Archbishop Francis Cardinal George to keynote Jewish Federation's 114th Annual Meeting

Chicago Archbishop Francis Cardinal George, OMI, will keynote this year’s Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Annual Meeting, set for Thursday, Sept. 11, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive.

The cardinal, who has served as the city’s archbishop since 1997, has dedicated himself to the enrichment of the Catholic-Jewish relationship in the Chicago area, and is an ardent supporter of the Catholic-Jewish Scholars Dialogue.

The Federation’s 114th Annual Meeting also will feature the State of the Federation address by President Dr. Steven B. Nasatir, and the presentation of several major leadership awards.

Foremost among them will be the organization’s highest honor, the Julius Rosenwald Memorial Award, which this year goes to Max “Skip” R. Schrayer. The award, named for the iconic Chicago business leader and philanthropist of the early 1900s, is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding dedication and service to the Jewish community.

Schrayer, who has been a Federation leader for more than three decades, has served in a wide range of roles, including chairman of the board, chairman of the 2006 Annual Campaign, and chairman of the Jewish Community Relations Council, as well as key posts with national and international Jewish humanitarian and communal organizations. The 51st recipient of the Rosenwald Award, Schrayer is the first third-generation honoree, following in the philanthropic and leadership footsteps of his grandfather, Max, and father, Robert.

David Goldenberg and James B. Sarnoff will receive the 50th annual Davis, Gidwitz & Glasser Young Leadership Award, presented to volunteers who have demonstrated exemplary dedication and have made significant contributions to Chicago’s Jewish community.

Goldenberg, 35, is on the board of the Jewish United Fund’s Young Leadership Division, as well as on the JUF’s Communications & Marketing and Contributor Account Relations committees. He was YLD’s 2013 Campaign Chair and is a former participant in the group’s Gesher leadership program. Goldenberg also is a member of the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet. He has worked with many other Jewish organizations and, in 2012, was named to the YLD/Oy!Chicago annual “36 Under 36” list.

Sarnoff, 36, joined the YLD board in 2009, served as YLD Campaign Chair in 2012 and later as YLD Division President. He also chaired YLD’s largest Big Event Fundraiser to date, featuring comedian Jimmy Fallon, and founded the now-annual YLD Golf Tournament. Sarnoff is a former participant in YLD’s Gesher leadership program, and was chosen to be part of the inaugural Jewish Leaders Institute cohort. He has traveled with several JUF missions abroad, and serves on JUF’s Contributor Account Relations Committee. In 2012, he too was named to the annual “36 Under 36” list.

As part of the Davis, Gidwitz & Glasser award, the honorees are given the opportunity to attend the annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, which this year takes place in National Harbor, Maryland, in November.

Two exceptional young professionals who have shown outstanding performance in their work at a Jewish agency in the Chicago area will receive the Samuel A. Goldsmith Award, now in its 27th year. This year’s award will be presented to Jessica Schaffer and Ariel Zipkin Weiss.

Schaffer, 29, is the Safer Communities Project Coordinator at Jewish Child & Family Services, where she works to prevent and combat abuse in Chicago’s Jewish community. In that role, she has developed training curricula that have been critical in helping schools and synagogues implement new safety protocols. Under her leadership, the Safer Communities Initiative has become one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind in the country.

Zipkin Weiss, 30, recently was promoted to Director of Donor Engagement at JUF, where she formerly served as Director of YLD. During her tenure, she launched dozens of new programs and initiatives. A recent YLD event Weiss organized, the Blue and White Bar Night, attracted over 800 people last spring – an 80 percent increase over the previous year. She also has served as lead professional for the past three Big Event Fundraisers, which were enormously successful and broke both fundraising and attendance records.

The Federation’s Annual Meeting is held in two sessions, beginning with a business meeting at 10 a.m., followed by a noon luncheon.

The business meeting, open to all Federation members, will feature the election of directors, and presentations to outgoing board members and the recipients of the young leadership awards.

The lunch session will feature Cardinal George’s speech, the annual State of the Federation report by President Dr. Steven B. Nasatir, and presentation of the Rosenwald Award to Schrayer.

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