Once in a century, we get to celebrate something legendary

On an unusually balmy October evening, donors and supporters stepped into the newly refurbished Helen Diller floor (generously funded and overseen by Jackie Safier) to celebrate the first phase of one of the most significant achievements in the 112-year history of the Federation—the Centennial Campaign. Since its launch, it has raised over $220 million—an unprecedented figure that our pioneering families could never have imagined.

Federation professionals were joined by leaders who have driven the vision of the campaign, including Laura Lauder, immediate past Endowment Committee Chair and the first major donor to the Centennial Campaign; Jim Koshland, who tirelessly served as chair since its inception; and Jackie Safier, Chief Executive Officer of Prometheus Real Estate Group.

Dan Safier, Laura Lauder, David Agger, Kayla Espinosa, and Jackie Safier

With 377 donors making vital contributions to this ongoing campaign, a deep sense of hakarat hatov (gratitude or recognition of the good) undergirded the words of all event speakers. But there was also an appreciation for the unique vision that is specific to our community.

“Tradition is beautiful, but it’s only half the truth of who we are. The other half of the truth is creativity and imagination, innovation, and invention,” said Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Temple Valley Beth Sholom. Urging Federation supporters to focus on the future, he reminded listeners to continue to create a forward-thinking culture.

The Helen Diller floor

Federation CEO Joy Sisisky spoke of how the Centennial Campaign serves at the “intersection of the past, the present, and the future” and how our shared Federation values call for us to “evolve in the times that we live in.”

“We are on the edge of what Jewish life will look like in 100 years and it is our job to meet the moment now,” Sisisky continued. “We are building a 21st-century Jewish institution that our community needs … and the gifts that you have given make sure that we can meet this moment for generations to come, and that our community has the kind of Jewish Federation that we want: Compassionate, relevant, and farsighted.”

Jim and Cathy Koshland

Donor names were displayed on the Wall of Honor, a centerpiece of the Federation’s lobby which recognizes individuals and families who made Centennial Campaign gifts of $250,000 or more. Guests also viewed messages in the Book of Life, a treasury of testimonials documenting legacy donors’ personal thoughts, stories, and values that inspired their philanthropy.

In addition to the honorees, Sisisky, Feinstein, and Master of Ceremonies Dan Safier, the program included Michael Krasny, former host of the award-winning KQED Forum; and Julie Platt, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America, and immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

Michael Krasny and Julie Platt

In her wide-ranging discussion with Michael Krasny, Julie spoke of the Federation’s work in Ukraine, and efforts to fight antisemitism and provide security to our communities. But she also described “joyful Judaism” as her guiding principle, concluding that in order to create “flourishing, joyful Jewish communities,” we must not live in fear.

This is a place where our ideas can change the world.

- Joy Sisisky

As Rabbi Feinstein noted, “No community ever, anywhere, under any circumstances has the freedom, security, power, prosperity, and possibilities of the American Jewish community…No community ever had our voice, our power, our possibility.”

Thank you to all who attended this special event and contributed to the success of the Centennial Campaign.

Read the latest issue of Your Centennial Legacy. For more information on how to support the next phase of the campaign, contact us at 415.777.0411, ext. 4915 or gpe@sfjcf.org


December 19, 2022


Ariella Flatt