Bobby Copeland and Bob Josephberg, co-chairs of the Simcha Campaign, recall good times

by | May 9, 2024 | Other News

The epitome of distinguished and versatile leaders, it was no surprise that Bobby Copeland and Bob Josephberg took on the roles of co-chairs of the Simcha Campaign. As co-chairs, all aspects of the Sandler Family Campus project – fundraising, design, construction, promotion – were ultimately overseen by these two volunteers.

“We had a great extended leadership team who worked well together, and that synergy led to success,” Copeland says.

“Bobby Copeland worked in finance, and I worked on development and getting the campus built. I was building apartments at the time; I had the resources available in my office.”

Great team or not, the project had its share of bumps. “We experienced every challenge you could imagine – community challenges, the needs of each agency, spacing, planning, and budgets,” says Josephberg.

Still, Josephberg says it was a “100% positive experience — one of the most rewarding and satisfying things I’ve ever done.
“Along with Paul Turok and Andrew Fink, we met with the professionals and lay leaders so that all agencies got what they needed and wanted.”

Both men agree that the process was rewarding, as was the result.

“I was totally satisfied with the outcome,” says Josphberg. “Creating the JCC pushed everything else. And the school was a prime mover and central piece around which everything was planned. Sheila (Josephberg) and Andrew co-chaired the art committee – the whole design created a warm and inviting place.

“I loved working with Steve (Sandler), Art (Sandler), and Bob. Andrew Fink was tireless. There were no ego problems.”
But could such a massive project happen today?

“Sure, it could happen today,” says Josephberg. “I don’t know the players in Tidewater right now, but it comes down to money and ideas. Marvin Simon wanted a campus, and we had Steve, Art, and Bobby – all forces of nature.”

“The combined energy of the Campus has helped grow the commitment to Tidewater,” says Copeland. “The people who participate in activities at the Campus, along with their children and grandchildren, are all part of something that is bigger than just a building.

“In name and in truth, it’s not just a building; it’s a Community Center. So Jewish life in the community is perpetuated by the fact that people can gather to learn, to work out together, to meet and to make decisions to benefit the community and the greater Jewish World,” says Copeland.

Josephberg’s concern: “I hope I’m not forgetting anyone!”