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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 


March 9, 2018  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Sue Schoenbaum is Tikkun Olam Award winner

Related Column, Page 3
By BOB FRYER Jewish Press

Sue Schoenbaum accepting the Federation’s most prestigious honor at the President’s Dinner Sue Schoenbaum accepting the Federation’s most prestigious honor at the President’s Dinner When the opportunity came along to enter into a long-term lease of the long-vacant and decaying Fort Homer Hesterly Armory and turn it into a second JCC, the decision to go ahead with the project was not by any means a slam dunk obvious proposition.

The Federation already had a wonderful JCC on the 22-acre Maureen and Douglas Cohn Campus off Gunn Highway in Citrus Park. There had to be careful consideration of whether the Federation needed or could sustain two JCCs and whether the Federation could raise the funds for the new project.

But Sue Schoenbaum was Federation president at the time and that made a big difference, according to the current Federation President, Joe Probasco as he announced Schoenbaum as winner of the Federation’s most prestigious honor – the Tikkun Olam Award.

His comments about Schoenbaum came during the Feb. 25 Annual President’s Dinner at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC.

Each year the Tikkun Olam Award is a closely guarded secret until it is announced at the dinner, so following tradition, Probasco listed the winner’s many achievements before naming the recipient.

But by the time he said, “This year’s honoree was the president of the Tampa JCCs and Federation when we made the critical decision to move forward and acquire what was at the time the dilapidated Homer Hesterly Armory and now is the spectacular Bryan Glazer Family JCC,” virtually all in the room knew he was speaking of Schonebaum.

“Many people on our board as well as Gary Gould [Federation CEO] have said on more than one occasion that they would have been hesitant about moving forward with this monumental project without our honoree at the helm. Her strategic thinking, credibility and leadership skills were instrumental in our decision to move forward with this beautiful facility you are sitting in tonight.”

Probisco described Schoenbaum as “somewhat ‘under the radar’ in her leadership style” in comparison to some others, but added, “She has quietly and calmly worked strategically and tirelessly to ensure we move our community forward in very meaningful ways … noting that she “has been quietly sowing the seeds to ensure Jewish Tampa’s tomorrow is brighter than today.”

His comments included a long list of positions Schoenbaum had held in the Jewish community, including:

• Founding chair of the 1818 Giving Circle;

• Playing a key role in launching Shalom Tampa, the Tampa JCCs and Federation’s award winning weekly e-news letter;

• Serving as president of the Tampa JCCs and Federation for two years and co-president for another year

• Currently serving as co-chair of the Florida Israel Business Accelerator, a project with the potential to generate substantial jobs in the Tampa Bay area and strengthen the relationship between Tampa and Israel.

Probisco concluded his remarks by praising Schoenbaum for leading the community “with her warmth, kindness, and vision, and she and her family have been tremendously generous to many different Jewish philanthropic causes and organizations.”

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