President, Samuel G. Kaplan
Samuel Kaplan calls himself “a serial entrepreneur,” and he’s a good one, having started, operated and sold seven successful businesses in diverse fields that span transportation, warehousing and information technology. He is a member of the World Presidents Organization, yet business doesn’t define the man. Family and Community are at the center of Sam’s world.
Jewish communal work is itself a family affair, one that Sam and his wife Leslie have pursued with gusto since meeting and falling in love at University of Pennsylvania Hillel four decades ago. In Sam’s words:
“When Leslie and I were younger, we thought of our involvement in the Jewish Community as a way to help others and as a social activity. As we matured and prospered, it also became a way to give back, in grateful return for our measure of good luck.
But somewhere along the way, we realized that we had become connected in a very different way. Agency by agency, organization by organization, we had become ‘users’ of the very services and programs that we had helped to support via donations or as volunteers.
Four generations of our family have been significantly and directly touched by our Community. Our son Joseph attended summer camp as a special needs camper at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, and he now lives in a home of the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes. Seth and Philip, our two eldest sons, were elementary school students at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Our grandson Jonah attends preschool at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, and our grandson Jacob attends the Gesher Jewish Day School. My mother enjoyed the last five years of her life as a resident of the Hebrew Home, and my father lived for years in Revitz House. Leslie and I find friendship and enlightening lessons of faith at Ohr Kodesh Congregation. And over the years, time and again, we have called upon the Jewish Council for the Aging and the Jewish Social Service Agency for information and assistance. They never let us down.
It does, in fact, take a Community with a capital “C” to educate a Jewish child, to enable a disabled adult to live independently in a Jewish environment, and to care for aging parents with dignity. Leslie and I now clearly understand this, and we feel that our Jewish Community has given to us far more than we could ever give to it.”
Sam is the recipient of many well-deserved honors including The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Young Leadership Award and, with Leslie, the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes’ inaugural Janice W. Goldsten Award as well as the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Breslau-Goldman Award of 2012. He is Chairman of The Jewish Federation’s Community-wide Transportation Initiative. And he is Financial Secretary of the Jewish Community Relations Council and a member of its Executive Committee.
On September 10, 2012, Sam became the 21st president of the Jewish Council for the Aging, an agency that he has supported by generous gifts and “sweat equity” for nearly all of its 39 years. He served as JCA’s First Vice President in the 2011-2012 term.
“As JCA’s President,” said Sam, “I will focus my work on coordination across Jewish Federation agencies and on growing transportation services and intergenerational programs, which are not only fields of JCA expertise but are also essential to aging well in our rapidly aging community and nation. At the same time, I will strive to ensure that JCA is financially sound and has a strong administrative base. We cannot forget that to honor our parents we must also honor the organizations they built.”
Chief Executive Officer, David Gamse
David Gamse is a gerontologist who has served as the Chief Executive Officer of JCA -- the Jewish Council for the Aging -- since 1990, where he plays a pivotal role in creating and managing innovative and cost-effective programs that help seniors thrive. More than 50 staff and 700 volunteers rely on his leadership, and together they serve more than 31,000 older adults and family caregivers each year through transportation services, senior employment programs, intergenerational activities, adult day care, public information services and more. Concurrently, David serves as CEO of the National Center for Productive Aging, JCA’s consulting arm.
Over the years, David has led workshops and symposia on issues of aging and nonprofit management for a wide range of public and private organizations including the American Management Association, the White House Conference on Aging and the U.S. Department of Labor. He has represented U.S. policy on aging at international conferences of the United Nations and Israeli Gerontological Society. He has authored many articles about productive aging and service delivery.
Prior to joining JCA, David was a senior manager at AARP, a multi-million-member association. Earlier, he was an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Florida's Aging Studies Program, from which he graduated and from which he later received the Eminent Graduate Award. David is also a recipient of the Florida Board of Regents' Distinguished Scholarship Award the Seabury Leadership in Aging Award.
David is a member of the American Society of Association Executives, the Gerontological Society of America, the National Council on Aging, the Executive Directors & Headmasters Council of Jewish Agencies in the metro Washington, D.C. region, and the Workforce Investment Board of Montgomery County, Maryland.
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