The Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ honors its leaders
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The Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ honors its leaders

David Saginaw, Mark Wilf, Michele Landau, Michael Goldberg, and Dov Ben-Shimon
David Saginaw, Mark Wilf, Michele Landau, Michael Goldberg, and Dov Ben-Shimon

The Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ held its “Special Night of Gratitude,” honoring community leaders Mark Wilf, Michael Goldberg, and Michele Landau for their “exceptional leadership during unprecedented times.” About 300 people attended the program at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, and it raised $850,000.

A leader locally and nationally, Mark Wilf chairs Jewish Federations of North America’s board of trustees. To mark the end of his term at JFNA, he was acknowledged for all he has done to lead the federation system during a time of great transition, unrest in Israel, increased antisemitism, and the global and economic pandemic. “Thank you all so much for this honor,” Mr. Wilf said. “It truly means the world to me. I wish my father, Joe, was alive to celebrate with us today. My parents’ legacy of participation in Jewish life is a part of my soul, and I work each and every day to live up to the example that they set. In honoring me, you are honoring my entire family that has been so proud to support Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest in all its lifesaving work. I can tell you as board chair of Jewish Federation of North America, our federation is truly one of the strongest and most vibrant in the entire system.”

Michael Goldberg has chaired the United Jewish Appeal annual campaign for the last three years, providing generous resources, leadership, and counsel to the overall organizational mission. He is one of the MetroWest federation’s most committed leaders and community advocates. “My grandfather, Philip Mandelbaum, was born in Kalusz, Poland, which was annexed by Ukraine and is now referred to as Kalush, Ukraine,” Mr. Goldberg said. “He arrived with his family through Ellis Island and settled in Newark, in what was then the Jewish section. After marrying my grandmother, Ella, they moved to Maplewood over 90 years ago. For me, Ukraine is not some distant country. I am so proud of the support (more than $3.5 million) our community has given to date. We genuinely care about Jews around the world and your federation has supported, visited, and called Cherkassy, Ukraine, our sister city, for many years.”

Michele Landau is the president of the federation’s Women’s Philanthropy. A committed leader, she has secured multiyear UJA gifts, endowed her Lion of Judah gift, and successfully asked others to join her. Her innovative and forward-thinking leadership has paved the way for future Women’s Philanthropy presidents. “Being involved in Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest and particularly, Women’s Philanthropy, has been a tremendous gift,” Ms. Landau said. “It is a platform to make an impact, to collaborate with others, to visit Jewish communities around the world and to practice tikkun olam — our shared obligation to help repair the world.”

David Saginaw, the president of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, who was the master of ceremonies, said, “Mark, Michael, and Michele are role models for the entire community when it comes to family and philanthropy. When these three leaders signed on to their roles, they could not have imagined what the next few years had in store. Each time, no matter the challenge, these leaders answered the call.” For more information, go to jfedgmw.org.

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