UJC MetroWest and Jewish Federation of Central NJ Merge to Become Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ June 6, 2012
United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ (UJC MetroWest) and the Jewish Federation of Central NJ (Central NJ) will merge to become the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ effective July 1.
“We are thrilled that our two communities are becoming one greater Federation: the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, and we look forward to an exciting and stronger future together,” said UJC MetroWest president Lori Klinghoffer, who will continue to lead the new entity.
The merger creates a Federation that can help even more Jews in need and foster ever closer ties to Israel.
“Central NJ is a well-established community that has been in existence for over 80 years. It has dedicated leadership and a strong history of significant philanthropic support, especially in the real estate arena, and active presence in Israel. Combine those strengths with MetroWest’s strong UJA campaign, comprehensive network of services, leadership development programs and planned giving expertise, and you get one Federation capable of reaching new heights in service delivery, philanthropy and support of Israel,” said UJC MetroWest executive vice president Max Kleinman, who will be the CEO of the new Federation.
Stanley Stone, executive vice president of Central NJ, who will serve as the executive director of the new entity, added, “Our shared values paved the way to the merger. As we grew to really know each other’s core beliefs, we saw that each side of the table was really the same: faith in and commitment to our community in New Jersey, Israel and overseas. It’s not that bigger is better, but something greater has come that will have a positive impact on the community served by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.”
For the chairs of the MetroWest and Central NJ Merger Committee, the approval of the merger is the culmination of hundreds of hours of meetings, and countless emails and phone calls. Both are indebted to their respective committees for their commitment.
For Steve Klinghoffer, chair of MetroWest’s Merger Committee, the benefits of the merger are evident. “There is and always has been a synergistic relationship between MetroWest and Central. We’ve already engaged in studying each other’s best practices. We share common values. We’re going to take the best parts of each community and end up with a greater MetroWest.”
Among the many benefits that come to mind for Bob Kuchner, chair of Central NJ’s Merger Committee, is the opportunity it presents for developing young leadership. “We have very successful synagogues and a JCC with 1,000 families. Many of the members are in their late 20s to early 40s. They are capable and bright and energetic and want to change the world, but we haven’t been able to effectively nurture them due to financial constraints. Now we can.”
Achieving the successful integration of the two communities has been a top priority since the merger process began. Serious attention has been given to ensuring that all members of the Greater MetroWest community feel part of the new entity.
“Throughout the past year, work groups in key areas of Federation (Financial Resource Development, Women’s Philanthropy, Allocations, Israel & Overseas, and Operations) have been working together towards the transition to one community. This process has been an effective one not only as a planning initiative, but as a team-building process as well,” said Lori Klinghoffer.
“We will continue to work with key leadership in all areas to identify volunteers and encourage their participation in our activities. Maintaining diverse and committed leadership is our priority,” she continued.
As of July 1, a combined professional team will officially begin operating as one. The new Federation will initiate a strategic planning process led by a committee comprised of members from the former communities of UJC MetroWest and Central NJ.