Today is August 18, 2019 -
August 14, 1993 — First Shabbat morning walking to shul with my new bride.
A man came up behind us, started chatting, and welcomed us to the community.
Fifteen minutes later, I was volunteering for a new young-adult committee.
This was my first introduction to Dan Flax, and I’m sure that there are scores of people in our community who can share a similar story.
I knew that I’d have to write this article someday, and I’ve really been dreading it. After 40+ years in the field, most of it in Northeastern New York, Dan will be calling it a career at the end of the year.
Over the past four decades, Dan Flax has raised millions of dollars for our Jewish community and the Jewish people worldwide. He has welcomed dozens of people to the community and taught them about all of the wonderful things that Federation supports. Dan’s creative and innovative programs have earned him the respect of colleagues around the country, and he often consults with rookies in the field and presents at national conferences. He was here when our Albany and Schenectady federations merged, and he saw the further expansion/inclusion of Troy, the North Country, Columbia & Greene counties, and most recently Fulton County.
Plans are underway for a major community-wide celebration of Dan’s career. It will, of course, be a fundraiser, because Dan wouldn’t want it any other way. We’re looking at some time this spring, after our snowbirds return. Meanwhile, everyone should start thinking about his and her own “How-I-met-Dan-and-how-he-got-me-involved” story, so that we can collect them for a journal to help him remember his amazing career. I will update you on event details when they are available.
To my friend, neighbor, mentor, and colleague, I hope you get some well-deserved rest, and I wish you all the best in your retirement.