A Letter From Greater Miami Jewish Federation
President & CEO Jacob Solomon
Upon His Retirement

June 28, 2024

On this, my last day as your Federation executive, I wanted to share a final message with you, my very special Miami Jewish community. It is a message of gratitude, of blessing, of hope, and of love.

For 43 years, I have had the extraordinary privilege of working with the most inspiring and motivational volunteer leaders; gifted and tireless professional colleagues; and openhearted and generous folks from every part of the community. I have been surrounded by people who wake each day to see good in the world and then work to make it even better by lovingly investing their time, their talents, and their resources. Because of my position, I have had the extraordinary vantage point from which I have seen lives saved, miracles created, and our collective future ensured. There are simply no words that can adequately express the gratitude I feel for this blessing and for all the people who have received me over the years with such abundant kindness and grace.

Friends, our people are in the midst of perilous and frightening days, confronting crises of historical proportions that leave us feeling vulnerable and unsettled. And yet, I have witnessed over and over again the strength, the resilience, and the comfort that we experience when we come together in community and respond in a unified way. That is the beauty of the federation concept and that is what gives us the capacity to respond whenever and wherever the need arises. That inspires me even more today than it did when I entered the field in 1979. In this era of toxic polarization, we in Miami seem to understand that our common interests as Jews must transcend whatever differences we may have. We know that we must never let our support for Israel or our concern about antisemitism be used as wedge issues to divide us. Nothing gives our true enemies more satisfaction, I can assure you. I am deeply proud of how our community works together, and I pray that we will continue to value and respect each other, no matter the differences.

I have a great deal of confidence in the future of our community and the future of our people. The individuals who will guide us going forward – our wonderful new Board Chair, Lily Serviansky, and Scott Kaufman, our newly appointed Interim President and CEO – are incredible leaders and wonderful people. I know that they – together with all of our volunteers and professionals – will continue the inspiring trajectory of growth and impact that we have worked to achieve over the past several years.

But, at its core, that sense of optimism also comes from you: the thousands of people who support the community’s Annual Federation Campaign each year, maintaining the infrastructure we need to mobilize immediately in times of crisis; the hundreds of people who step forward to lead our wonderful agencies, schools, synagogues, organizations, and committees that breathe life into our voluntary structures and organize our efforts for good; and the countless individuals I have encountered over the years who always take a call, agree to a meeting, send a note of encouragement, or share a big hug . . . in times of joy and also in times of great sadness. That is what community means, and I could not be more proud of what we have built together.

The Talmud (Sukkah 49B) says that “the true value of a benevolent deed lies in the love that inspires it.” The love that I feel for this community and the men and women who make it special is immeasurable. And the love I have felt from you over the years has been a gift of a lifetime, one that I will take with me and cherish forever. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

!הַשֵּׁם עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן; הַשֵּׁם יְבָרֵךְ אֶת-עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם

May the Lord give strength to his people; May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Much love,


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