CHELLE FRIEDMAN, a pillar of the Orange County Jewish community, announced her retirement at the Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) Annual Meeting & Board Installation last month. It marks the end of an amazing 40 years with JFFS and is the capstone in a lifetime of abundant service on behalf of the Jewish people.
The Friedman family has proudly been part of JFFS since its founding in 1965. Chelle’s husband Alan, of blessed memory, signed its charter and her sons, Scott and Roger, have grown up with its programs. Roger is now a member of the JFFS board.
Chelle recently shared, “Jewish Federation & Family Services has been an important part of our lives. I have been truly blessed to have worked with such an amazing group of talented and caring staff and volunteers who are building an innovative Jewish community for the future.”
Chelle came to California from the Midwest as an elementary school teacher in 1963. Later, she became a reading specialist with a private practice. In 1977, she began her extraordinary 40-year career as has a member of the senior staff of Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County, then known as “Jewish Federation Council of Orange County.”
Chelle has served our community in positions dealing with fundraising, leadership development, and community relations. She was founding director of the Israel Fair (later called “Israel Expo”), and held director positions for Women’s Division (now Women’s Philanthropy), JCRC (the Jewish Community Relations Committee), Young Leadership, and Planning & Funding.
More recently, Chelle has served as Director of Planned Giving & Endowments and the Laguna Woods Region. On both the Jewish Federation & Family Services’ and the entire community’s behalf, she has helped people plan bequests to non-profit organizations and institutions. She has been especially pivotal in securing significant estate gifts from many of Orange County’s most prominent Jewish philanthropists.
Beyond her impact on the work of Jewish Federation & Family Services, Chelle has served our community in myriad other ways including numerous volunteer positions at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, her congregation for over 50 years. She was a volunteer member of the KOCE-TV Advisory Board and chaired the Orange Unified School District Intercultural Education Commission for three years. As a founding member of the Catholic Jewish Dialog in Orange County, she coordinated the county’s first Catholic-Latino Seder. She also served as a chapter and region president and National Board member for ORT America (formerly Women’s American ORT).
“Chelle’s imprint on Orange County is far-reaching,” said Arlene Miller, President & CEO of Jewish Federation & Family Services. “We are so grateful that she has been an integral part of our past and present. We simply wouldn’t be where we are today without Chelle.”
Jewish Federation & Family Services is planning a celebration of Chelle’s contributions to our community in February; details will be shared on the Community Calendar (www.JewishOC.org/Calendar).