Ed Cushman returns to JCF as the campaign director

"It's going to be good to be back," said Ed Cushman about returning to the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, where he will serve as assistant executive director and campaign director. He succeeds Seth Moskowitz, who left the post on Friday of last week.

Cushman worked for the federation from 1980 to 1987 in a number of capacities.

He spent his first two years at the San Francisco JCF, dividing his time between the Young Adults Division (YAD) and the planning and allocations department. He later became the director of planning and allocations and then took the associate campaign director post. In his final year, he was the South Peninsula's regional director.

In 1987, he left San Francisco to serve as the campaign director for the Cleveland Jewish Community Federation for three years. And in 1991, he joined the Jewish Community Federation of Orange County as its chief executive director.

"My career has blended the best of a consistently stable and successful community like Cleveland with all the challenges of a spread-out, developing, unorthodox community like Orange County," said Cushman. "I think San Francisco has both of these trends in it. So there are a lot of possibilities for creativity and new ways to think about and organize the community."

Wayne Feinstein, JCF executive vice president, said Cushman's knowledge of the San Francisco Jewish community and past JCF boards along with his experience in the Orange County and Cleveland federations has readied him for his new role here.

"This experience has given him a depth of knowledge that will enrich his leadership role of our management and our campaign," Feinstein said.

During Cushman's tenure at the Orange County federation, there was a 30 percent increase in its annual campaign — from $1.6 million in 1991 to $2.1 million in 1998. He also opened a "community campus" that housed the federation, the Jewish Community Center, Hillel and the Bureau of Jewish Education.

Cushman and his wife, Sharon, both California natives, are quite familiar with the Bay Area. She is from the Oakland vicinity, and he moved to Berkeley in 1970.

Cushman and his wife plan to live in San Rafael with their children David, 14, and Yael, 11.

The JCF's '99 campaign is "well under way," said Feinstein, adding that Cushman has already taken some time this summer to meet JCF staff and volunteers and to work with Moskowitz to ensure a smooth transition.

Moskowitz has returned to his hometown of New York City and joined the Jewish National Fund as director of development. JNF is the official reforestation, land reclamation and agricultural development agency for the state of Israel.

Since joining the federation in July 1996, Moskowitz saw the campaign increase by $1.5 million — from $19 million in 1996 to this year's high of $20.5 million.

Moskowitz said that his greatest achievements with JCF's annual campaign were two-fold. "We were able to get our biggest donors to significantly increase their gifts, and YAD and the Women's Alliance emerged as major fund-raising forces."

Additional achievements included increasing donations from the Silicon Valley region, taking 100 JCF donors, board members and staff to Israel on the Israel at 50 Mission in April, and re-opening JCF's Sonoma office in July.

Feinstein said Moskowitz's strengths included "a good strategic sense and a great way with volunteers."