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2017-08-25 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 © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


August 25, 2017  RSS feed
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Scoop: Ben & Jerry and their ice cream to top event

Ben Cohen, left, and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s fame Ben Cohen, left, and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s fame The Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties will introduce a new signature event, Catalyst, on Saturday evening, Oct. 28, with a presentation by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation.

The Federation aims to make Catalyst an annual tradition featuring prominent global visionaries who embody entrepreneurial spirit, social responsibility, and radical business philosophies.

The inaugural event will be held at the Largo Performing Arts Center,

105 Central Park Drive, Largo, starting at 7 p.m. with a cocktail party for VIPs who purchase an upgraded ticket for $118. The regular program begins at 8 p.m. with general admission tickets, $54. The Performing Arts Center will be handle ticket sales through the box office.

The event will be open to the general public, but there will be a pre-sale for the Jewish community. “This will not be an event where people can wait until the last minute to buy tickets,” said the Federation’s Elana Gootson.

All guests will be invited to enjoy a dessert reception immediately following the event, featuring a large-scale ice cream experience.

Cohen and Greenfield started their storefront ice cream business in 1978 in Vermont with its stated mission: to make the world’s best ice cream, to run a financially successful company and to “make the world a better place.” The formula worked with Ben & Jerry’s becoming a business phenomenon by harnessing the power of social responsibility and creative management long before “cause marketing” and “corporate responsibility” were common. The company consistently offered higher-paying jobs, environmentally friendly approaches, and even animal-wellness focused endeavors.

The duo co-authored the 1997 best-selling book, Ben & Jerry’s Double Dip: Lead with your Values and Make Money, Too. In 2000, Cohen and Greenfield sold their company, by then publicly traded, for $326 million to Unilever,

While news reports about the purchase say there was some rocky road (not a Ben & Jerry’s flavor) at the beginning, Unilever has seen the value of the company’s approach. It continues to show the company’s progressive values, concocting new flavors or rebranding old ones with names such as “I Dough, I Dough” to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage and “Save our Swirled” to support the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Interviews with company officials say that Cohen and Greenfield have remained involved, although not on a day-to-day basis.

In addition to Cohen and Greenfield, the Catalyst event will include the presentation of two prestigious leadership awards: the Dr. Edward N. Ludin Young Leadership Award and the Alfred Schick, MD, Award.

A participant in the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Lone Soldier program will also share his personal experience.

Guests will have the opportunity to be the first to make commitments to the Federation’s 2018 fundraising efforts, which will go on to fund community-wide Jewish programming of the Federation, partner agencies, and synagogues as well as supporting the ever-changing needs of the global Jewish community, including specific programs in Israel.

Catalyst 2018 will kick-off a week’s worth of fundraising activities. Super Sunday, the Federation’s large-scale annual phone-a-thon, is scheduled on Oct. 29 with volunteers making calls from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Then during the following week, different group of volunteers from Federation’s giving societies such as Maimonides (healthcare professionals) and YAD (Young Adult Division) will be called upon to make more calls to community members.

“By introducing a larger-scale event as an anchor in our calendar, we will attract a larger-scale crowd and will be able to share our exciting community message with more people,” said Steve Klein, president of the Federation. “This also means that all of our key supporter groups – like women’s philanthropy, young adults, Maimonides Society, and Montefiore/Cardozo – will have the chance to enjoy a really top-notch speaker and event rather than attending many events throughout the year.”.

Full information about the event will be available after Sept. 1 on the Federation’s website, Invitations will be mailed in mid- September. Those interested in getting involved in planning or sponsoring the event, should contact Elana Gootson at (727) 333-3102 or

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