On December 13, 2018, at the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey’s Annual Meeting, the Federation membership nominated, voted on, and installed Cheryl Markbreiter of Ocean Township as president for the 2019/2020 term. She succeeds Jeff Schwartz of Kendall Park, who served as president in 2017 and 2018.
When Schwartz passed the gavel to Markbreiter, cheers rang out through the packed ballroom in recognition that one of the Federation’s longest-serving, most hands-on, multi-qualified, and most selfless leaders was now in the top volunteer leadership slot.
Cheryl has 21 years of Federation leadership experience as a board member and 8 years as an officer, serving as Monmouth’s Treasurer and Secretary, each for two years, then Heart of NJ’s Secretary for four years. Cheryl first became involved in 1997 with the Monmouth Federation’s TLC Program – Tomorrow’s Leadership Council.
For 21 years, Cheryl has served on the overseas allocations and local allocations committees. Additional roles have included chairing many years’ Super Sunday fundraising telethons and Camp Grant committees, serving on the finance committee, and working tirelessly behind the scenes as the unsung hero of the Women’s Philanthropy Main Event committee.
“Our community is fortunate that such dedicated leaders as Jeff Schwartz, Cheryl Markbreiter, and our entire executive committee (EC), board, and leaders’ council are committed to the collective needs in Jewish life,” said Susan Antman, who assumes the top professional job of Executive Director on January 1, 2019. “They selflessly give of their time, talent, and teamwork on behalf of others, so the community can better care for the vulnerable, invest in a strong future, respond when crisis strikes, and much more.
Cheryl has proven herself a true leader; we look forward to her multi-dimensional experience guiding us into our next chapter of success, strengthening the Jewish community today and for the future. Equally, we are very grateful to Jeff Schwartz for his service as president, and his continued service in the new year as the head of financial resource development.”
True to Markbreiter’s humble and principled nature, Cheryl insists “it’s not about who’s president. It’s about the elderly neighbor who can live in dignity at home because of our support. It’s about the family suffering from mental health issues that gets help because of us. It’s about the teenager developing into a leader for the Jewish community’s next generation because of us. It’s about the Jews gathering in more secure places because of us, investing in a stronger Jewish future because of us...
It’s about the people who NEED help, the people who CAN help, and our role in bringing them together. The work is bigger than any one person – and so is our impact.”
In addition to her board and EC leadership work, Cheryl is well-known around the Federation office as a valued, hands-on teammate to the professional staff, according to Antman. “She is often on-site, rolling up her sleeves and digging in to what needs to get done in her quiet, commanding, and collegial way.”
Cheryl says she comes from “a volunteer family,” adding her mom did volunteer work for many organizations. Though, as a child, Cheryl could not envision herself following suit, she attributes her involvement in Federation to the example her mother set. She is proud of the Federation programs enabling kids today to learn tzedakah, service, and social action from strong community role models.
Markbreiter is pleased to share her commitment to Federation with her husband of 30 years, Lance, and her two adult children, Sydney and Carly.