mosaic. good morning. and welcome to mosaic. this morning we're going to start a fascinating conversation about the jewish community federation of san francisco and the peninsula. and here to join us in this wonderful conversation are susan mall and lynn blewman. lynn has been a cooperate executive and now the executive director. welcome, lynn. >> glad to be here. >> and -- susan has been working on special products and currently a director of the
federation of the jewish community for a hundred years. >> there are jews a 150 years ago in san francisco. but federation formed a hundred years ago. it was 1910 that it was formed. but we're produce that the jewish community federation as is vibrant today and important today as it was when it was founded. it was founded when there were 12 different agencies that existed after the earthquake to really help people get back on their feet. one of them was the memorial chapel and one was mount zion hospital. and the eureka society was one of them and the group of leaders of the different agencies realized they were all raising money for their agencies. and it was not efficient. and they were at cross
purposes. so a group of men got together and there are pictures of the old men. they sat at a table and they came together as a federation and much more efficiently raised money for the community. so there was one agency to help those in need in the community. today, we are celebrating this event, this hundred years, we're celebrateing it through the year. most specifically we're having a day april 10th. i don't know if your viewer cans see this. >> we'll put ton the screen there -- put it on the screen there. >> great. one large celebration with the best and the brightest in the jewish community. international people are flying in from israel. and we have david brooks, and author from washington, and we have people in our community
celebrating the accomplishments, the innovative thinking and the creativity, and the san francisco symphony, this is available to all of our donors. and for people that are not donors yet, there's an opportunity to be part of this day. you can be a donor and be part of the all day celebration. >> and it's called fun fest? >> yes. it's in a knew that location at usf mission bay that is a forward thinking facility. everything is very green. and that is the direction that all the agencies are going. >> and it begins at 10:00 in the morning and goes till 5:00. >> yes, and the federation is honoring george shults in his work in helping to treat soviet jews what he was the secretary of state. >> and as a volunteer, bringing
your expertise to the federation, what was it that attracted you to become involved? >> interesting listening to the history of jews in san francisco, i believe that every generation needs to leave its mark in its own way on the community. i grew up in san francisco. i grew up as a assimilated jerusalem and spent most of my life in the nonjewish world till one day i got a phone call. and the phone call was from susan asking, would you be willing to volunteer a couple hours of your time for an organization that i had not heard anything about called jvs. and it was a question, would you just say yes this one time for a couple of hours. and one of the things that i have found through a lives now that turned out to be 20 years
of volunteering in the jewish community is it's incredibly enriching and it leaves a legacy. my mother was a volume templet my grandmother was actually involved in the society. and i can set the stage for my children and my grandchildren. and just by saying yes once is not enough. you have to keep saying yes. and so my history over the last 20 years was accumulation of yeses led to climbing some ladders that i never expected, both at jvs and then also on the board of the federation -- the jewish community federation today and a leader there. >> fantastic. we're off to a wonderful start. join news a moment when we return to mosaic. what will you do when you hear your calling?
if you're interested in coming to the fun fest, please do. if you would like to get more information, contact the federation at that number there on the screen. welcome back to mosaic. we're joined in a wonderful conversation about the jewish community federation of san francisco and in particular the hundred year celebration since its establishment with susan, and cent lit director. and lynn 40 years of the executive commute and now on the board of directors. welcome back. >> together we almost have a hundred years. >> there you go. >> perfect. >> april 10th is your birthday.
>> right. >> what makes the san francisco federation interesting among all the federations in the country is that in other cities in america, it wasn't the jews that were really on the ground floor of the communities. the jews in chicago and new york, they came later. and other pioneers were there first on the east coast, especially. in san francisco, the fine nears, many -- the pioneers, they came looking for fame and fortune. they were the entrepreneurs, the courageous youngs. and so that -- courageous ones. and so that spirit has sustained us for a hundred years. a hundred years ago it was the leaders in business that decide how to best handle and shape the jewish community. and the same is true today. people like lynn who have been leaders in their corporate world have so graciously
committed so much of their time to shaping the jewish community that we've been so fortunate. but distribute san francisco federation has been able to be more -- no other community has an ltb appliances seen diverse as the san francisco jewish community federation. >> and the counterpart to that is that the community, the people, i can't care whether they're business like i came from or a teacher, i think of your host of listeners out there it this morning, if they pause, the spirit of saying yes that susan talks about that goes back to a behind years, it's still out there in the community. having been involved and thinking a little bit about the portals that people have, if you stop and think about our
community, whether it is the jewish community federation or jewish agency or it is a synagogue or a day school and you stop to think about the number of opportunities, they could be large, small and fundraising or licking envelopes, anything. and thin think about time. everybody says i don't have time. i would encourage you to think about do i have an hour? .gov a yes in my vocabulary if some were to call and ask me to make a difference and continue the legacy. >> i think one of our federation that makes it unique in the country is the way it works on the ground. the way in which we've gotten some of our leaders is from the
federation ourselves. and there's a wonderful exchange of these that said yes in the landscape and everybody is saying yes with one another and people can move place to place and get a tremendous knowledge and skill set and understand for building leadership and that is what a community does to build resilientsy for the next generation. >> and there's a personal part to this as well. i challenge any volunteer to question the statement. i guarantee that if you become a volunteer, you will get more than you receive. it has happened every single time. and for those that are loosely connected with the community like i was, it's a way to go back and reconnect and show your family. i've affected my parents. my mom is still living and my children and grandkids.
so i think that, again, that people get back so much by giving. >> we have a minute believe it or not if you can think of one thing, and one thing is almost unfair to say, that you hope somebody gains by saying yes to the community? what do you think it would be? >> i think it's an opportunity to by saying yes, those you're being asked to help others, i think what lynn is true, that what it does is provide meaning in your own life. and in today's world it's important to have meaning in your life. and i think through jewish values and feeling like you're hoping to repair the world, it does really much more for you than even it does for others that you don't know. >> thank you very much for being with us. we'll be joined in a moment with two other guests to continue in conversation. remember. a day to celebrate saying yes
talked about the history. our mission for a hundred years has been to strengthen our jewish community, focusing in three areas, carrying for the vulnerable, the most needy in the community, supporting through education, educating and engaging the whole diverse community and supporting israel and jewish communities around the world and we do that by raising funds. so raising funds from our jewish community and then granting them out and meaningful and strategy quick ways through a network of community partners and programs that provides a directs service. >> so you are the direct to have engagementing and you're an investment -- engagement and you're an investment specialist that. speaks to the new way for people to be involved
financefully concrete ways to service the community. how is that working? >> as we talk about the festival what i'm moment excited about is how the jewish community fed evaluation a center for the next generation and the future. and the world nancy -- word, it's about making a gift win tension and strategy. and the jewish community federation, we provide that and we can help. and that is the nametag that i wear. >> and we're talking about the community as a whole, the collective, the power that we have when we come together as a community to make a difference to change our world. and i think what we both do through our work is connect
with the individuals who make up that community. and again, it's helping each person come to terms with what they find most meaningful, how they're inspired and how jewish values have driven them and make the connection with how they can give through their dollars and through their volunteerism to make a difference. >> when i think about that engagement, it makes me wonder about the person that really is not satisfied and hasn't really gained meaning by just writing a check but wants to write a check that is providing something that they feel connected to and they may feel involved with other than simply writing the check. but i think there's some way in which the next generation and maybe every generation to come is looking at what it means to give on a deeper level, not at all neglecting the economic
engine to drive the entrepreneurial spirit, but also in ways that giving of one's self is linked to that economic engine. is that part what have you find? >> absolutely. absolutely. the next generation wants to touch, taste and feel the impact of their gift. and that that has been a challenge. and the federation is one step removed. we're the community fund. and we raise the money and distribute it out. and the next generation, we need to do a better job of connect the impact of their gift. >> what we have found with younger jews in the community, they're looking for a meaningful place, meaning fuel engagement to meet like minded people teen do good in our people. and it may not be through the traditional organization that's our parents or grandparents connected to. but things the connection between judaism and the
24,000 children every day. they die for reasons we can prevent. like not getting enough food... or medicine... or clean, safe water to drink. 24,000 children... every day. but we are gaining ground. a generation ago, twice as many children were dying. still...24,000? every day? they do not have to die. but they do. they die because they are young and vulnerable. they die because, through no fault of their own... they are poor. 24,000 children... 24,000 children... 24,000 children... every day. my name is tea leoni. my name is joel madden. my name is orlando bloom. my name is salma hayek. my name is laurence fishburne and i believe... i believe... believe... i believe... believe... my name is liam neeson, and i believe that number should be zero. believe in zero. join the effort. visit unicefusa.org. [thunder] did you buy the flashlight and the batteries?
yes. did you make sure we're not missing anything in the first aid kit? yup. did you go through the plan with the kids again? yes. announcer: the more you prepare today, the more you'll be able to reduce the devastating effects of a tornado, an earthquake, a power outage, or any other disaster. get a kit, make a plan, be informed. visit ready.gov. welcome back to mosaic. i'm honored to be your host this morning. we're in the middle of a robust conversation about the jewish community federation.
please welcome my two guests. when somebody comes to you as and advise error specialist, -- advisor or a specialist, how do you advise them? >> you cannot turn a tv without seeing an ad, talk to your financial advisor. and philanthropy is only one assec when somebody comes to talk to the community, we ask questions what impact do you want to make? how can we facilitate you? what is the right entity to put money into to gift it out? and to have the same thoughtfulness and the strategy that talks about your personal love goes into your engagement as well. >> do you find yourself doing
it differently with the new generation of people wanting to give? >> i think humans by nature are social beings. so people want to connect and get involved, in part to meet other people like them, like- minded people so we do some of our outreach and community engagement through groups. we have our young adults and the women's philanthropy group. they offer programs and volunteer opportunities. these are things that people can come together and network and learn about jewish issues and community issues and find ways to give. this is a great way for us to continue the messaging and the engagement and the meaningful connection. and there's a path. some people will come once for
a social reason and then find themselves along the way getting to significant leadership roles in the community. >> you said you can't give or be part of the engine unless you can give a certain dollar amount? how is that working now? >> i think the difference between a philanthropist and donor is that, a philanthropist see large gifts and big impact. and with a little bit of intention and planning like when people come to the jewish federation for, we can elevate that and no matter what the size of the gift but with the intention we can make is a wonderful gift to the
community. >> for many people, the most significant gift they can give leaving a legacy and bequest. and for many people who in their lifetime don't have the capacity to make a large, significant gift, they find that by financial planning, there can be benefits themselves to their families and they can make a significant impact. >> when you think of what you would like this next generation's legacy to be and if you can sort of imagine out the next 50 or a hundred years, what would you like to have been said about this particular generation and its impact? >> that's a great question. we sit in silicon valley and we're at this historic moment. and we connect to that so greatly every generation makes
a mark. our generation is about, yes about being successful in business and yes, it's about creating the great social media companies and connection and community. but i think it's about create a meaning and when you look back and say did we build the infrastructure for the next generation? yes. did we express the means of our community? >> i agree. i think it's about meaning. it's not only about instant gratification j it's about moving quickly through our world but finding places that we can make a mark. >> thank you very much for having this conversation with us. thank you very much for joining us here on mosaic and spending the morning with us talking about all the ditch ways you can say yes to live a life meaning with involvement in the jewish community, and in particular saying yesterday to the jewish community federation. thank you very much for being with us have a good day.
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