Steve Sandler hosts NextGen leadership kickoff

by | Jan 22, 2018 | Featured

Show up, give of yourself, and take your place in the story of our community’s future.

That was Steve Sandler’s message, delivered in rousing fashion to a packed house of young leaders at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Ben-Gurion Society and National Young Leadership Cabinet kickoff held at Bayville Golf Club earlier this month.

Fifty members of the Federation’s top young and senior leadership heard host Steve Sandler’s remarks on the community’s past and future. A moving address followed by Arielle DiPorto of the Jewish Agency for Israel. DiPorto discussed her covert work—made possible through the financial support of UJFT’s Annual Campaign—to monitor and rescue Jews who are in danger in countries such as Iran, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, and other North African and Middle Eastern nations.

DiPorto’s work saving Jews reminded the group of the reach and impact of UJFT’s Annual Campaign dollars. Since DiPorto’s work in these countries is sensitive— with lives at risk—the details of her rescue efforts are never made public. It was a unique opportunity to have her in Virginia Beach at a closed-door event, where she shared details about the Jewish lives she is saving, and the important role Israel plays as a safe haven for Jews from around the world. DiPorto also thanked everyone at the event, as well as all of Tidewater’s Jewish community who support the UJFT Annual Campaign, for making her work possible.

The evening energized the young leadership for the year ahead.

Stephanie Steerman is chair of the UJFT Young Adult Division’s Ben-Gurion Society Leadership Group. For more information or to get involved in the Young Adult Division and Ben-Gurion Society, contact Jasmine Amitay, director, at or 757-965-6138.

Stephanie Steerman