed, including adopting programs such as the Film Festival and Israel Independence Day. Segel also played a key role in sustaining or launching a wide range of programs, including Women of Distinction, Cardozo and Maimonides Societies, the 8 over 80 event, PJ Library, and the popular Jewish Leadership Training Institute for members of the Young Adult Division.

For more information about the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, go to or call (727) 530- 3223.

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