Federation to Recognize Local Communal Leaders


Three shining stars of the local and global Jewish community will be honored with Federation’s 2012 Young Leadership Awards at the opening meeting of Federation’s Board of Trustees on Oct. 25.

Andrew L. Cherry, Shira J. Goodman and Rena N. Kopelman were selected as this year’s award winners based on their exemplary record of participation and performance in Jewish communal affairs, leadership within the Federation and involvement with other community and social service activities.

The winners were selected from a sizable pool of candidates by a nomination committee chaired by Federation President Sherrie R. Savett and comprised of past award winners.

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Andrew L. Cherry will receive the Myer and Rosaline ­Feinstein Young Leadership Award. Cherry is a CPA and a member of KPMG’s Tax Department in Philadelphia, specializing in all aspects of corporate income taxation. His clients include early, middle and late stage growth companies backed with private equity and venture capital; venture capital and private equity funds; and middle market public and private companies.

Cherry has served in leadership roles at Federation for nearly a decade. Currently, he is a member of Federation’s Board of Trustees and its Policy, Strategy and Funding Committee. Cherry fulfilled his role as Men’s Cabinet Chair this year. He has also been deeply involved in Federation’s Renaissance Group and held multiple leadership roles within the affinity. Cherry is in his final year as a member of the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet. He also is a Jewish Publishing Group board member.

Cherry, a Center City resident, also supports the secular community. He is an Advisory Committee member and treasurer of Students Run Philly Style, and is vice chair of the Board of The Enterprise Cen-ter.

“I first met Andy in 2006, when he led a mission to Israel in which my husband and I participated,” said Melissa Johnson, a Federation Women’s Philanthropy Board member. “We learned in Israel and over the years since what a phenomenal advocate and example to all of tikkun olam Andy represents.

“Andy has devoted himself to not only supporting the incredible mission of Jewish philanthropy through Federation, but has committed himself to helping others develop their com­mitment at Federation,” Johnson said.

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Shira J. Goodman will be  honored with the Mrs. Isidore Kohn Young Leadership Award. Goodman recently became the executive director of CeaseFirePA, a network of communities, survivors and citizens who are dedicated to taking a stand against gun violence. Prior to that, Goodman was deputy director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, a non-profit non-­partisan organization working to reform Pennsylvania’s courts.

According to Goodman, her volunteer and professional activities are united by the theme of advocacy, and she strongly believes that advocacy is a critical part, along with tzedakah and tikkun olam, of the work of national and local federation volunteers. She is a member of JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet.

Locally, she is a member of Federation’s Board of Trustees, Center for Jewish Life and Learn­ing Board and the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Policy Board. Goodman also serves on the Women’s Philanthropy Board, and Women of Vision’s Leadership Cabinet. She is also on the board of the Jewish Publishing Group.

Goodman is married to Dr. Alan Woronoff, who co-chairs Federation’s Health Care Affinity Network. They live in Dresher and have two sons, Jason and Brandon.

“Anytime I have asked Shira to take a lead position, she does so with vigor and efficiency,” said Susan Schwartz, Women’s Philanthropy president. “This past year she co-chaired our sem­inar series and, as a result, we had the highest attendance to date. I truly wish we had more young leaders like Shira who step up and support our Jewish community every day, in many different ways.”

“As a practicing attorney in the field of public interest, Shira strikes the right balance between family, work and giving back,” said Renée Sackey, immediate past chair of Women of Vision. “She adds an important voice to our Jewish community because of her professional back­ground, commitment to the Jewish community and connection with the younger generation of leadership.”

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Rena N. Kopelman will receive the Jack Goldenberg Young Leadership Award. Kop­elman is an active participant in the Philadelphia non-profit community and is an advocate for Jewish identity-building programs. She co-chairs Federation’s Center for Jewish Life and Learn­ing, along with Lew Gantman, and is a member of Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy Board.

She is also a longtime member of Federation’s Women of Vision, having served on its cabinet for many years. Kopelman is also a member of the Perelman Jewish Day School’s Board of Directors and serves on its executive and development committees.

“Rena epitomizes what a leader is,” said Gail Norry, chair of National Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federations of North America. “She is a fabulous team player, yet knows how to lead the way. She is smart, generous and dedicated. The Philadelphia Jewish community is lucky to have her.”

“Rena Kopelman has been a fantastic Center for Jewish Life and Learning co-chair,” said Brian Mono, director of the Center. “She brings a sharp mind and boundless energy to the position. Rena has spent literally hundreds of hours each year attending meetings, reviewing proposals and helping to make the tough decisions about which Jewish-identity programs are funded by Federation.”

Kopelman and her husband, Josh, created the Kopelman Foundation to pursue venture philanthropy by funding early-stage, entrepreneurial, social projects. They were also founding members of Chesed Venture, and are members of the newly created Acharai Fund.

She practiced corporate law and was a consultant to several non-profit women’s organizations before devoting her energies to family and volunteerism. The Kopelmans live in Gladwyne with their two children, Elana and Jacob.


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