Celebrating 20 years: Sandler Family Campus and TJF’s legacy

by | May 9, 2024 | Other News, TJF

This year, the Sandler Family Campus celebrates its 20th anniversary, marking two decades as a cornerstone for Tidewater’s Jewish community. Tidewater Jewish Foundation has been a partner from the outset, playing a critical role in the campus’s development and fostering a spirit of unity and collaboration among various Jewish organizations.

The vision for the Sandler Family Campus was to create a space where local Jewish organizations could be housed under one roof, establishing a central point for the region’s Jewish community, which was migrating from Norfolk to Virginia Beach. This strategic consolidation has strengthened the Jewish community and ensured a more efficient and cohesive approach to serving its needs.

In its current location, the campus is perfectly positioned to be accessible and convenient, enhancing the delivery of services and community engagement. Over the years, TJF’s leadership in this initiative has seen the campus grow into a vibrant community center that acts as a refuge and a place to celebrate Jewish heritage.

“The Sandler Campus really gave our Jewish community an opportunity to strategically rethink what we were doing and where we wanted to go,” remarks Philip Rovner, past CEO of TJF. “Tidewater Jewish Foundation became the endowment arm of the entire community, focusing our fundraising on the interests of the donors without bias, raising money for everybody. This strategic approach not only strengthened our financial foundation but also aligned with our commitment to serve the Tidewater and global community.”

Betty Ann Levin, executive vice president/CEO of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, speaks to the partnership with TJF: “Our collaboration with the Tidewater Jewish Foundation has been elevated by our work together on the Sandler Family Campus over the last 20 years. It is a wonderful partnership as we have a common goal of building and sustaining Jewish life today while securing the future of the Tidewater Jewish community for future generations.”

Naomi Limor Sedek
Naomi Limor Sedek
Charlie Nusbaum
Charlie Nusbaum

TJF not only supports lasting financial resources through endowment building with UJFT and the community’s agency system; it also supports congregations and forms partnerships with other organizations. This collaborative approach contributes to a more cohesive and supportive community environment centered at the Sandler Family campus.

Charlie Nusbaum, TJF board chair, says, “Together, everyone achieves more! TEAM—This is the vision I have seen for the campus, where all of the local Jewish organizations are housed, and it is the central point for all Judaism in Hampton Roads. Without a team, you can’t play together and succeed. The campus should be congratulated for forging ahead and making us a stronger Jewish community.”

“The Sandler Family Campus embodies our shared commitment to preserve and enrich Jewish life. Our proximity enhances our ability to serve the community effectively and responsively,” says Naomi Limor Sedek, TJF president and CEO.

TJF was instrumental in encouraging the concept of legacy as a meaningful exercise in philanthropy, creating endowments that could be used at a ratable amount, ensuring a sustainable future. This approach isn’t just about funding; it is about building a legacy that indefinitely supports the community’s needs, reinforcing the importance of both immediate impact and long-term sustainability.

As a partner on the Sandler Family Campus, TJF looks forward to the future, building upon the foundation laid over the past 20 years, which is a testament to the power of community and shared goals.