Journalist and author David Gregory keynotes MEGA 2018

The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix hosts MEGA 2018 on Thursday, Feb. 15. The event features television journalist and author David Gregory.

Best known for his nearly 20 years at NBC News, Gregory moderated “Meet the Press” for six years and served as chief White House correspondent during George W. Bush’s presidency. He is now a political analyst on CNN and the host of his self-titled podcast, featuring interviews with newsmakers and thought leaders. His critically acclaimed memoir How’s Your Faith? shares his attempts to deepen his own faith amid the rough-and-tumble of broadcast news.

Jerome and Anita Gutkin

In addition to keynotes, the Federation will present its 2017 Medal of Honor and inaugural Harold & Jean Grossman Awards.

MEGA is co-chaired this year by Anita and Jerome Gutkin and Sasha and Ben Ellis. Although she was not part of the selection committee for the keynote speaker this year, Anita Gutkin has been part of the process in the past. “We always try to choose someone who is relevant to Jewish values, has an interesting point of view and is committed to furthering the glory of the Jewish community,” she says.

Anita is looking forward to the event because it unites the entire community. “At this point and time we hear a lot about the splintering of the community, but Federation is an organization that attempts to bring in all the denominations, all the branches of Jews, into one cohesive community. I am excited about the prospect of furthering that goal.,” she says.

Ben and Sasha Ellis

This is Anita’s last season on the board of the Federation, and although she has chaired other events, this is her first time chairing the MEGA event.

Ben Ellis got involved this past year with the Federation’s Real Estate & Finance Division of the Business & Professionals Group. “There is a push to get the next generation involved,” he says. “I Joined the board this year and joined the marketing committee, and that was a good entrée in getting more involved with Federation.”

He explains that the Federation does so many different things for so many different people that what the Federation does can often get muddled. “It’s been good for someone of the ‘younger generation’ to dive deep and understand, in a more meaningful way, all of the things that Federation does and what the mission is.”

When the opportunity arose for he and his wife Sasha to co-chair the event, Ben gladly accepted. “The Gutkins are amazing people, and we are excited for Mr. Gregory to come and speak. He will offer some wonderful insights for our community.”

The event will be held at a new venue this year, the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas. “This new venue will offer a refreshing experience and a new outlook,” says Anita.

MEGA 2018
When: Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 pm reception; 7:30 pm program
Where: Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas, 6333 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Tickets: $100 couvert per person; a special pre-event VIP dinner with David Gregory is also available.
Information: Registration required by Feb.7; visit

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