Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Board Spotlight

Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services would like to introduce you to our Board of Directors.  Board Spotlight will feature new Board members in each issue.  In this inaugural article, we are pleased to introduce you to David Delrahim, Esq. and Jared Abelman.

David Delrahim, Esq.

If it were not for the conviction to work for a just society and to improve the lives of those living in this society, the world would be a lesser place.  Few people take this to heart like David Delrahim has.  He plays an active role in a number of organizations and is a committed volunteer, philanthropist, and recently elected member of the Board of Directors at Gulf Coast.  David is an attorney at Englander Fischer in St Petersburg where he practices Business and Real Estate Litigation. David was elected to the Gulf Coast Board in July 2012.  “Barbara Sterensis introduced me to the agency and encouraged me to find out more and get involved.  I learned that Gulf Coast is an important part of the Jewish community in Pinellas and Pasco Counties but is also one of the area’s largest social service agencies, serving thousands of people each year throughout the state.  Programs like the Non Custodial Parent Employment Program that helps fathers who have lost custody of their children find and keep jobs so they can pay child supports is innovative and focuses on self-reliance rather than state assistance.  Helping those who need a hand up not a hand out, is something that appealed to me and I was excited to become a Board member.  Since then, I have learned so much more about the refugees we help bring to the United States and the Holocaust survivors we help.  That underlying philosophy of Tikkun Olam is one of my core values and it is the essence of Gulf Coast’s mission”, David said in a recent interview.

David is originally from Chicago but moved to Pinellas when he attended Stetson Law School where he was president of the Jewish Law Students Association.  Pursuing a career in law was not always in the cards for David.  He and his best friend founded and owned a DJ company while in high school, playing at weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs.  His love of music led him to major in Radio and Television at the University of Central Florida and work at WLOQ, a smooth jazz station in Winter Park, Florida.  While working there he realized that law was really his passion and received his Juris Doctor in Law in 2008.   David is on the Board of the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties and on the Executive Board of Menorah Manor.  David is engaged to Heather Sconnely with a May wedding planned.


Jared Abelman

The Jewish proverb, “It is not what one says but rather what one does that makes all the difference in the world”, aptly describes Jared Abelman.  On the Gulf Coast Board since 2010, our youngest board member gives back to the community, near and far in many ways and lives Tikkun Olam.  Jared is a St Petersburg native who has lived in New York and London and includes a love of travel among his passions.  He graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in Public Policy and Finance.   He is a securities trader with American Municipal Securities and was with Citigroup’s Forex division before that.  “When I came back to live in St Pete, to be closer to family, I knew it was my civic and religious duty to make a strong impact in the community.  I was familiar with Gulf Coast already, having been raised here, but I didn’t know how much of a difference the agency makes with the whole community.  I have been fortunate enough to have some time and financial resources to help out where I can”, commented Jared.  Indeed he has.  Jared is on Gulf Coast’s Finance Committee, was on the FACES Gala Committee and visits our programs and clients when he can.  He has co-chaired fundraising events at Shorecrest Preparatory School and sits on its Alumni Association Board, and has volunteered at Temple Beth-El’s Art Festival, among other volunteer activities.

“One of the most important things that everyone should know about Gulf Coast is that it understands its core mission to the Jewish Community and the newly opened Harvey Hertz Jewish Family Services Center is a testament to that but also that the organization’s reach extends far beyond that.  Gulf Coast helps you no matter who you are.”


Our Board of Directors are: Barbara Sterensis, Chair; Jay Miller, Vice-Chair; Rabbi Gary Klein, Secretary; David Pilkington, Treasurer; Jared Abelman, Judy Benjamin, Dr. David Bernstein, David Delrahim Esq., Todd Foster, Esq., Emily Gurtman, Anthony Holloway, William Israel, Julie Klavans, Susan Levy, Steve Raymund, Jan Sher, Joyce Tawil, Lisa Titen, Terri Ziegler

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