As the new UJA Campaign chair for United Jewish Communities of MetroWest New Jersey, Paula Saginaw is ready to think big.
Despite the sputtering economic rebound, the campaign’s goal for this year is $21 million.
“It’s an ambitious goal, but I’m really confident that with the generous support of our current donors and new prospective donors, we will be able to meet this goal,” she said.
Saginaw brings to the position years of experience in both UJC MetroWest and other community organizations. She is a past president of Women’s Philanthropy of UJC MetroWest, past UJA Women’s Campaign chair, and past chair of Lion of Judah Endowment, to name a few of the positions she’s held.
“I consider it a privilege to be able to work with extraordinary professionals and lay leaders in this community,” said Saginaw. “Together we are rethinking ways to grow our campaign, enabling us to continue to help Jews in need wherever they are, whatever the challenge, and sustain a strong Jewish community now and for the future.”
Although she acknowledged being concerned about the economy, she said, “Fortunately, those in our community with the capacity to increase their giving are doing so. We have seen this over the past year, and we hope to begin moving the campaign in an upward direction.”
Saginaw outlined several strategies being implemented to help achieve that goal. These include examining each area of the campaign for ways to improve and spending more time with donors and asking them to be more generous when determining their gifts in support of UJC MetroWest. The umbrella philanthropy supports local Jewish educational and social service agencies, as well as a range of activities in Israel and other global Jewish communities.
“People deserve our thanks in person, as well as the opportunity to express their philanthropy in a more personal way than just filling out a pledge card,” she said. “We believe a face-to-face conversation will really make a difference.”
Saginaw works as a mobile intensive care paramedic with Atlantic Ambulance Corporation of Atlantic Health. She and her husband, David Saginaw, live in North Caldwell and have three children: Jonathan and Zachary, who both live in Manhattan, and Lauren, who lives in Montclair with her husband, Akiva Balfour, and their daughter, Raya. The Saginaws are active members of Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex in Caldwell and support the synagogue’s Bonei Yisrael Society. In addition, they are overseas members of Kehilat Ya’ar Ramot in Israel.
Paula Saginaw is a member of the executive committee, campaign cabinet, Major Gifts cabinet, and board of trustees of both UJC MetroWest and its Women’s Philanthropy.
She serves on the board of Daughters of Israel in West Orange and is a past board member of JCC MetroWest. Within UJC, she serves on the Israel and Overseas Committee, the Center for Jewish Responsibility, and the Unified Allocations Council.
On the national level, Saginaw is an alumna of National Women’s Young Leadership Cabinet and a current member of the National Women’s Philanthropy Board. In this capacity she also serves as cochair of the board’s T.E.C.H. — training, education, consulting, and helping — Team, which consults with federations around the country that request aid in specific areas.