Secure Community Network National Director to Speak at Jewish Federation

by Eileen Freed


The community is invited to the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Ann Arbor’s 2019 Annual Meeting, Wednesday, June 5, 7:00 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center.

This year, Federation welcomes Michael Masters, National Director and CEO of the Secure Community Network (SCN) as its keynote speaker. Masters’ talk, Community Preparedness – Lessons After Pittsburgh, will provide important context around Jewish community security and preparedness in a time of increased anti-Semitism and attacks against houses of worship. SCN is the national homeland security initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America & the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Prior to joining SCN, Mr. Masters served as the Senior Vice President of The Soufan Group, a strategic advisory firm that assists organizations in the public and private sectors address emergent threats, and as the CEO of CivicScape, an advanced analytics company that provides risk assessments to public and private sector entities. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Cook County, Illinois, and as the Chief of Staff for the Chicago Police Department. A Truman and a Gates Cambridge Trust Scholar, Mr. Masters received his B.A. from the University of Michigan, MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Certified as a peace officer and a Special Weapons and Tactics operator, Mr. Masters continues to serve his community as a part-time police officer. Mr. Masters received an officer’s commission in the United States Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of Captain.

The Annual Meeting is when the community gathers to celebrate a year of accomplishments and to share Federation’s vision and plan for the future. It is also an opportunity to thank outgoing board members and welcome new leaders to its ranks.

This year, four valued and experienced board members will be recognized and appreciated for their service to the community.

Alan Brilliant has been on the board since 2012 and has ably served the community as board treasurer and finance committee chair. In addition, Alan served as chair of the Jewish Community Foundation which has seen renewed activity in the past year. Jennifer Lewis has been on the board since 2013, most recently serving as board governance chair. In that role, she shepherded the adoption of new Federation by-laws and focused greater attention on board process and evaluation. Federation was honored to have former president Hillary Murt join the board for a special one-year term as Vice President for 2018-19. Her historical perspective and leadership were invaluable during a year of transition.

Steve Gerber has served on the Federation board and as Campaign Chair since 2013 when he took the helm of the 2014 Annual Community Campaign. Steve’s commitment and dedication to the Ann Arbor Jewish community is immeasurable, and he will receive special recognition during the program.

“Our outgoing board members have demonstrated leadership, enthusiasm, creativity and thoughtfulness throughout their terms,” said Federation Board President Stephen Aronson. “We have benefited from their wisdom and dedication and wish them well as they pursue other ways to add value to the community.” A list of the incoming board for 2019-2020 may be viewed on the Federation website,

A traditional highlight of the Annual Meeting is the awarding of the Susan L. Lichter Memorial Scholarship for teen travel to Israel. This year’s recipients are Eva Zaientz and Renee Starosta. Selected by a committee whose members reviewed each applicant’s essays anonymously, these recipients demonstrated a clear sense of purpose and maturity. They will each share an excerpt from their essays at the event.

The Annual Meeting commences at 7:00 p.m. with light refreshments and schmooze time. Musical atmosphere will be provided by Ethan White, a freshman at Skyline and participant in the 2019 Ann Arbor/Nahalal Student Exchange. The official program will start at 7:30pm.

The Annual Meeting is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is recommended at For more information, please contact Isaac Ellis at or 734-773-3535.