On May 10th, UJA-Federation of New York hosted its Annual Executive for a Day program, giving 31 lay leaders an opportunity to visit meet with and learn from the executive leadership at 16 UJA-Federation network agencies.
“Everybody’s response was almost the same: they had never realized the responsibilities of the executive director, they had never experienced how extraordinarily bright the agency leadership were, and how grateful the agency executives were for what UJA-Federation brought to the table,” says Phillip Altheim who first proposed the Executive for a Day idea eight years ago.
This year, the following agencies hosted these lay leaders:
- The Jewish Education Project − Philip Altheim, Isidore Mayrock, Jack Rahmey;
- Selfhelp Community Services − Renee Barasch;
- New York Legal Assistance Group − Judy Baum, Peter Baum;
- YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood − Lee Brodsky, Lauren Fixel;
- Jewish Child Care Association of New York − Martine Fleishman, Gary Gordon, Karen Kasner, Paul Levy;
- Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center − Ellen Forrest, Rina Pianko;
- 92nd Street Y − Karen Friedman, Vicki Portman;
- Jewish Community Relations Council of New York − Donna Jakubovitz, Alisa Levin;
- The Educational Alliance − Evelyn Kenvin, Joyce Kramer;
- F•E•G•S Health and Human Services System − Gail Liss, Sam Liss;
- Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services − Matthew Lustig;
- Met Council on Jewish Poverty − Michael Lustig, Jill Smith;
- Samuel Field Y − Ralph Marash;
- Westchester Jewish Community Services − Ken Mazer, Melissa Mazer;
- Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst − Tina Price, Nina Ross;
- Ramapo for Children − Dina Zuckerberg
“When people do get involved more, and see for themselves what an organization does, they then have a much richer, fuller understanding of the organization they’ve made a choice to contribute to,” says Gail Magaliff, CEO of F•E•G•S Health and Human Services System.
“The breadth of services that F•E•G•S provides is truly overwhelming,” says Gail Liss, who visited F•E•G•S on Executive for a Day with her husband Sam. “It was incredible to see the vast number and types of services they provide to a wide and varied population.”
“I live in Westchester County and I’ve been involved with UJA-Federation in one form or another for over 20 years," said For Ken Mazer, who visited Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) with his wife Melissa. "It was a great eye-opener.”
“When you get people that are interested in the services we provide, but also in how the organization works, very often they’ll ask questions that are very thought-provoking,” commented Alan Trager, CEO of WJCS. "These conversations often lead to new lenses through which we can look at our agencies and the services we provide.”