Memphis Jewish Federation Campaign

Few family names are as synonymous with philanthropy in Memphis as Scheidt. From university buildings to the pages of innumerable non-profit annual reports, the name is a constant in our city, in the Jewish community and beyond.

When the family patriarch, Rudi Scheidt, Sr., of blessed memory, passed away this year after a lifetime of impactful giving, the next generation was ready to take the lead on the path that he had set.

In his lifetime, Rudi had taught his children valuable lessons about philanthropy, with three standing out as most profound. First, he demonstrated that it’s important to support the organizations and causes that are meaningful to you. Second, by being active on boards and committees, Rudi showed that philanthropy isn’t only giving money. Time is a valuable resource as well. And third, being seen by your community engaging in philanthropy is a vital part of teaching the next generations to give.

Follow your passion.

“My dad was always a philanthropist,” said Elkan Scheidt, Rudi’s son and philanthropic mentee. “An immigrant, he came to Memphis from Germany in 1936. He always felt very fortunate to be in this country and to be successful and he always thought it was important to give back. He instilled that in all of us, all of his children as a family. He was always exceedingly generous with causes that he believed in.”

Show up.

“My father would never miss a board meeting. He would be at everything. He always believed that philanthropy is more than money,” said Elkan “That’s what he believed and what he instilled in all of us. I sit on several boards, both in the Jewish community and outside of it. When my father passed, I was asked to join the Jewish Foundation of Memphis board and take his place. I already worked on Foundation’s Investment Committee, and now that I’ve taken my father’s seat on the board, I look forward to working with my peers to support our community’s Jewish institutions.”

Rudi Scheidt, Sr. never missed a board meeting.

Set an example.

“When he was younger in life, he did like many other people did, giving anonymously. As he became more successful and the amounts he gave grew, the gifts were still anonymous,” Elkan said. “One of his friends was an extraordinarily successful businessman and philanthropist, and he told my father: ‘Stop that right away. Rudi, you do too many good things in this world and you need to lead by example.’

“It really hit home with him. He stopped being Mr. Anonymous, and he started giving while allowing people to put his names on gifts. Not for the credit, but for the example it sets for other people in our community. He instilled that in us as well. It feels a little awkward, but he always said it doesn’t matter if you’re in the $50 range or in the highest range. The fact that you’re giving back shows that you care about your community.”

To learn more about Jewish Foundation of Memphis philanthropy, contact Sheri Gadberry at 901-374-0400 or

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Jewish Community Partners President and CEO Laura Linder, or a special guest writer, sits down most Friday mornings to write a personal and timely letter to our beloved Memphis Jewish community.

June 11- Longing for an Ordinary Day (by Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein)

May 14- We Stand with Israel, Now and Forever

March 25- (Above) Knowing the Way

March 12- Be Inspiring

February 19- Perserverence- A Perfect Landing

February 12- (Above) My Long-Lost Shovel

January 29- When Facing a Problem, Show Up with Solutions

January 22- Don’t End Up in the Shredder

January 15- To Those Who Inspire, Thank You

January 1- (Above) How Much is Enough?

December 25- Amazing Gifts

December 11- Modern Hanukkah Miracles

December 4- This Hanukkah, Share Your Light

November 27- (Above) Eavesdropping in My Daughter- By Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein

November 13- As Our Parents Planted for Us…

October 23- JFNA’s GA: Global Connections

October 16- Cindy Finestone: New Connections on the Pickleball Court

October 9- Guest Shabbat Message: Foundation Board Chair Anthony Morrison

September 25- (Above) Guest Shabbat Message: Federation Board Chair Cindy Finestone

September 18- Guest Shabbat Message: JCP Board Chair Ken Steinberg

September 11- Rosh Hashanah: A Time of Transition

August 28- A Hurricane By Any Other Name

August 21- The Question that Changed My Life

August 7- It’s Who You Know

July 24- (Above) A Beautiful Gift

July 10- 20 Years Ago We Returned to Memphis to Raise Our Children

July 2- The Summer I Turned 17, I Visited Israel for the First Time

June 26- My Grandmother’s Recipe: Following their Footsteps, Our Way

June 12- (Above) The First Shabbat of Summer Camp

June 5- Solidarity in the Face of Oppression

May 28- Laura’s Special Shavuot Message

May 22- (Above) Strong Leaders Shape Strong Communities

May 15- Maybe We’re On To Something…

May 8- Our Community Cocoon

May 1- (Above) The Old Shall Dream Dreams

April 24- It Takes Darkness to See the Stars

April 17- (Passover) Heroes Among Us

April 8- (Passover) I Love This Card

April 3- Yesterday, I participated in a Zoom call, led by our Federation, with our partnership city in Israel, Shoham

March 27- Over the past two weeks I’ve seen the best of our community

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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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Every Tuesday, we’ll share a story that spotlights the work of the Wendy and Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service at the Memphis Jewish Community Center with News From the Heart. Browse these stories here.

July 29- Shalom Shuttle: Always at Your Service

April 28- (Above) Debra and Alex Saharovoch Commit to Community

February 5- Cindy and Mark Finestone Continue Generation Philanthropic Traditions

December 17- Hallie, z”l, and Jay Cohen’s Gift to Support the Wendy & Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service

November 19- (Above) Baby Pantry Launches with Help from Federation’s Lions

November 5- Judy & Larry Moss: Supporting FJFS Means Giving Back to Community

October 15- Susan Nieman: How Fogelman Jewish Family Service Shaped My Life

October 1- Shabbat Sholom Program Offers Seniors A High Holiday Treat

September 11- (Above) Donors Like Lisa Menuskin and Neil Gibson Help FJFS Meet Needs in Jewish Memphis

August 26- FJFS Collaborates with Community to Help Parents Navigate Return to School

August 20- Clients Benefit from Strong Relationships with Staff

August 13- Donors Keep Kosher Food Pantry Stocked During Pandemic

July 28- We’re Here for You: A Message from Director of Social Services Mary Elizabeth Jones

July 22- Volunteer Callers Connect isolated Seniors to Community

July 14- (Above) A Healthy Bounty for Hungry Seniors

July 7- A Friendly Voice and Open Years

July 1- Education is Key

June 25- Working Together to Serve the Most Vulnerable

June 16- (Above) Special Needs Support Amid Pandemic

June 9- In Times of Financial Emergency, FJFS is Here for You

June 2- Shalom Shuttle Returns to Normal Schedule

May 27- (Above) Volunteers Adapt During Pandemic

May 19- Mindful of Mental Wellness

May 12- FJFS Staff Continues to Connect with Memphis Jewish Seniors Despite COVID-19 Barriers

May 5- (Above) School Counselor Offers Comforting Advice for Students and Parents During Covid-19 Crisis

April 28- Wendy and Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service Continues to Keep our Community Safe and Connected

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The mission of the Jewish Foundation of Memphis is to encourage charitable giving, support agency endowment development, and build and sustain a vibrant Jewish community.

This archive of stories shows how Jewish Memphis remains DonorStrong across the generations.

July 22- Geo Poor: Anyone Can Leave a Legacy

June 24- Sheri Gadberry: 20 Years at Jewish Foundation of Memphis, Where Her Work is ‘More Than a Job’

June 4- Jason Salomon to Receive Foundation’s Raymond Shainberg Award

April 16- (Above) Elise Mendelson: Inspiring the Next Generation

March 5- Corporate Partner Spotlight: Kelman-Lazarov, Inc.

February 10- (Above) David Greenberg Maximizes Impact Through Jewish Foundation of Memphis

January 28- B’nai Tzedek Teens Inspired by Non-Profit Mentors

January 13- Sandy Lipman Leads with Passion and Heart

December 24- Year End is Great for Reviewing Your Financial Plan

December 15- End of Year Giving: The Season of Philanthropy

December 1- (Above) Cindy Shainberg: A Dime From Every Dollar

November 17- Memphis Newcomers Sue and Dr. Mitch Levine Have a Habit of Giving Back

October 28- Foundation’s B’nai Tzedek Welcomes Next Generation of Philanthropists

October 21- (Above) Mehler Family Says Foundation Donor Advised Fund is a No-Brainer

September 29- Plough Foundation Pledges Support for Memphis Jewish Community

September 24- Julie Goldstein: Foundation Donor Advised Funds Can Help Anyone Make an Impact

September 3- Paula Jacobson Helped Plant the Seed

August 25- (Above) L’Dor V’Dor: Julia Morrison’s Life of Tzedakah

August 24- Laura Kaplan Paller: B’nai Tzedek and Family Traditions Shaped Early Involvement in Jewish Memphis

August 19- Raymond Shainberg: A Life of Legacy

August 12 – Laurie Meskin: A Third Generation Lion of Judah

July 27- Howard Silver: Doing His Part to Strengthen Jewish Memphis

July 21- Lyda Parker and the Transformative Power of Memory

July 15- My Father’s Example

July 1- (Above) Your Act of Generosity, Our Longevity

June 24- Foundation CARES: Tax Impact of Cares Act

June 17- Creating a Lasting Legacy

June 3- Support Your Favorite Charities with a Gift from Your IRA

May 20- Susan Adler Thorp Sees Family Tradition in Philanthropy During Quarantine

May 13- B’nai Tzedek Teens Present Grant Awards Online

May 6- (Above) Dan Spector, z”l, and his Legacy of Philanthropy

April 29- Students in the Jewish Foundation of Memphis’ Teen Philanthropy Program Donate to Support Coronavirus Needs

April 22- Jason Salomon: Preparing Your Legacy

April 14- Jerry and Stacy Siegler: Meeting the Needs of Our Community

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Photo and interview by Gila Golder

Part of Memphis Jewish Federation’s ongoing efforts to connect Memphis and Israel, the 70 Faces of Memphis and Shoham project was designed to form real connections between the people of Jewish Memphis and the people of Shoham, Israel, Memphis’s partner city through the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership 2Gether program. The project serves as a way to connect Jewish Memphians to each other by showcasing their unique character and contributions to the community.

Gabby Bray knew about BBYO, an international youth organization with four chapters in Memphis. Her mother had been active in BBYO as a teen, and many of her friends had already joined. But she was hesitant to get involved. “My mom was like, ‘Go to the first program. Just give it a shot.’”

Mom was right. “I absolutely fell in love with it.”

That was over three years ago. Today, Gabby is a high school senior— “which is scary!”— and has been an active leader in her BBYO chapter, stepping up to plan and organize programs down to the last detail. Since BBYO is a pluralistic organization and welcomes teens from all backgrounds, it can be challenging to ensure everyone feels welcome.

“It’s being conscious of where you’re doing prayers, are you doing the right prayers, are you aware of where east is in the room…and many of the teens who have joined don’t necessarily have a Jewish background, so making sure we’re explaining everything we’re doing so they understand what’s going on.” And at a leadership convention last year, another issue was raised— designing programs that are accessible for teens with physical disabilities.

For Gabby, taking care of these logistical details isn’t a burden. It’s a responsibility she takes on with joy and pride. “The mindset is, when you’re going through those details, it can’t be a chore. If it’s something put upon you, like oh, I have to make sure this is kosher and shomer Shabbat and all of that, it’s not going to go well. So I enjoy it, and I think that’s why I’ve been fairly good at what I do.”

The one aspect she doesn’t enjoy is recruitment. “People already know what BBYO is to a certain extent, so it’s just trying to find parts of the Memphis Jewish community we haven’t reached before and picking out why they haven’t joined yet, what they don’t know, and how to get them there. But there are people who are much more likable than I am who do that!”

Outside of BBYO, Gabby enjoys reading, competing in Science Olympiad at school, and volunteering at a veterinarian’s office. “I’m currently training a service dog. He’s a maniac!”

This spring, Gabby will participate in BBYO’s March of the Living, a two-week program that unites Jewish teens to bear witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust in Poland, then celebrate Israeli Independence Day in Jerusalem. And next year?

“When I’ve been looking at colleges, one of the things I always check is do they have a Hillel. BBYO doesn’t continue past high school, unfortunately, but I feel like Hillel is a natural place to go for Jewish enrichment.”

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Launched in late 2017 under the leadership of Memphis Jewish Federation (MJF)’s Senior Services Collaborative (SSC), the Senior Services Directory quickly become a reliable resource for seniors and their caregivers in the Memphis Jewish Community. Packed with information about services, activities, and programming provided to area seniors and the important people in their lives, the initial run of the 8-panel brochure was instantly popular.

Fast forward about two years and the SSC’s supply of 3,000 copies of the brochure had been been depleted. Partner agencies distributing the brochure reached out to MJF requesting more copies of this invaluable central source of information about the robust senior programming available throughout the Memphis Jewish community. To continue meeting this need, Memphis Jewish Federation has recently updated and reprinted the brochure, which now more accurately reflects the landscape of senior services and program offerings at senior-serving agencies and local congregations.

A large-print, glossy quad-fold brochure with a comprehensive listing of senior services provided by the Memphis Jewish community, the Senior Services Directory is broken down into categories such as Vital Needs, Companionship, Transportation, and Wellness. The SSC also made this information available in digital form at, which is updated as needed. Many local seniors and their caregivers have likely received brochures mailed directly to homes, but copies are also available at local congregations and agencies serving Jewish seniors, and at senior independent living and assisted living facilities, geriatric medical offices, and hospitals.

The update and reprint was funded in part by a B’nai Tzedek teen philanthropy grant and by two donors giving anonymously through Jewish Foundation of Memphis’s Needs List, a popular resource for donors looking to make a meaningful impact on philanthropic causes important to them. The office of Jewish Community Partners, the agency that operates both Memphis Jewish Federation and the Jewish Foundation of Memphis, also has copies of the brochure for distribution. Visit JCP at 6560 Poplar Avenue, inside the Memphis Jewish Community Center. We can also mail one to you. Send an email with your name and address and we’ll send a copy your way.

The Senior Services Directory is a model case-study of a successful collaboration. Our agencies and congregations submitted information about their respective senior services and SSC members made valuable editorial suggestions and recommendations,” said Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein, JCP’s Chief Strategy Officer. “It is these kinds of collaborations that move the needle in a community.” 

The SSC was formed in November 2015 in the wake of Memphis Jewish Federation’s 2014-2015 Community Needs Assessment Study, which identified the challenge of delivering accessible and meaningful programming to seniors. The committee is comprised of representatives from all agencies interfacing with Jewish seniors, congregations, retired Jewish senior professionals, and community volunteers passionate about senior services. Since its inception, the SSC has made significant progress not only in expanding the menu of programs and services available to seniors, but also in ensuring that seniors in the Memphis Jewish community are aware of the programming that exists.

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By Audrey May

Intake, Referral & Volunteer CoordinatorWendy & Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service at the Memphis Jewish Community Center

Seniors and their caregivers can find it challenging to navigate through change. Someone has a serious illness. Someone stops driving. Someone has a fall and breaks a bone. A friend or family member who was providing support is no longer available. Suddenly, there’s a crisis.

In these moments, it’s important to know that getting the help you need is easy. The Wendy & Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service (FJFS) at the Memphis Jewish Community Center (MJCC) is here to help. With one call, we will get you connected to a service provided by us, by the MJCC, other community organizations, or the best service provider for your needs.

I work with an awesome group of other people here at FJFS, and we’re always willing to help in whatever way we can. We’re not only knowledgeable and helpful, but we’re also completely confidential.

With one call to our main number, 901-767-8511, FJFS staff will respond quickly to assess your needs and respond to your questions.  I give clients all the time that they need to tell me their story. We have a conversation and I listen to what’s going on and what their concerns are. Next, I’ll ask a few questions to determine if a person would be eligible for one of our programs, or something else. This confidential conversation is all about making sure we connect each client to the best services for their needs. We only want the client to share as much as they feel comfortable discussing in order to get the right services for their needs.

For example, if it’s clear that our Shalom Shuttle would be perfect for them, I’ll tell them a little about that. I can do an intake over the phone, right then, if they’d like to enroll. If there are other services that we provide I can often do an immediate referral. Perhaps you or a Jewish senior you know could benefit from kosher home-delivered meals, or help from an expert, supportive case manager to more easily navigate life’s challenges. Or perhaps you want to volunteer in a meaningful way. Just give us a call to explore the options.

Sometimes we need to do a little bit of research. Give us a day or so and we’ll get back to you. If a client is in need of a service FJFS doesn’t provide, we are connected to many established government and non-profit organizations. If someone needs in-home caregivers or elder law attorneys, for example, we offer options to empower our clients to make the right choice for them and their family.

It’s about matching a client to a provider that will meet their needs, but also their lifestyle, income, and cultural point of view. It’s sort of a matchmaker service. I don’t recommend to you the best doctor who specializes in what you need. I offer you choices so you can make an informed choice about what’s best for you.

People often call looking for counseling, and we have really terrific counselors on staff at FJFS. We’re able to see clients on a self-pay, sliding scale basis. We’re a good option for people who are looking for counseling in a place that is culturally sensitive to the Jewish community. The first session is always free because we want the community member to determine whether it’s a good match. Counseling is a very personal thing. But because we don’t accept insurance, we have other resources to check into that will lead to other suggestions for counselors, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other professionals who work with different issues and can accept your insurance or Medicare.

FJFS matters because all of us need help sometimes. Even the people who are the most giving, the most busy, the most engaged in the community- and that describes a lot of people in the Jewish community in Memphis- all of us need help sometimes. Or perhaps a friend needs help that’s outside of your areas of expertise. What better place to look for that help than an agency that’s at the hub of the Jewish community?

That’s why we’re here. Our goal is to help the community remain as vital, engaged, and healthy as it can be.

To get information about available programs and services, call the Fogelman Jewish Family Service at the MJCC at 901-767-8511.

As an integral part of the Jewish community, the Wendy and Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service (FJFS) at the Memphis Jewish Community Center (MJCC) provides an array of compassionate social services and a connection to any additional services needed. FJFS forms collaborative relationships with clients to enhance your well-being and help you thrive, offering classes and support groups, counseling, emergency assistance, a Kosher Food Pantry, a resource center, senior adult care, support for Holocaust survivors, transportation, special needs services, volunteer opportunities and more. Learn more here.  

Your gift to Memphis Jewish Federation’s Annual Community Campaign supports FJFS with vital funds. Memphis Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Memphis can also work with you and your family to financially support FJFS in other ways. Call 901-767-7100 to learn more.

A Memphis native and social worker, Audrey is a senior herself and passionate about helping seniors get the information and services they need, as well as working with our wonderful volunteers to do meaningful work in the Jewish community.  She is a book nerd who spent eight years running a bookstore and nineteen years as a manager at the Memphis Public Library’s LINC/2-1-1 social service information service.  She is also involved with the local AARP Livable Community initiative seeking to improve life for seniors in Shelby County and is the Interim Chair of the Senior Services Committee at OUTMemphis working with LGBTQ seniors. When she’s not in Memphis, she is probably in Florida happily reading with her nine-year old granddaughter.

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Above: Jennifer Shiberou (right), an art teacher at Colonial Middle School, has participated in Memphis Jewish Federation’s Holocaust Art Contest since its inception 11 years ago. Her student Kathy Lam (left) is a two-time contest winnner, as a 7th grade student in 2018 and as an 8th grade student in 2019. Here, she poses with her second-place winning artwork from the 2019 contest.

Mid-South and Tennessee students in grades 6-12 are invited to submit entries to Memphis Jewish Federation’s eleventh annual Holocaust-themed art and essay competition. The deadline is Thursday, March 5 at close of business.

This year’s contest theme is Liberation & Recovery. In honor of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and other death camps, students are asked to choose a group impacted by the liberation (e.g. survivors, liberators, caregivers) and explore the challenges and opportunities faced in moving from the darkness of absolute evil to the light of recovery and renewal.

Students in grades 6-8 are invited to submit artwork, and students in grades 9-12 are invited to submit essays. Cash prizes for the winners are made possible by the Kaethe Mela Family Memorial Fund of the Jewish Foundation of Memphis.

As in previous years, all artwork entered into the competition will be displayed in the lobby of the Memphis Jewish Community Center for those attending the 58th Annual Yom HaShoah Community Observance on Tuesday, April 21st at 6:30 P.M.

Contest winners will be recognized at the commemoration, with the first-place winning essay published in the program booklet and a photo of the first-place winning artwork displayed on the cover of the program. The winning essay will also be published in the Hebrew Watchman and here in JCP Connect.

Cash prizes will be awarded for first-place ($250) and second-place ($125) essays, and for first-place ($200), second-place ($100), and third-place ($50) artwork. Honorable Mention winners will receive gift cards.

All entries will be judged according to the following criteria: creativity, passion, and relevance to the topic. Full guidelines and resources for entrants are available at

Students should e-mail their essays to Artwork should be dropped off at the Memphis Jewish Federation office. All entries are due by the close of business on Thursday, March 5. Please include entrant’s name, grade, school, and contact information.

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Memphis Jewish Federation announced that the Memphis-Shoham Partnership is bringing to Memphis Zehava Shneor, mother of fallen Shoham Israeli soldier Sarit Shneor.

While in Memphis, Zehava will interact with a broad swath of the Memphis Jewish community, including Beth Sholom teens, Bornblum middle school students, Margolin Hebrew Academy middle school and girls high school students, Temple Sisterhood, Temple seniors, B’nai Tzedek teens, Young Adults, MOMentum Moms and other community members. 

Zehava will also have a special private reception for community members who met the “Collecting Miles for Sarit” 56-mile fitness challenge sponsored by the Memphis Jewish Community Center.

On October 24, 2003, while in her army service as an Observation Post Commander, Sarit was killed in a terrorist attack on her army base near the Gaza border.

Her parents decided to honor her memory by establishing an annual two-day relay race, called “Returning Home”, in which Shoham High School seniors, right before their army service, run from Sarit’s army base to Shoham, a distance of 56 miles.

“We have already been so inspired by Zehava’s commitment to keeping alive the memory and legacy of her daughter,” said Scott Notowich, Memphis chair of the Memphis-Shoham Partnership. “We are looking forward to hosting her in Memphis and deepening our connection to Israel through her personal story of tragedy and triumph.”

Members of the Memphis-Shoham Partnership Steering Committee will host Zehava in their homes February 9th-16th.

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