Monday, July 23, 2012

The New JFNM President

Chaplain Linda Sue Friedman:  As of June 19, Abq Jew is pleased, honored, and just really happy to announce, the Jewish Federation of New Mexico has a new President. She is Chaplain Linda Sue Friedman, and she is the former JFNM Vice President, Financial Resource Development.

The Executive Committee of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico now includes:
  • Linda Friedman, President
  • Sabra Minkus, Vice President, Financial Resource Development
  • Edie Blaugrund, Vice President, Community Outreach
  • Player To Be Named Later, Secretary
  • Jon Bell, Treasurer
  • Hank Crane, Immediate Past President  

Here is how Sam Sokolove, Executive Director of JFSNM, announced the news:
Linda Friedman, a longtime community leader and philanthropist, was installed as President of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico at the JFNM Annual Meeting on June 19th.  She successes Hank Crane, who completed his two-year term that evening.
“For the past decade, New Mexico has been more than a home to me,” said Friedman. “It has been the place where I have been able to realize the values of the Judaism in which I was raised through Tzedakkah and acts of loving kindness.”
A Milwaukee native, Friedman grew up in the Federation movement, with her commitment to Israel and the Jewish people strengthened through her experience with WUJS Israel. 
While serving as the JFNM’s Campaign Chair for eight years,  Friedman completed the Presbyterian Healthcare Services Chaplaincy program in 2008, and joined Jewish Family Service of New Mexico’s Jewish Chaplaincy Program as a volunteer Chaplain and facilitator of the Chevra Kaddisha (Jewish Burial Society).
With JFNM, Friedman was instrumental in expanding the Federation’s reach statewide, as well as creating the Jewish Women’s Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Endowment Foundation of New Mexico.  
In recognition for her efforts, Friedman received JFNM’s Woman of Valor Award, Jewish Family Service of New Mexico’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009, and also received the MOVE (Mayors Outstanding Volunteer Award) from the city of Albuquerque for her service as well.
Friedman is mother to Daniel and Anna, and grandmother to two. She lives with her partner, Jill Bulmash, in Albuquerque.

Ah, but Abq Jew got the real scoop, and - thanks to an exclusive interview - found out exactly how Linda has managed to rise to this position of influence and power.  Or, in other words - what has Linda done to deserve this?

First of all, there was Linda's grandmother - Minnie Dinkin, of blessed memory - who taught Linda "unconditional love." So much so that each of Minnie's nine grandchildren was convinced that he or she was Grandma's favorite. But Linda knows for certain that she was.

And then, there are Linda's "amazing" parents - father Sidney, of blessed memory, and (lehavdil) mother Elaine, of Milwaukee and (lehavdil) Boca Raton. And Linda's two kids and two grandkids, the "diamonds" of her life.

But, you ask, what has Linda done? Abq Jew refers you to the list above, to which he adds Linda's founding (with Diane Chodorow) of the Jewish Family Service's  DVora Project and Linda's position on the Board of Common Bond New Mexico.

In any event ... well, actually, at the JFNM Annual Meeting ... Linda sent in the remarks that follow, which were read by Sam Sokolove. Linda and her partner Jill, it seems, were on a boat to Russia at the time.
Shalom, my friends.

I’m sorry that Jill and I can’t join you this afternoon, but you’re very much in our thoughts.
I want to especially extend my best wishes and thanks to Art Gardenswartz for his incredible leadership and vision this past year. Our community is blessed to have this champion as our champion.
It is my great privilege and honor to begin my service as President of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico.
Taking the reins from my buddy Hank Crane is no easy task, but I’m confident that with the great JFNM Board I will have the support to assume this role with full confidence.
For the past decade, New Mexico has been more than a home to me – it has been the place where I have been able to realize the values of the Judaism in which I was raised through tzedakkah and acts of loving kindness.
Although I was raised in a strong Jewish community, I admit that I never understood more fully the power and pleasure of Jewish involvement than when I committed my passion and time to the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and the agencies that collaborate so vitally with JFNM.
Like you, I’m involved in the Jewish community because I believe we have a responsibility to one another.
A charity in New York City recently conducted a survey of volunteers who compared their involvement to a runner's high - when a person runs and exerts, but instead of feeling more stressed, he or she feels more relaxed and joyous.
In short, commitment makes us all feel good while doing good.
Here’s how I want to keep the good feelings going:
Over the next year, it is my goal to help this community develop a better understanding of the work that our Federation and its network of beneficiary agencies perform every single day to strengthen our Jewish community in New Mexico, Israel, and around the world.
The needs in our community are never-ending, and addressing these needs requires the ongoing engagement of funders and friends who are willing to meet these challenges with their philanthropy, talent, and time.
To be sure, Federation is more than just a place where you pay your pledge: it’s also the place where we can create new programs, sustain existent ones, or simply help maintain the network of agencies that work everyday to save and build Jewish lives.
As President, I will work hard to build on our many strengths while exploring new opportunities.
In particular, it is my goal to help the Jewish Community Endowment Foundation of New Mexico, under the extraordinary leadership of Erika Rimson, grow to meet the needs of generations to come.
As a mother and grandmother, that is my personal challenge and my obligation.
At JFNM, we respond to Jewish needs wherever and whenever they emerge through our Jewish values.
Indeed, the essential Jewish activity of raising funds and planning for our present and future is at the very heart of our mission.
But Federation is the sum of many parts: our partner agencies and the congregations that have joined with us to create relationships marked by trust — sharing thoughts, information, concerns, and ideas openly, and keeping the focus on one question — what kind of community do we want to be?
I look forward to working with all of you to answer that question for today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.

Mazeltov, Linda!

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