Memphis Jewish Community Center

“I think that we are all devastated at what’s going on in Ukraine, and it’s hard to sit and watch what’s happening and feel like there is nothing that we personally can do to help. I just know that for anyone who has been wanting to do something, you can now accomplish this while also having a fun night with your friends by attending this event,” said Jamie Klazmer, a planning committee member of FedLED’s upcoming event, A Night in Tel Aviv.

On May 22nd at 7:30 P.M. Memphis Jewish Federation’s Young Adult Leadership, Engagement, and Development initiative (FedLED) will be hosting A Night in Tel Aviv at the Herbert and Mary Shainberg Lobby of the Memphis Jewish Community Center. This young adult fundraiser will include a night filled with live music, Israeli-themed mezzo plates and desserts, a signature cocktail, local craft beer, and a silent auction. Tickets are $50 in advance and $70 at the door, with event proceeds going to support Ukrainian Jews through Memphis Jewish Federation’s strategic global partnerships.

“We see this as an opportunity for young adults to join as a community and throw an exciting gathering, a way to engage our peers in the Jewish community, and as a way to help provide aid to the Jews in Ukraine,” said Ellee Breit, another planning committee member. “Memphis is a place where the people will make you feel at home, and I think that attendees are really going to notice that when they come to this event and make new connections with each other and come together to make a positive difference in the world.”

Event attendees can look forward to musical stylings by DJ Wurz, local craft brew sponsored by Hampline Brewing Company, kosher wine provided by Gaslight Wine & Spirits, and signature cocktails sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Exciting auction items include an autographed Memphis Grizzlies basketball, gift certificates from Joseph’s and King Furs, a kosher sushi experience for four in your home with Marisa Baggett, and much more!

Attendees will also be entered to win round-trip airfare on Memphis Jewish Federation’s upcoming Young Adult Israel Adventure.

“As a planner, it’s exciting to get together with the rest of the committee and put on something that hasn’t been done in a long time while simultaneously trying to make it a fun thing for everyone. There are going to be lots of activities, cool prizes, and we are trying to bring lots of aspects of Israel into the décor for an immersive experience,” said Jamie.

Jamie and Elle have been close friends for many years now and both have strong ties to the Jewish community here. Nowadays, the two are both young mothers and feel like the timing is right to begin giving back to a community which has given them so much.

“A lot of us grew up here and had parents that were really involved in the community, even grandparents. As children, many of us might have fantasized about becoming more involved one day. It seemed like those plans had kind of gone on hold when COVID happened and people our age did not get the opportunity to hop right in. So, when this opportunity presented itself to us, we all jumped at the opportunity to be involved in making it happen for our peers,” said Ellee.

Thank you to the entire host committee for planning this event: Jaclyn Marshall (Chair), Maureen Baum, Ellee Breit, Jamie Klazmer, Emily Lennon, Lindsey Reef, and Farryl Silver.

There is no reason to wait! Get your tickers for A Night in Tel Aviv today! A Night in Tel Aviv (

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The Memphis Jewish Community Center in partnership with Memphis Jewish Federation held its inaugural “Pickleball Palooza” weekend to benefit the Wendy & Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service, an event with the goal of bringing community members together for an action-packed weekend full of fun, excitement, and pickleball! Over the course of these three days, over 200 participants competed in and/or attended the different events.

Congratulations to the tournament champions: Margo Gruen and Karen Karmel in Women’s Doubles, Cody and Steve Gubin in Men’s Doubles, Lisa Silver and Peter Lindy in Mixed Doubles, and Jody Franklin in Singles. In addition to the over thirty sponsors and many in-kind donations of raffle prizes from local businesses (recognized below), special thanks are due to Robin and Billy Orgel who facilitated and coordinated bringing in the pickleball professional and to Stacy and Jerry Siegler who were a primary sponsor of the weekend.

As an integral part of the Jewish community, the Wendy & Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service at the Memphis Jewish Community Center provides an array of compassionate social services and a connection to any additional services needed. FJFS forms collaborative relationships with clients, to enhance well-being and help them thrive. They approach this mission with the highest level of responsibility, professionalism, and integrity. Learn more here.

Thank You to Pickleball Palooza 2021 Sponsors and Donors:

Stacy and Jerry Siegler, Robin and Billy Orgel

Jolie and Michael Kisber, Sharon and Michael Goldstein

Risa, Steve Baer and family, Jill and David Buring, Suzanne and Scott Baum, Hallie and Marc Charney, Janis and Pat Finan, Karen and Jody Franklin, Lisa and Jonathan Frisch, Dorothy Goldwin, Margo and Todd Gruen, Jan and Mark Hanover, Daniela Kaplan, Karen, Doug Karmel and family, Aileen and Michael Leavitt, Betsy and Steve Libby, Jeri and Mitch Moscovitz, Jill and Scott Notowich, Erin Ostrow, Rose and Erwin Ostrow, Jan and Marc Reisman, Janice and Jimmy Ringel, Debbie Rosenthal/Cruise One, Debra and Alex Saharovich, Laurie and Elkan Scheidt, Scott Segal, Louise and Jerry Sklar, Kimberlee and Scott Strome, Patti and Bill Weiss, Marcia Ann and Mike Weiss


Paddletek, The Dink, Gamma Sports, String ‘n Swing, Dazzle, Dinstuhls, Josephs, Lululemon, Staks, Siskind Susser Immigration Lawyers

Torchy’s Tacos, Rob Henson’s Salon, One and Only BBQ, Kaufman’s Shoes, Ugly Mug, Margo Rebecca, Athleta, Southall Cafe, MJCC

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By Emma Figarsky

Memphis Jewish Federation and the Jewish Foundation of Memphis have both received a Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, which is the highest possible rating. Charity Navigator is the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. Federation and Foundation are currently two of twelve Four-Star charities in the Mid-South and remain among the highest rated nonprofits in the industry, with a score of 96.57 out of 100.

“Between our two organizations, we work with hundreds of donors and hundreds of charitable organizations. This ranking speaks volumes about the professionalism and dedication of our staff and leadership in making sure every dollar is making maximum impact,” said Irvin Skopp, Treasurer/Secretary of the Executive Committee of Jewish Community Partners, which operates both Federation and Foundation.

Charity Navigator rates charities by evaluating two broad areas of performance: financial health, and accountability and transparency. These ratings show donors how efficiently a charity uses their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time, and their level of commitment to being accountable and transparent.

“For decades, the Federation and Foundation have provided ways for charitably minded members of the Memphis Jewish community to support the most critical needs of Jewish families as well as achieve their personal philanthropic goals,” said Laura Linder, President and CEO of Jewish Community Partners. “Being recognized as a top-tier charitable organization is such an honor.  With all of the charitable choices donors have, this ranking helps to remind our supporters as well as the broader Memphis Jewish community that we are a trusted philanthropic partner.”  

This ranking signifies that both Memphis Jewish Federation and the Jewish Foundation of Memphis exceed industry standards and outperform most charities in their area of work. They have been recognized for adhering to best practices while executing their mission in a financially efficient way. To learn how to make a gift to Federation’s Annual Community Campaign or open a fund at the Jewish Foundation, visit

Pictured above: Anthony Morrison, Jewish Foundation of Memphis Chair; Laura Linder, Jewish Community Partners President & CEO; Cindy Finestone, Memphis Jewish Federation Chair; and Ken Steinberg, Jewish Community Partners Chair, at the 2019 Jewish Community Partners Annual Meeting, one of the last in-person events before the pandemic. The hard and careful work of staff and lay leaders, as well as the generous involvement of hundreds of donor families in Jewish Memphis, contributed to a Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for Federation and Foundation.

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Spring cleaning, or cleaning for Passover, is a common annual event. What’s one thing that made preparing for Passover, and spring, different this year? Memphis Jewish Federation’s PJ Library Book Drop & Swap! Over the course of a week, families donate their gently used children’s books, culminating in a Book Swap event under the MJCC Pavilion, Sunday, March 14.

Thanks to many volunteers, and event chair and PJ Library Committee member Amy Collier, over 1,000 books were sorted and displayed for families to select for free, along with a special PJ Library Memphis Passover Fun Kit that included a craft, game, and more!

Shaina Zakalik, parent of three PJ Library kids, stopped by with her family to browse books. “The book swap was such a GREAT event!  We had such a great time and left with so many good books,” she said.  “The kids were so happy!  I hope you will make this an annual or even semi-annual event. We have a ton of books I can donate to the next one.”

“The kids have loved the books. Some we have been reading as bedtime books, and others the kids have simply picked up to read or look at on their own,” said Wendy Kleinman, parent of two PJ Library children. “They were especially fascinated by Jean Lafitte: The Pirate Who Saved America, so a big thank you to whoever donated that one! We haven’t read them all yet but I was really grateful for the opportunity to pick up some new books for free, both Jewish and secular, that I thought would interest our children.”

The remaining books will be donated to free libraries, and thanks to volunteer Jamie Magdovitz Johnson, many were donated to the Black Clergy Collaborative of Memphis, among other organizations. 

If your child is not already enrolled in PJ Library, a free program that sends Jewish-themed books to children from 0-12 years every month, we hope you’ll sign them up: If you have any questions, email Federation’s Miriam Roochvarg at

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In a strangely disconnected year, Dot Bilsky has relied on her long affiliation with the Memphis Jewish Federation Lions of Judah as a way to stay connected to the people and places she loves in Jewish Memphis.

“I became a Lion because my husband signed me up, and I am very grateful he did. With the support of Federation, Lion of Judah identifies needs and gives people like me a chance to do the most good with greater impact,” she said. “And now with the pandemic, the Lions are even more active because there’s more need. We respond to what’s out there. That’s what it means to be part of this sisterhood.”

A long-time Lion, Dot serves on the LOJ Tikkun Olam Committee, serves on Federation’s Senior Services Collaborative, is involved in her synagogue, and has even become something of a volunteer IT support professional for an expanding circle of friends and acquaintances during the quarantine. She has a habit of stepping in to help others meet needs and is grateful for the many opportunities provided to make a difference.

She offers the Lion’s recent Baby Shower initiative as an example of how she benefits from her connections. Led by the Tikkun Olam Committee, the Shower was launched to help Wendy & Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service at the Memphis Jewish Community Center stock its brand-new Baby Pantry, designed to ensure families in the community have access to the essentials needed to care for babies and young children.

“The Baby Shower proves my point about what Federation does for me as a Lion. I didn’t know there were babies in our community needing help, nor could I have done anything about it without the support of Federation and the Lions,” she said. “We got the word out and took in an enormous amount of supplies for the Baby Pantry. That’s the Lions. They want to do things that help. And when you ask them, they go above and beyond.”

Dot had another first-hand glimpse of the connecting power of Federation as a peripheral player in this summer’s Tech Buddy initiative, designed to help seniors in the community stay connected through technology. 

“Part of my job at Memphis City Schools and later with Apple Computers was to help people use computers in the classroom,” she said. “I got involved helping people with their new Federation-provided iPads through the back door. I’m in a book club and two of the people couldn’t participate.  I made pictures of ipad screens and added arrows to show where to click and how to get to the home screen, the mail envelope, and how to read an email or join a Zoom meeting. Word got out and people asked me to help with different things. The initial training they got from the Tech Buddy was excellent, but I was able to help them do new things they wanted to learn.”

“Just yesterday I helped a friend of mine get online because she wanted to join a Beth Sholom seniors discussion group on Zoom,” she said. “We were going down the projects that Beth Sholom had planned and while she was scanning through the list, she said: ‘Oh my gosh, Baron Hirsch is making sandwiches- we always did that.’”

“I said ‘Yeah, but this year people are doing it from home.’ She said ‘I want to do it!’  So she helped Baron Hirsch make sandwiches.”

Ultimately, Dot’s connection to the community through the Lions is precious to her, and something she doesn’t take for granted. It’s through this sisterhood that she is able to satisfy her urge to help people in the community in a meaningful way.

“I’ve helped with things that I didn’t even know were problems before Federation directed us there,” she said.  “As Lions, we not only want to give money, we want to be involved.  That’s how a lot of the women feel.  The Federation identifies needs and organizes us to make a bigger impact.  I am most grateful for what Federation and the Lions do for me and others like myself.”

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Momentum is swelling behind a group of young adults – some new to Memphis, others born and raised here – committed to Memphis Jewish Federation’s efforts to care for, connect, and engage Jewish people of all ages through a wide array of programs and services.

Formerly known as YAD (the Young Adult Division of Memphis Jewish Federation) FedLED emerged this year after a strategic rebranding process. Driven by young professional volunteer leaders from the Memphis Jewish community, FedLED’s work focuses on leadership, education, and fundraising. FedLED Co-Chairs Jaclyn Marshall and Martin Klazmer recruited a council whose members Emily Lennon, Jana Weiskopf, Daniel Snyder, and advisors Jason Goldstein and Aviva Freiden, are collaborating to craft opportunities to elevate young adult leadership to the next level.

After a series of popular and well attended FedLED virtual networking breakfasts for young professionals, the first open-to-the public program will be the FedLED Children’s Clothing Sale, to be held January 31 under the MJCC Pavilion. Donations of gently used children’s clothing and shoes are already being accepted at the Jewish Community Partners offices, inside the MJCC.

“As someone who is a direct product of what this community has provided, I’ve naturally always had the desire to nourish and nurture the community myself,” said native Memphian Martin. “Now as an adult who has returned to Memphis with my own family, the timing is right and the opportunity is here with FedLED. Younger people in this community need to know that older generations are looking to us to step up and be involved in whatever capacity we are able and FedLED will serve as a stepping stone for those who are. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this organization.”

Unlike Martin, Jaclyn is a newer Memphian, and had not been involved in Jewish communal activities in California. “There was not much sense of community living in San Francisco,” she said. “In Memphis, I met moms with small kids through my own children, and now we see each other all the time.”

From these first feelings of belonging to a cohesive Jewish community, Jaclyn eventually made her way to Federation. Her first in-depth conversation with a Federation staff member opened her eyes to the organization’s tireless efforts in Jewish Memphis. “It was mind blowing,” she said. “I not only wanted to give money but wanted to give more of my time.”

She was asked to serve as a co-moderator for a Federation Women’s Philanthropy program, interviewing Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, founder of OPI Nail Lacquer, in the MJCC’s Belz Social Hall. The well-attended event sparked a new interest in Federation activities throughout the community for Jaclyn, leading her to FedLED.

“Our goal is to hold a series of fundraising events – big and small – that get people excited,” said Jaclyn. “By creating exciting events, like wine and whisky tastings, we’ll offer fun ways for people to give back while learning about Federation. It’s important to introduce our generation to the Federation model of community support through donations, and help cultivate a culture of long-term donors for decades to come.”

Having had successful experiences with clothing sales back in California, Jaclyn thought a similar initiative would be a good fit for a key FedLED demographic- Jewish parents. In addition to offering something they need, the event would also be an excellent platform to introduce FedLED to potential members.

FedLED’s Children’s Clothing Sale will be held Sunday, January 31, 1:00 to 4:00 P.M., under the MJCC Pavilion. Federation is accepting donations of gently used children’s clothing and shoes Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the Jewish Community Partners office, located at 6560 Poplar Ave, inside the MJCC. Donated items will be sorted and sold at the socially distanced clothing sale at the end of the month. Proceeds from the clothing sale will go towards Federation’s Home-Delivered Meals Program for isolated seniors. Masks and social distancing will be strictly enforced.

FedLED is also looking for volunteers to help sort clothing ahead of the sale and to staff the sale itself. Tasks include sorting donated goods into different categories, setting up stations at the sale, and helping with touch-free payment transactions. To volunteer, email or call Sophie Bloch, Director of Young Adult Leadership, or 901-452-2453.

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This Wednesday, we joined two online sessions with Memphis Jewish seniors, both supported by donor gifts made to Memphis Jewish Federation. First, we enjoyed the friendly conversation during the 12:00 P.M. daily Senior Lunch Bunch, followed by an interactive session with Jason Caplan’s Universal Language Room, which teaches non-verbal communication and togetherness through improvisational music.

There wasn’t much lunch being eaten at a recent Senior Lunch Bunch Zoom get-together, hosted by Steve Kaplan, Adult Services Coordinator at the MJCC. Instead, the dozen faces smiling from small digital boxes on our computer screen chatted about their grandkids, their tomato plants, the French Impressionist movement, and social distancing while running errands.

“Hi, everyone,” said Annabelle Kaplan, waving to us as she joined the Zoom session. “I didn’t think I’d get home in time to join. I had to take something I ordered online back to the store, so I called and they said, yes I could bring it to the store. When I got there I waited six feet apart in the line, and they said I had to get a mailing label and mail it in myself, all these extra steps. And pay postage both ways!”

The commiserating groans of understanding were like warm hugs across the digital divide.

The group, which varies in participants from day to day but consistently draws between 6 and 15 Memphis Jewish seniors, has been meeting online since March, when the MJCC closed to the public in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the long weeks since, the Lunch Bunch has adapted to the digital platform, and now the sessions have a comfy, familiar feel, with casual conversations and friendly gossiping that builds from day to day.

“I really enjoy this, and they do, too,” said Steve Kaplan. “It’s a nice group of people and I can tell it means a lot to them. Particularly in the first weeks, when it was almost like after 9/11 and people were so uncertain about what would happen in the days ahead. The Lunch Bunch almost became a daily group therapy session.”

An hour later, we logged into Jason Caplan’s Universal Language Room session, where we found him waiting for us, tuning his white Fender Stratocaster.

This was a smaller session than the first, but Lunch Bunch regulars Dolly Mahante and Susan Meyers were there with their Boomwhackers, a hollow percussion instrument designed to play a note and rhythm with a whack against the palm of the hand. Universal Language Room provides these and other instruments to seniors.

Watch a recording of the interactive music session here. If you have an instrument, play along!

“We’ve had sessions with this group since September, back when we could gather in person with sessions every other week. We’ve been online since March,” said Jason. “With Steve’s group, everyone started with Boomwhackers and now we’ve moved on to melodic instruments.”

The program is not only about training people in music. Universal Language Room trains people to trust a non-verbal language that can develop through a musical rapport, empowering participants to spend time in the meditative state that Jason says typically happens at about minute ten.

“When we stay outside of language, it’s so exciting. We all live together in the moment with music as our dialogue,” he said. “There are two ways non-verbal togetherness affects a person. First is peace in the mind, so that our minds that run about all day thinking about this problem, and that happened in the past, and what happens in the future, get locked in the moment and the constantly changing music and you live in the moment.”

“The second is that I feel our society is moving to a place where you can’t have dialogue about things people disagree with. I want people to feel the joy of dialogue without disagreement,” Jason said. “But if you learn to do this with music first, maybe you can get to a place where you can say, ‘you know, I really like talking to you. We may disagree on important issues and agree on others, but I like talking to you.’”

“We need more of that right now,” he said.

“We’re all hoping we’ll be able to get together in person soon, and we’re all praying for that day,” Jason said as he signed off from the session. The budding musicians smiled and waved, and agreed.

If you’re a Jewish Memphis senior and would like to be part of the daily lunches or future Universal Language Room sessions, or know someone who does, email Steve Kaplan at You can also contact Steve if you need a mask. 

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“Thou Shall Not Want, The 7 Species of Sukkot” is a striking mixed-media art piece created by renowned local artist and arts educator Carol Buchman and inspired, she says, by a recent visit to Memphis’ partner city of Shoham in Israel.

The canvas is now hanging in Carol’s “Words Matter” exhibit in the Shainberg Art Gallery at the Memphis Jewish Community Center (MJCC), where the MJCC and Memphis Jewish Federation will co-host an Artists Lunch and Learn on Thursday, January 23 at 12:00 pm. Carol, who traveled to Shoham in October as a visiting artist to participate in Shoham’s Muse Festival, will discuss how the experience inspired her work. The Lunch and Learn is open to the community. Participants are invited to bring their own lunch; drinks and dessert will be provided.

Memphis Jewish Federation, operated by Jewish Community Partners, organized Carol’s visit as a program of the Memphis-Shoham Partnership, launched by Federation in 2016 in an effort to facilitate meaningful people-to-people relationships between the two communities.

Carol’s stay in Shoham was immersive— she connected with artists and community members by staying in the home of a local family, meeting with artists in their homes and studios, and conducting a mosaic workshop at a senior center.

At the three-day Muse Festival, Shoham’s landmark annual cultural event which draws thousands of people from throughout Israel, she engaged festival attendees in creating a multi-piece community mural. Two pieces of the mural are also on display in the “Words Matter” exhibit. The third piece is in Shoham for community enjoyment.

“It was an uplifting, inspiring, and memorable week,” Carol recalled in her announcement of the gallery opening, “doing mostly community art projects and getting to know the warm and talented artists and people of Shoham.”

The Memphis-Shoham Partnership has strengthened Memphis Jewish connections to Israel through school twinnings, delegations to both cities and other joint projects.

In February, the partnership is hosting Zehava Shneor, mother of fallen Israeli soldier from Shoham Sarit Shneor. Community members have the opportunity to honor Sarit’s memory by joining a fitness challenge to log 56 miles by February 9 – the length of an annual race in Israel in Sarit’s memory. Learn more here.

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Twenty-five years ago, the Memphis Jewish community came together to create an organization that would work to ensure that our children and grandchildren would benefit from a thriving Jewish community. This invaluable resource evolved quickly into Jewish Memphis’s trusted partner in charitable giving, the Jewish Foundation of Memphis. The Jewish Foundation kicked off its year-long 25th Anniversary celebration Tuesday, December 10, with Latkes & Vodka, an event at Dixon Gallery and Gardens honoring the Jewish Foundation’s fund holders, professional advisors, and donors.

While the signature cocktails’ names were clever – who could turn down a Legacy Libation or an EndowMint- the collective impact of Jewish Foundation donors over the past quarter-century is serious business. Since coming to life under the leadership of its first executive director Paula Jacobson and first board president Ronald Harkavy, the Foundation has worked to transform the philanthropic culture of the Memphis Jewish community to include legacy giving.

Launched in 1995 to help secure permanent financial solutions for ten partner agencies in the Memphis community- Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth, Baron Hirsch Congregation, Beth Sholom, Temple Israel, Margolin Hebrew Academy/Finestone Yeshiva of the South, Bornblum Jewish Community School, Memphis Jewish Federation, Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab, Memphis Jewish Community Center, and Jewish Family Service.

Check out the Facebook album for more photos.

Jewish Foundation Board Chair Anthony Morrison welcomed the crowd as the Latkes & Vodka program kicked off, recognizing members of the Professional Advisory Group (PAG) and its steering committee members John May, Morrow Baily, Mark Kaplan, Scott Bendure, and Shelby Peranich, and its chairman, Jason Salomon.

 “We recognize the critical role a donor’s attorney, accountant, and financial advisor play when they are considering a charitable gift,” said Anthony. “The PAG has given us a way to involve more than a hundred such advisors.” Each year the Foundation provides education programs and networking opportunities for the PAG members and serves as a philanthropic resource for the advisors and their clients. 

Many Professional Advisors were on hand to celebrate the anniversary, as well as get a first look at the new Jewish Foundation of Memphis PAG Directory.

“I’m a new member of the Professional Advisory Group and was excited to see what the Professional Advisor directory would look like,” said Lee Olswanger, Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. “It turned out great, and I can’t wait to have extra copies in my office.”

Laura Linder, President & CEO of Jewish Community Partners, the managing organization that operates the Jewish Foundation, spoke briefly, celebrating the quarter century of community-focused philanthropy that led to the Jewish Foundation growing into the engine that drives Jewish Memphis. In her remarks, Laura highlighted the important achievements driven by Foundation’s work in its first 25 years, including Foundation’s Legacy initiative, B’nai Tzedek teen philanthropy program, and the hundreds of donors who have partnered with the Foundation to achieve their charitable goals.

“Today, staff and volunteer leadership continue their work to keep endowment and legacy giving at the heart of our thriving Memphis Jewish community,” said Laura. “Through these efforts, to date more than 500 legacy commitments have been made. This work will continue as we continue to build for future generations under the leadership of Foundation’s powerhouse team of Sheri Gadberry and Sarah VanderWalde.”

“For 25 years, the Foundation has worked with donors to meet them exactly where they want to be as philanthropists,” Sheri Gadberry, director of operations for Jewish Community Partners said after the event. “We’re trusted by Jewish Memphis’s philanthropic community because our work is donor-centric, which means we strive to be as adaptable as possible, working with donors to help them achieve lifetime philanthropic goals.”

According to Sheri, through its work with more than 500 fund holders, the Jewish Foundation serves as the “go to” organization in the Memphis Jewish community for charitably minded families. “With $93 million in assets and cumulative grants awarded topping $80 million, we have established ourselves as a major player in the Memphis philanthropic community.”

Mimi Grossman closed the program by speaking about her own personal experience with legacy giving, citing her recent bout with cancer.   

“Many of you may not recognize me if you haven’t seen me in a while. This is what post chemo hair looks like.” After the sympathetic laughter died down, she continued. “I’m grateful that my cancer was treatable and I am now cancer free and living every day to its fullest. But as I went through treatment, I found myself reflecting on questions like: What kind of legacy would I be leaving? What have I done to truly make a difference, not just to my children and grandchildren, but to my beloved community?”

As the programmed portion came to a close, two powerful symbols served as visual reminders of what it means to leave a legacy. During the program, guests were surrounded by the stunning pewter collection of Justin and Herta Adler, of blessed memory, two devoted Memphis Jewish philanthropists whose descendants hold funds at the Jewish Foundation. And finally, to close the evening, Josh Lipman spoke about the philanthropic legacy of his father, Ira A. Lipman, of blessed memory, before leading the crowd through a tour of the temporary exhibit Friedel Dzubas: The Ira A. Lipman Family Collection. Touring the artworks after the program, it was impossible not to ponder what we will leave behind. Jewish Foundation of Memphis is there to answer that question for anyone.  

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Excitement is in the air as plans are underway for Memphis Jewish Federation’s Women’s Impact Luncheon featuring OPI Nail Lacquer co-founder and brand ambassador Suzi Weiss-Fischmann.

Learn more and buy tickets.

This donor appreciation event comes on the heels of two recent Memphis Jewish Federation (MJF) women’s mission trips to Israel. These emotionally fulfilling trips inspired lay leaders and staff to think of ways to connect more intimately with all women in our community and bring meaningful programs to connect them with the Memphis and global Jewish community.

Twenty-three-plus host committee members are in the midst of planning this inspiring Women’s IMPACT luncheon, which will be hosted by MJF on January 16, 2020, in the MJCC Belz Social Hall. Sponsors include Goulds Salon • SPA, Robert Irwin Jewelers, and Roadshow BMW.

“Forty-five women representing a cross-section of the Memphis Jewish community recently participated in an emotionally fulfilling women’s spiritual journey to Israel, and another 13 in a MOMentum mission for mom’s whose children under the age of 18 are still living at home,” said Laura Linder, Jewish Community Partner (JCP) President and CEO. JCP is the operating organization of Memphis Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Memphis.

“Memphis women of all ages are seeking meaningful involvement with organizations that share their values.” said Cindy Finestone, Memphis Jewish Federation chair and event co-chair alongside Jill Steinberg. “Federation provides many opportunities for that interaction. With the powerful and meaningful story of Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Federation’s Women’s Impact Luncheon will be the place to be on January 16.”

The committee members who have begun setting the stage for an impactful event include: Deena Arnold, Hallie Charney, Erin Dragutsky, Janis Finan, Cindy Finestone, Karen Franklin, Shayna Giles, Margo Gruen, Laurie Karchmer, Karen Karmel, Barb Lansky, Jami Lazarov, Sharon Lubin, Jaclyn Marshall, Jeri Moskovitz, Brooke Ortman, Stephanie Petersen, Shelley Robbins, Debbie Rosenthal, Jody Shutzberg, Stacy Siegler, Lisa Silver, Jill Steinberg, Jana Weiskopf, and Shaina Zakalik.

“Suzi Weiss-Fischmann has such an incredible story about her parents being Holocaust survivors, escaping Communist Hungary, and building a fashion empire,” said Abbey Cowens, Memphis Jewish Federation Manager, Campaign & Corporate Development. “She is also very passionate about empowering young Jewish professional women.”

In addition to the luncheon, which is open to all women donors who make a minimum household gift of $180 to Federation’s 2020 Annual Community Campaign, young women professionals will have an opportunity to meet with Suzi for a closed-door session about the importance of having vision and perseverance in business.

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