Robert A. Zuritsky, member of the executive committee of JFRE, Federation's affinity group for men and women in the real estate industry, is thrilled by the selection of the National Museum of American Jewish History as the site of its inaugural JFRE Fund event on Wednesday, June 9.
"It will be exciting to hold our event in this new world-class historic venue before the museum officially opens to the public," he says.
Michael Rosenzweig, president and CEO of the museum, which is set to open during the weekend of Nov. 12, is equally excited to host JFRE, which he calls "a very important group of very committed Jews in the Greater Philadelphia area."
Rosenzweig states that the real estate group "approached us because ours is a very prominent real estate project — a world-class destination which is very appropriately situated in Philadelphia."
The museum leader opines that the Independence Mall location, just steps from the Liberty Bell and the Constitution Center, is "the perfect backdrop to tell the story of how American Jews have been able to accomplish great things in a land whose founders promised liberty and freedom for all."
Zuritsky, who was invited by JFRE chair William H. Glazer to join the group as a founding member two years ago, has enjoyed the chance to "see firsthand some of the great things that Federation helps to fund through JFRE's participation in Mitzvah Mania and other volunteer experiences."
Networking with what Zuritsky refers to as "a great group of people" is a personal highlight of his JFRE experience, as is the opportunity to hear from top-notch real estate professionals throughout the country.
He expresses great pride in helping JFRE to advance its mission of "securing the Jewish future by providing real estate solutions for communal priorities, raising funds, promoting education, connecting members with one another and fostering Jewish values."
Ira Saligman has also been a part of JFRE's leadership since the inception of group, which is modeled after successful organizations in Chicago and Los Angeles. He says that he sees JFRE involvement as a vehicle for people in the real estate industry and ancillary trades "to get involved in Federation in a way that benefits them as individuals and has a positive impact on the Jewish community."
Saligman states that "JFRE and other affinity groups are wonderful ways to build and weave our younger people into the Federation fabric."
He explains that group members have an opportunity to hear from speakers of tremendous magnitude, as well as to work with them on volunteer projects.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a young broker to speak directly with Dean Adler, Ron Rubin or other industry leaders, " says Saligman, adding that "occasionally, a deal happens."
Rubin and George Ross, who serve as co-chairs of the museum's board of trustees, will address guests at the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. As part of the evening, participants will contribute a portion of new or increased gifts to the JFRE Fund, created to direct philanthropic investments to impact the Jewish community's short-term and long-term critical real estate needs.
Saligman also says that the JFRE Fund offers members "a chance to study the needs in our Jewish community and "to follow their dollars more closely and directly."
Saligman, who serves on the board of Federation Housing, Inc., notes that he's pleased that the JFRE Fund offers donors a chance to have impact on programs like the Rhawnhurst NORC, which provides services that support and enhance life for seniors in their own single-family homes or apartments.
"JFRE support of initiatives like these that promote pride in home ownership, self-sufficiency and self-reliance is so important," he says. "Even a few hundred dollars can make a tangible difference in the lives of our community's older adults."
Other Members and Sponsors
JFRE committee members also include: William H. Glazer, chair; David J. Adelman, vice chair; Dan Bernstein; Jason M. Cole; Jon A. Cummins; Steven H. Gartner; Bradley A. Krouse; Adam P. Meinstein; David J. Newman; Gregg J. Wallace and Spencer Yablon.
Sponsors of the June 9 event include Blank Rome, LLP; EL AL Airlines; Intech Construction; Goodman Properties; Odell Studner Group; National Museum of American Jewish History; Campus Apartments; Equilibrium Equities, Inc.; Firstrust Bank; Kaplin Stewart; Keystone Property Group; Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg, LLP; Marcus and Millichap; Metro Commercial Real Estate, Inc.; Morgan Properties; Newman Development Group, LLC; Parkway Corporation; Philadelphia Management Co.; and Saligman Capital.
Admission to the event is $75 per person. Individuals are also required to make a minimum gift of $1,000 — or $500 for those under the age of 30 — to the 2010 Federation Annual Campaign/ JFRE Fund to attend this networking and social event.
Glazer says that he's encouraged by the "strong response to event invitations," and notes that readers can register online at: www.JFRE.net.
"Join us for this extraordinary evening as we celebrate our achievements and build on our successes," he says, adding that "this not-to-be-missed event will set the tone and stage for the future."