US Futures leader hands over baton


Chair and founder of US Futures, Gaby Morris, is to step down after six years. She will be handing the leadership baton on to US trustee Claire Lemer who takes on the role of lay leader with responsibility for Tribe and Young US.

David Collins, director of Young People and Young Families Division at the US with responsibility for Tribe and Young US commented: “What Gaby has done with US Futures is to turn the passion that many share for building our Jewish future into tangible support for our activity. Although they may not realise it, thousands of young Jews’ lives have been touched by the work of Gaby and US Futures.”

No stranger to communal activity, Ms Morris, a member of Western Marble Arch synagogue, is a former chair of New West End Synagogue, a founder board member of American Friends of BICOM, AJC New York board member and was responsible for establishing the US Chesed Bursary Fund. Working with a dedicated committee of volunteers and professionals, Ms Morris created US Futures as a fundraising vehicle that transformed the way the United Synagogue fundraised for its youth.

Explaining the motivation behind US Futures, Ms Morris said: “Securing our youth’s connection to their heritage is absolutely essential. We have a real duty to engage the next generation and that has inspired all the work of US Futures.”

Under her leadership, the range of innovative and fundraising events has included everything from a chocolate and wine evening to the nationally reported Conversation with German international and Arsenal star Per Mertesacker and sports journalist and author Raphael Honigstein.

“We’ve never been afraid to do something a little different,” she added. “Having a dozen rabbis tied together to take part at the Maccabi Community Fun Run captured so many people’s imagination in a light-hearted way. More importantly, we raised a lot of money to support our youth.”

Ms Lemer said: “Gaby led the way in making donor support for our community’s youth an integral part of Tribe’s work. Where US Futures led, the strategy of the US has followed; her vision has had a huge impact on the future direction of our organisation. As we continue her great work, we all owe her an enormous debt of gratitude.”

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