Yesterday was my best day so far as Federation CEO.
It’s true that I intend to have a large number of best days. So overall, this may not seem to be much of a statement. But it was my first “best day” and I wanted to highlight it.
It was my first “best day” because I saw the secret to our federation’s success. I saw why we do things so well. And I saw the future of what we’re going to do. There may have been some alcohol and good food involved, too.
I was privileged to attend the Greater MetroWest cocktail reception at the International Lion of Judah Conference as we honored Barbara Drench, our Kipniss-Wilson/Friedland Award Recipient and gave special recognition as well to our 30 Lions who attended the Conference. It was an honor to celebrate three new Lions as well as three first-time attendees.
There was a lot of passion and energy at the Conference. The International Lion of Judah program is an incredible engine of success for our federation and for communities across the world. In fact, one of the really inspiring parts of the evening was to meet with Israeli Lions, who came from Israel. If you want to see global Jewish philanthropy at work … this is a great place to start.
So there I was … one of four men (yep, all Federation pros …) in the reception, meeting with amazing women. Inspiring women who have led our community, who have educated us and guided us. And they all share one thing.
They all share the passion. The glint in their eyes. The love for our federation and our Jewish community and for what we do. You can’t fake it. You either have it or you don’t. It’s the ‘secret sauce,’ one of our Lions told me. “We’re here because we love it.” They come out of the Conference energized and renewed and inspired … and then they bring that energy and talent and movement back home to the community.
You see it with our Lions. You see it in our National Young Leadership Cabinet. It’s that sense of belonging to something awe-inspiring, human and deep. It’s a very public secret.
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