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March 23, 2018     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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March 23, 2018
 

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 23, 2018 Shown here (l-r): David Siegel, Harris Rosen and Jacqueline Siegel in front of the plaque of Victoria Siegel. By Christine DeSouza On March 15, Joel Berger, CEO of the Rosen JCC, unveiled its newly named lobby in honor of David and Jacqueline Siegel's daughter, Victoria, who died of a drug overdose at the age of 18 on June 6, 2015. The Early Childhood Learning Center's two-year- olds opened the program miming a song that said "Give a little hug and make the world a better place." Later, thanking the JCC for this honor, Jacqueline Siegel shared that Victoria had been two years old when she first brought her to the JCC. Harris Rosen was on hand to witness the unveiling and humbly, in a soft voice, said that this is "David and Jacqueline Siegel's moment," and thanked the Siegels. Berger stated that one year ago, David Siegel, through the Westgate Resorts Foun- dation, pledged $50,000 to the campus. Since that time, the southwest Orlando JCC has grown tremendously in membership, Early Child- hood registration, and the The Early after school program; and has held 303 events, which brought more than 20,000 people through those lobby doors, in the last year. "Victoria would have been so proud to have her name here," said David Siegel. He then shared that when people enter the JCC's lobby and see her name, "don't think of the money given to have this naming, think of a life wasted and gone way too soon." Seeing the promise of the little children who sang earlier, he said "these two- year-olds will have such a wonderful life--if they don't use drugs." Childhood Learning Center's 2-year-olds. Siegel then shared about his advocacy against drugs through the Victoria's Voice Foundation (www.victori- asiegelfoundation.org). "There are 170 deaths from drug overdose every day," he stated. "Think about it, if North Korea bombed a naval ship, killing 170 sail- ors, we'd be at war. And yet, that's how many lives are lost daily because of drug overdoses. When is enough enough?" He then stated parents should have their children drug tested beginning at age 14, and that schools should do random drug tests. "It takes tough love to Christine DeSouza win," he said, encouraging parents to have tough love. The Rosen JCC's dedica- tion to strengthening family life aligns directly with the Westgate Resorts Founda- tion's mission of building strong families and a strong workforce. The Foundation grants more than $1 million annually toward this mis- sion. Additionally, David and Jacqueline Siegel's personal mission is to guarantee the future generation is not lost to drug addiction. The Rosen JCC provides a positive en- vironment for families and neighbors to connect and create healthy relationships that don't include drugs. Rhonda Forest The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando recently an- nounced its leadership path for the next two fiscal years (starting Sept. 1, 2018) and confirmed the responsibilities of interim lay and executive leadership that will be in place until that time. The organization has con- tinued reshaping its priorities in serving the Central Florida Jewish community. Effec- tive March 1, Rhonda Forest stepped down as president of the JFGO Board of Directors to allow her to focus on her service as acting executive director through the end of the current fiscal year on Aug. 31. Forest had been balancing her lay and managerial obliga- tions since last fall, serving as board presidentwhile oversee- ing the day-to-day operation of the Federation. Shewill now focus solely on the executive role at the Federation in close association with the board of directors. Current Treasurer Brad Jacobs and Vice President Larry Haber are interim co-presidents of the JFGO board and will lead the board through the end of Fed- eration's current fiscal year. Jacobs will also maintain his duties as treasurer, Michael Soll remains immediate past president, and Ming Marxwill continue as secretary through the interim period. Led by Soll, the board has embarked on a search for a permanent executive leader to fit the current strategic direction of Federation. Soil and the JFGO board will be soliciting community input on the role of the executive director and of the Federation in the larger Jewish com- munity. It is expected that a permanent executive will be named by the fall. New lay leadership for 2018- 20 will be voted on during the next JFGO annual meeting in August. The Federation has also approved a succession plan that leverages the collec- tive experience of its current board. The slate of officers to be put forth for approval in August includes: President: Brad Jacobs, the current treasurer; Treasurer: Daniel Krise, a current board member and finance professional; Vice President: Ming Marx, the current secretary (and Bornstein Leadership Devel- opment Program alum), with the candidate to replace him as secretary to be named. After the Federation hires a permanent executive leader, Forest would become imme- diate past president and Soil would return to the board as an at-large community representative. Co-presidents Jacobs and Haber commended the Fed- eration board for its support and guidance during the past several months of transition in the wake of the departure of Executive Director Olga Yorish in August 2017. "We are truly impressed with the quality of the cur- rent board of directors and your willingness to roll up your sleeves to make things happen," Haber and Jacobs said in a joint statement to the board. The Federation's board of directors is composed of a dynamic group of young and veteran community leaders and professionals dedicated to serve the Jewish community. The Board welcomed the op- portunity to refine the Federa- tion's strategic direction with the needs of a new generation in mind. The organization will continue to focus on functions that-are essential to the community and can be executed most effectively by the Federation, such as leader- ship development, outreach, issues advocacy, and support of Israel and global Jewish causes. Funds will be raised to execute a budget set to ac- complish JFGO's core work, with additional resources used to help the community's organizations and synagogues meet their own goals. The Federation has main- tained stewardship of the Maitland Jewish Community Campus while meaningfully reducing community debt in conjunction with match- ing grants from the Harris Rosen Foundation and the Jewish Capital Alliance, and generous community-minded donors. JFGO is now in discus- sions with campus agencies regarding a collaborative ef- fort to bring new permanent efficiencies to campus and community operations. Raise a toast to a good cause while enjoying spectacular views of downtown Orlando at the Citrus Club's April 16 happy hour honoring the Jew- ish Pavilion and its important work with senior citizens. A ticket purchase of only $15 to the Club's "United For A Purpose" event provides an evening ofhors d'oeuvres and a drink, along with raffle priz- es and networking. Proceeds from the eventwill be donated toward the Pavilion's mission, which serves to connect the elder-care population to the Jewish community through engaging educational pro- gramming and festive holiday celebrations. This is the second year in a row for the Citrus Club to host one of its philanthropic happy hours benefitting the . Jewish Pavilion. Typically, the Club only allows one event per organization. Butbecause last year's Jewish Pavilion happy hour resulted in record atten- dance, the Club has invited the Pavilion back for a second year. The relationship between the Citrus Club and the non- profit is the result ofhardwork done by Carina Gerscovich, who serves on both the board of the Jewish Pavilion and on the Citrus Club's Young Executive Board. "She single-handedly orga- nized a fantastic fundraising event at the Citrus Club last year and did such a great job," said Nancy Ludin, CEO of the Jewish Pavilion, regard- ing Gerscovich. "We are so excited that she will chair 'United For A Purpose' again this year." The Citrus Club is located at 255 South Orange Ave Suite 1800; and the event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to make use of Orlando's SunRail system for transpor- tation to the event, as it will make both rush-hour travel and downtown parking more manageable. The Citrus Club is located one block away from SunRail's Church Street stop. Members of the Jewish Pavilion's Friends Board will be hosting boarding groups at SunRail stops beginning in Lake Mary and running at consecutive stops to Winter Park to assist with any ques- tions about this unique style of travel to the party. Tickets are $15, and park- ing is $5 after 5 p.m. To purchase your tickets for this fun evening, visit https:// jpav.ticketspice.com/2018- cocktails-for-a-cause. Charnel Wright, Carina Gerscovich, Anna Marie Christmas, Stacey Marine attending last year's event at the Citrus Club. The Jewish Pavilion has been bringing community to the doorsteps of elder-care residents since 2001. You can personally make a differ- ence. Become a fan at Face- book.com/jewishpavilion. Make a donation or learn more byvisiting JewishPavilion.org.