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2016-03-25 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 © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


March 25, 2016  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Federation fund raising hits milestone

By the last day of February, the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties reached a milestone to celebrate: the amount raised in the Federation’s 2016 Annual Campaign stood at $840,000, surpassing the $837,000 the federation raised by June 30, 2015, the end of the 2015 Annual Campaign.

Even more good news: the rising tide of pledges did not stop with the end of February.

As of March 18 the total stood at $861,366, coming from a total of 991 donors.

“In a nutshell, this represents transformation, growth, and a reclaimed sense of community,” noted Emilie Socash, the Federation’s executive director.

“More important than this number is the tremendous number of programs and services that this campaign will make possible, and lives this will touch,”she said.

The Federation’s Annual Campaign supports Jews worldwide, including organizations and social service programs, both here and in Israel. Additionally, local programming the fundraising supports includes the Federation’s efforts and leadership on community-wide programs like the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival, the Jewish Community Relations Council, Women of Distinction, Life and Legacy, Jewish camp and Israel scholarships, ongoing young adult programs, Maimonides programs (including the presentation of the Alfred Schick MD Memorial Award and the fall mission to Cuba), Cardozo events (including the annual award presentation and lunch-and-learn sessions), PJ Library and family programming.

“We still have hundreds of donors to reach, representing about $115,000, who gave last year and haven’t yet committed to this year,” said Elana Gootson, the Federation’s director of development. “The campaign will wrap up at the end of March, with a few clean-up efforts happening between then and Passover. We’re excited to be moving the needle so positively.”

Socash attributed surpassing last year’s fundraising total “to making the Federation public and personal in the last eight months.”

She praised the Federation staff, especially Gootson, for their efforts in laying the groundwork for leadership engagement and high-quality events. The community leadership has been re-energized by the addition of new, relevant programs such as the innovation grants, the Main Event’s return, information sharing and security planning with the synagogues, Israel advocacy training and the MakeTime family program, Socash said.

“There’s really something for everyone now at Federation,” she said.

Socash added, “My Jewish Press column has also been very well received… and I think our success can also be attributed to the personal nature which I try to make Federation and the way we tell our story as a whole. I live in the community, I write for the paper, my family owns a business in the community, I have kids in school here. ... I think my authentic interest in building community helps our efforts. …”

For more information about the work of the Federation and its Annual Campaign, visit or call (727) 530-3223.

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