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Jewish Federation celebrates change with the new campaign year kickoff

Lisa Schifman

Since the introduction of Dr. Helene Lotman as president and chief executive officer last May, many positive changes have taken place at Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City. 

The latest news from Jewish Federation includes the announcement of a new campaign year for the organization, as well as several key staff changes. The 2017 annual campaign kicks off April 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2017. Each year, the annual campaign raises approximately $5 million to fund a variety of Jewish community programs that sustain and enhance Jewish life in Kansas City and around the world.   

Annual campaign changes 

The changes are in line with several other strategic initiatives to enhance Jewish Federation’s fundraising efforts, and a renewed focus on community collaboration. And these changes have bred successful results: annual campaign dollars raised in 2016 were $5,102,317, a $90,000 increase over 2015, and Federation is working with its partner agencies to better allocate resources.

“We are looking forward to experiencing a nine-month annual campaign,” Lotman said. “It will make our internal systems more relevant and accessible to donors, and will create more efficiency among our staff and volunteers who are dedicated to raising this vital funding each year.” 

Among other events and initiatives, staff and volunteers are gearing up for the April 1 kickoff with: 

• a March 30 ambassador training led by JFNA National Campaign Chair Harold Gernsbacher, 

• the April 2 annual Note-a-Thon — designed for both men and women for the first time 

• the revitalization of Ben Gurion Society for donors 45 and younger, and

• the April 8 Vegas Night, a young adult campaign event.

“This timeline change is reflective of our faster-paced lives these days,” says Jewish Federation Campaign Chair Trudy Jacobson. “It truly makes our campaign easier to understand, and gives our volunteers and staff more succinct target dates to hit. In terms of goal measurement, we anticipate successful results with the shorter window.” 

Derek Gale

Staffing Changes

Another significant change for Jewish Federation are staff changes in three key roles. On April 1, 

• Lisa Schifman will transition from her position as Women’s Philanthropy director to director of Financial Resource Development; and

• Derek Gale will shift from his role as director of Financial Resource Development to a re-imagined Community Building and Allocations director position. 

Jane Blumenthal Martin

Additionally, Jane Blumenthal Martin recently rejoined the Jewish Federation team to resume her position as director of Marketing and Communications. 

“With the combination of Lisa’s record-breaking success in fundraising for Women’s Philanthropy, Derek’s strategic thinking and commitment to building our community, and Jane’s leadership in marketing, Jewish Federation is poised for even more exciting changes ahead,” Lotman said. “We are looking forward to an incredible year, full of many new and exciting opportunities and initiatives to benefit our community.”