Marjorie Patkin is returning for a second year at the helm of CJP’s Annual Campaign and welcoming Co-chair and fellow CJP Board member Adam Suttin. Together, they are rallying support to strengthen and sustain our diverse and thriving Jewish community. Marjorie and Adam took time to answer a few questions about their roles and their commitment to the Jewish community.
CJP: Marjorie, why did you decide to accept the Co-chair role for the second year running?
MARJORIE PATKIN: This is a very exciting time for CJP and our community now that Marc Baker is entering his second year as President and CEO, our community is in motion working towards positive change. It was an honor to co-chair the Campaign this past year with Darren [Black] and Lisa [Wallack] and work closely with CJP’s outstanding and hardworking professional team.
I am looking forward to partnering with Adam for the 2020 Campaign and helping to engage more volunteers and donors in the incredible and impactful work that CJP does. Adam has been such an important CJP volunteer and Board member for a number of years. He is a great strategic thinker who will bring so much talent and dedication to the position.
CJP: Adam, what’s exciting to you about your new role as Co-chair?
ADAM SUTTIN: I had the opportunity to work with both Marc Baker and Jennifer Weinstock during their time at Gann, and I was excited to work with them again on ensuring that CJP has a successful 2020 Campaign. I also look forward to working with Marjorie as I saw her successful leadership of the 2019 Campaign and recognize her energy and perspective in getting results.
I connect strongly with CJP’s mission, and this role allows me to help CJP raise the financial resources to continue to have a positive and meaningful impact on the Boston community and our partners in Israel. We’re all busy in our professional, personal, and philanthropic commitments, and I look to only commit to new roles where I strongly believe in the impact of the organization and I have the opportunity to work with great lay and professional leaders. This opportunity checked both of these boxes in a major way.
CJP: What makes CJP different in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, and financial transparency?
MARJORIE PATKIN: My husband Randy and I are proud to support an organization that has such a strong financial foundation. CJP has consistently been recognized for excellence by Charity Navigator. We have great confidence in CJP as the steward of our philanthropy. Our community is fortunate that there is tremendous oversight for the dollars we raise by the hardworking and ethical professional CJP staff in partnership with lay leaders with sound financial expertise.
ADAM SUTTIN: It's critically important if you are donating to an organization who then in turn allocates funding to other organizations, that you want to make sure that they are thinking strategically. The process CJP goes through with committees and lay leaders and staff is very effective.
I sit on the Budget and Administration Committee, so I see the thoughtfulness and detail in how we allocate to the different organizations. It's a challenging job because there are more needs than resources. CJP doesn’t make decisions in a vacuum--there's a lot of conversation and collaboration with our partners that inform decisions. The sophistication of the finance team and CJP’s systems are very advanced, which is appropriate for an organization that manages with more than a billion dollars in assets. I continue to be impressed with the financial, administrative, and fiduciary process that CJP uses to manage risk and the best practices they follow for continued success.
CJP: Has there been a memorable moment where you realized CJP's impact and importance to the community?
MARJORIE PATKIN: I had the opportunity to attend several of The 360Five listening tour meetings this past year. These town halls were critical discussions for Marc, lay leaders, and the professional staff to receive input from a broad segment of our community. We heard from every geographic region around Boston, from young and old, affiliated and non-affiliated, donor and non-donors.
Listening to the attendees’ views on important issues gave me great hope that CJP can be the catalyst in creating a more vibrant Boston Jewish community and impact even more people. I can’t think of anything more important or relevant in my life than helping to ensure that CJP has enough resources and volunteer manpower to shape the future for the next generation.
ADAM SUTTIN: I think the social justice work has resonated most closely with me. When Barry [Shrage] (former CJP President) said we were going to provide funding to help immigrants and partner with Catholic Charities, I thought that was pretty powerful. We were going to work in concert with other communities on this incredibly important work. I recently chaired the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), and social justice is one of the primary missions. How do we repair what is a somewhat broken world in many ways? I think that making progress against this challenge is the area that resonates most directly with me.
CJP: There is a sense that CJP is at a pivotal moment, with new leadership, and an ambitious Strategic Plan to implement. What do you see as our strengths and our opportunities in the years ahead?
MARJORIE PATKIN: First, I am so appreciative to everyone who generously supported the 2019 Annual Campaign. It was enormously helpful that so many donors increased their gifts and or made multi-year commitments over the past several years.
There is tremendous enthusiasm already from Marc’s first year as President and CEO. We are already seeing how his strong leadership is having a positive impact within our community. I am hopeful that we will continue the momentum from this past year’s Campaign and continue to identify and meet the needs of our community. As we begin to implement the Strategic Plan, it is imperative that our community understands why CJP matters and its relevancy. As Marc leads us from strength to strength, we can only achieve our goals by engaging more volunteers and the next generation of donors and leaders.
ADAM SUTTIN: CJP has the ability to take a strategic perspective on the best opportunity for the entire community, as opposed to one organization saying this is what their mission is, CJP can really step back and say, "these are the objectives we have for the broader Jewish community." That ability to have a perspective and long-term planning is going to make us a stronger community and will impact what we are going to do for other communities in need. We have an organization that is taking community feedback, that has a strong and capable board of directors who works in concert with the staff. I think that what is remarkable about this organization is the focus on long-range planning and the investments that are made for the good of the community.