Community Spotlight: Sharyn Effress Pesses

A message from Sharyn Effress Pesses on her retirement


My Dear Friends,

It is with mixed emotions that I write this letter. For those who don’t already know, I have decided to retire from the St. Paul Jewish Federation effective Dec. 31, 2021.

Almost 24 years ago, Sam Asher hired me to be the volunteer coordinator for the St. Paul JCC, Jewish Family Service of St. Paul and the Federation. Six months later, I became the women’s division director, maintaining that position for 21 years. 

Times changed and many Federations around the country including ours went to one campaign, one gift, one household. At that time, I became the associate development director, and I have maintained that position to date. 

I cannot tell you how much I have loved my job, the staff I have worked with, and most of all, our donors and our committed community members who have worked so hard to maintain the strength and vitality of our beloved Jewish community of St. Paul. You have been ”the wind beneath my wings.” 

You have given me the strength and determination to build a very strong women’s division, at one point raising over one-third of the total dollars for the Annual Campaign. This year, we’ve already raised more funds for our community than we have in years, and it’s a testament to what we can do together. 

I want to thank all of you for your support and your continued confidence in me to help you grow our Annual Campaign and to grow our community each and every year through the Federation and its beneficiary agencies.  It has been my sincere pleasure to work with so many of you these past 24 years. You have taught me a great deal, and I will never forget my time at the St. Paul Jewish Federation. 

It is now time for the next generation to take the helm. I have total confidence that our Federation will continue on the upward trend it has begun with Dan Mogelson and Amy Yoelin leading us onward. Amy, as our new financial resource development associate, will be working  closely with Dan to ensure the continued success of our Annual Campaign and our other resource development efforts that support a vibrant, inclusive Jewish community in St. Paul.

I wish all of you great happiness and pride in the community in which we live. Todah rabah, thank you from the bottom of my heart for my years here. I will never forget them.

Warmest regards,
Sharyn Effress Pesses


If you would like to make a tribute in honor of Sharyn, please click here.