Former Tampa Federation CEO, Anne Thal
Anne Elise Thal, a woman who wore a variety of hats in the community, including CEO of the Tampa Jewish Federation in the early 2000s, died on Jan. 27.
Thal, 71, of Tampa, had a career as a clinical therapist, ran various social service agencies as well as served the Jewish community in several capacities.
Born in 1945, she was as a graduate of the University of Chicago, receiving her B.A. in Human Development and a M.A. from the university’s School of Social Service Administration. She trained extensively with Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a founding pioneer in the field of dying and bereavement.
After moving to Tampa, she founded the Suicide and Crisis Center of Hillsborough County and ran the Hillsborough County Crisis Center. She served as President/CEO of LifePath Hospice from 1987 through 1998, growing it from an all-volunteer organization to one of the largest freestanding hospices. She also maintained her own clinical practice for more than 30 years.
In the Jewish community, she served as executive director of what is now Tampa Jewish Family Services (TJFS) in the 1970s to early 1980s and during her tenure the agency helped 80 Soviet Jewish families emigrate to the Tampa Bay area, according to longtime friend Paula Zielonka.
Izabell Dobrov, whose Soviet Jewish family was the first that Thal’s agency helped resettle in Tampa, remembers her fondly: “From the time my family and I arrived from Odessa in 1976, Anne was always there whenever any problem arose. She, herself, would work on solving the problem whether finding us English language classes or work for Viktor and me. She was always there to help.”
“While working with Anne on Tampa Jewish Social Services (now TJFS) in the 1970s, I learned what a bright, caring, creative, yet organized person she was,” Zielonka said.
From 2000 to 2004, Thal served as the executive director and CEO of the Tampa Jewish Federation.
One of Thal’s lifelong passions was theater. During college, Thal and friends formed a professional theater company and she became a member of Actors Equity. In Tampa, she was a member of the Playmakers Theatre Company.
She was an adjunct professor and field work supervisor for the University of Chicago and University of South Florida, and was active on many boards and organizations.
Survivors include her sister, Julie, and brother, Daniel. The family suggests memorials to Planned Parenthood or Equality Florida. (Segal Funeral Home, Beth David Chapel).