Congratulations to our own Sharon Rosenfeld, Director of Development at Ramah Darom for Receiving the Outstanding Development Professional Award at the JCamp 180 Conference, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation!
The Outstanding Development Professional award is given each year to the camp development professional who has made a significant impact on a Jewish camp’s long-term vitality and sustainability through increased cultivation, solicitation, and/or stewardship efforts. The award winner represents the highest values of the fund-raising profession and the Jewish value of tzedakah.
Over the past two decades as the Development Director of Ramah Darom, Sharon has led the effort that raised over $15.8 million for capital projects, built our Endowment Funds up to $3.7M, and secured over $900K in grant funding. Under Sharon’s leadership, we have also raised over $1.25M for Camp Yofi – Ramah Darom’s Family Camp for families that have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, more than $104K for the Andrew Silvershein (z”l) Scholarship Fund, and annual campaign funds since 1999 totaling $5M. Her efforts address the needs of the camp facilities (both maintenance reserves and capital improvements) and provide funds for general and targeted scholarships as well as designated and specialized needs. Sharon has been instrumental in the creation and success of the Ramah Darom’s Legacy program and, serves as both a passionate spokesperson and ambassador for Ramah Darom with everyone she meets.
“I am very proud of the work that we do at Ramah Darom. We transform lives one at a time, we build community, we strengthen the Jewish future and I am so privileged to be part of this. I am truly touched to receive this honor,” said Sharon.
JCamp 180 provides training and support to the Boards of Directors of nonprofit Jewish overnight and day camps in the areas of board development, strategic planning, development, enrollment, and technology & communications. Their Director, Mark Gold said, “With this award, Ms. Rosenfeld joins a distinguished group of development professionals who have made significant contributions to the world of Jewish camps. We are thrilled to have been able to recognize her contributions through this award.”
Geoff Menkowitz, Camp Ramah Darom’s Director proudly nominated Sharon for this special award. In his submission letter, he wrote:
“It is easy to rattle off Sharon’s quantifiable fundraising achievements, but why Sharon is so deserving of this honor is because her commitment to advancing the mission of Ramah Darom through stewarding connections with individuals and foundations. She is a passionate spokesperson and an effective ambassador for Ramah. Her energy and enthusiasm come from a deep and personal belief in the product and becomes manifest in the way that she cares for others and nurtures relationships. Sharon is a beacon of positivity and an exemplar of excellence for her colleagues in our organization, for professionals across the Ramah Camping Movement, and for the entire field of Jewish Camp.”
As one lay leader describes her:
“Sharon is a regular and constant presence in the life of Camp Ramah Darom. She is not always talking Development, but she is always talking Ramah Darom. So, when you are with her or speak to her, you know Ramah Darom is going to be the subject. As a result, it is a natural progression for her to go from Ramah Darom to Development for Ramah Darom. When she seeks your gift, or your involvement in raising money, it’s a natural progression and that facilitates things very well. Especially because she has whet your appetite or motivated you towards efforts to build and grow Ramah Darom.”
Sharon was introduced by Fred Levick, who served as Ramah Darom’s CEO for 18 years, where he worked alongside Sharon. In his beautiful, heartfelt introduction speech he wrote:
“I had the privilege of working with Sharon for nearly 19 years, up until my retirement just a few weeks ago. Sharon began working at Ramah Darom in December 1999 and I arrived in March of 2000. You learn a lot about a person working side by side with them for that long. What I learned, and witnessed nearly every day, is that Sharon is not just an extraordinary professional, she is also an extraordinary person.”
“Sharon has amassed a long list of measurable and significant accomplishments but she does so much more than simply raising funds,” said Fred. “She is the office mediator and mother, giving everyone a big dose of compassion and tough love when needed; she makes sure that we celebrate the happy occasions and comfort others during the difficult and painful ones.” Read Fred’s full speech.
On behalf of the dozens of volunteers and board members who have worked with you at Ramah Darom, your co-workers and colleagues in the Ramah Movement, and all those who share in the vital work of assuring the continuity of Jewish identity, people and culture through transformative experiences, thank you and Yishar Kochech. You have shown us in your humble and gentle way what it means to be an outstanding professional. Congratulations.