Diane Cohen Zack Kol Shofar Volunteer Leadership Award
Honoring Mark Friedman
Many of us know Mark as the Annual High Holy Day Campaign Maestro. If you don’t know his face, you likely know Mark’s voice as he boldly goes where others dread to tread – the fundraising phone call. For many years, he has been our fearless leader of this vital effort, not only making countless cheerful calls, but happily bringing along many cohorts of callers over the years – training, encouraging, and praising. Lest you think that his commitment to the financial sustainability of our community is limited to the Annual Campaign, he also helps with the Capital Campaign and Gala. If you’ve ever won the gift certificate from the Dipsea Café, you can thank Mark – he gets that donation every year.
What you may not know about Mark is his faithful, yet quiet presence at Shabbat morning services and his understanding of the importance of everyone feeling welcome and included. Always aware of faces new to the community, Mark can often be found seeking out those new faces, welcoming them, and helping to ensure they find a meaningful path into the Kol Shofar community. Mark often contacts the rabbis or staff to ensure that someone has found their place. It’s not a “position” or something anyone has asked him to do. He just feels that is what’s needed and does it.
When he’s not volunteering at Kol Shofar, he carves out time for his day job. Mark ran his own hedge fund firm from 1993 – 2007; continues to manage his own investments; and runs an internship program (mbfcapmgmt.com) each summer for a small group of youngsters passionate about the art of investing. After 12 years in Boston, it was a job that brought Mark to Marin in 1989 where he was raised and “learned Jewish” in that wonderful Jewish community.
Mark has been at Kol Shofar since 1993. His three adult children – Jordan, Avra, and Sarah Rose –grew up at Kol Shofar and became b’nei mitzvah-ed here.
Mark also loves traveling, reading, cycling, and playing tennis. A word of warning, though, don’t be lured onto the tennis court with him. Like all things Mark, he is very humble. But, don’t be fooled. He truly loves the game, spends hours on the court, if he’s not on the court is talking about when he will be playing next, and well … is really good.
Mark attributes his passion and enjoyment of fundraising and volunteer work as a value instilled in him by his parents and family members going back generations. As he was taught this sense of tzedakah and obligation to the community, he is practicing and teaching others. We are so blessed to have Mark as a part of this community and are thrilled to be honoring him with this award.