The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester recently announced it surpassed its $5 million fundraising goal for 2018.
The record-setting $5,036,180 achievement is an 18 percent increase over last year’s fundraising effort. This is the first time the nonprofit, charged with securing a strong Jewish future in Rochester, Israel and worldwide, has topped the $5 million mark in a given fundraising year.
The goal was set in October 2017 when the fundraising season kicked off with several events, including the celebrated “An Evening with Andy Cohen.” Volunteers and professionals planned and worked together to achieve this goal in a multi-pronged fundraising approach.
“We are thrilled to reach this historic milestone,” said Campaign Chair Eli N. Futerman. “I am so grateful to Federation president Rina Chessin for her leadership, to our board and to each and every donor to the campaign. It took every donation to make this dream a reality.” Futerman is CEO of Hahn Automotive Warehouse Inc., and Chessin is a local philanthropist.
“Eli really hit the ground running when he took on the role as campaign chair and I couldn’t be more proud or impressed with his non-stop commitment to getting us over the $5 million mark,” said Chessin.
“Together with Federation CEO Meredith Dragon, whose passion and drive since she came to us two years ago has been a huge motivating force, I am happy to say that we are very much moving in the right direction. This is history in the making.”
Federation fundraising is supported by individual donors who give unrestricted and supplemental directed contributions. In addition, the federation has a growing base of corporate sponsors.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester is another philanthropic source with assets of over $45 million. The federation recently launched the Life and Legacy program in Rochester, which, in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, unites 16 Rochester area Jewish institutions in a legacy building collaborative that is expected to bring millions of dollars of additional charitable commitments to the community.
“Increased fundraising allows us to make our Jewish community more vibrant and strong and to strengthen our partnerships in the Greater Rochester community,” Chessin said. “We work hard to contribute to interfaith initiatives, speak out against forms of discrimination, support literacy in Rochester City Schools and more.”
Flagship federation initiatives include PJ Library, providing free Jewish-content books for children; Partnership2Gether with Modi’in, Israel; the Jewish Community Navigator, providing information and support for those with disabilities; the Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information and more.