On this Shabbat sandwiched between Mother's Day and Father's Day, I've found myself thinking about the value of family. In this day and age, families come in all shapes and stripes. Some have mother and father figures they honor. Others remember a parent who may no longer be in our lives. And so family sometimes becomes the people who are part of our daily lives: friends, colleagues, neighbors, or others in the community we build for ourselves.
Last week, Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) proudly applauded a member of our family -- Eileen Garbutt, our longtime and beloved Director of Women's Philanthropy, as she stepped into retirement after decades of service to our community. Eileen spent seventeen years at JFFS. In a time when people often bounce from job to job every few years, this is truly uncommon. So, I believe those seventeen years come down to two things: (1) work ethic and (2) a dedication to – a genuine belief – in our cause. Of course, it’s more than seventeen years. It’s also the many more years before that when Eileen was a volunteer leader. Indeed, for all her years of service, and much more, we are forever grateful to Eileen.
Eileen has given her heart and soul to “her women” and to this community. She has left the ultimate legacy in the leaders she has helped to nurture and grow. So, Eileen will always be part of our JFFS family. Hers will be big shoes to fill. We intend to make her proud and see through her vision for Women’s Philanthropy and Jewish Orange County.
Eileen with members of the Board of Directors at a champagne farewell toast last week.