Unseen. Unknown. Unsung. Heroes Behind The Scenes.

Nearly half the funds under management by DJCF/SWCF are custodially held for other nonprofits. Oftentimes, it’s the people behind the scenes of these organizations making their work so impactful. They are the heroes making the difference and who we bring to the forefront to recognize and celebrate.

Whether volunteers or employees, they are the 2021 Unsung Heroes.

Thank you for your dedication.

Congratulations to this year’s Unsung Heroes

 

Cynthia Casper

Aaron Family Jewish Community Center

Cynthia Casper is the JCC staff member that we all dream of! The J has been her home away from home for more than 30 years. Her commitment and passion for the entire agency shines brightly and inspires others. Cynthia is always willing to help out any department with a smile and kind word for everyone. She is a legend in the Goldberg Early Childhood Center touching the lives of hundreds of parents and children. As Cynthia approaches retirement, she will be greatly missed, but we know she will remain our biggest cheerleader. Thank you Cynthia for your tireless passion.

Gary Livingston

Akiba Yavneh Academy

Gary Livingston, Akiba Yavneh’s Director of Facilities for 16+ years, is a gentle giant who loves, lives, and breathes AYA. Gary proudly served in the US Air Force, using his military background as a foundation for his approach to safety and security on the Schultz Rosenberg campus. On any given day, Gary can be found building, refurbishing, checking, repairing, and beautifying.

 

Leah Engelberg

Ann & Nate Levine Academy

Levine Academy has its own internal School Crossing Guard – Leah Engelberg. Leah’s day consists of directing the flow of our Early Childhood division, making sure that all of the teachers are in sync and the children are having their best day ever. She serves as the nuts and bolts of the Early Childhood program, handling everything - big or small – from licensing to carpool to ordering supplies. But the most important part of her day is providing her colleagues with positive encouragement and a place to vent. Leah performs her basic job with ease, with the added touch of humor and finesse for making all around her feel better. Thank you, Leah, you are invaluable to our Early Childhood program.

Julie Kursh

BBYO

Julie Kursh has served the Dallas Jewish community for a decade as a BBYO advisor by bringing the best version of herself to teens, parents, volunteers, and staff. She consistently works alongside the teens in Judy Kravitz BBG to support their ideas and models how a leader acts. Julie kept supporting her teens throughout the pandemic and was a leader in our advisor community. Julie stepped up again for BBYO in June while staff were at summer programs. BBYO is better with Julie on our team and we are forever thankful for her massive impact on the community.

 

Zach Epstein

Chabad Jewish Student Center at UT

Zach Epstein, as a student and now as an alumnus has played a pivotal role in building the prayer services and general RUACH at UT Chabad. He also helped ensure the Sammy connection to UT Chabad remain strong. He truly shined the most his senior during Covid-19, ensuring all of the above took place amongst the many challenges. Zach’s warmth, smile and his leadership are a credit to our community. He is Chabad @ UT's hero.

Rosa Clark

Community Homes for Adults

CHAI would like to nominate Rosa Clark. Rosa has been with CHAI since 2010 and has shown to be very patient, kind and empathetic when it comes to dealing with residents. Rosa consistently and thoroughly communicates with other staff and supervisors and is great with following up on important issues. She is dedicated to our residents and rarely, if ever, takes a day off. She does not hesitate to help out whether it be helping with training new staff or simply doing extra duties whenever and wherever she can. She attends meetings, completes notes, does an amazing job with making sure Miller guys know that they are safe and loved.

 

Petr Dudler

Congregation Shearith Israel

Petr Dudler is celebrating his 25th year as a truly valued member of Congregation Shearith Israel's facilities staff. Petr is beloved by his co-workers and the congregation, who have gotten to know him over these many years. He works very hard behind the scenes to make sure every set up is correct for services, programs, meetings, and other events, and his vast institutional knowledge is important to us in so many ways. We greatly appreciate Petr’s kind and friendly nature, and the entire Shearith family thanks him for his unwavering dedication and commitment to us over the last 25 years!

Tina Israel

Congregation Tiferet Israel

Tina Tobolowsky Israel's family tree is rooted in Congregation Tiferet Israel, where her parents Esir and Florence Tobolowsky and five generations have been active leaders for a lifetime. L'Dor, V'Dor, Tina has naturally assumed roles as youth educator, board member, serving as vice president of education and youth and recording secretary for 10 years. She is currently Sisterhood president, office volunteer and source of the congregation's history. Her strong dedication and enthusiasm are visible as she works with other volunteers and their committees, serving as a wonderful role model for all who know her.

 

Jillian Notelovitz

Dallas Area Torah Association

DATA has grown over three decades from a "mom and pop" to a multi-branch outreach organization. Jillian has overseen our bookkeeping and finances for almost twenty years. Her role goes way beyond the simple day-to-day data entry and balance sheets. Her ability to provide real-time information, at anytime, and the knowledge of every transaction, and even split-transactions, allows the DATA Rabbis and Rebbetzins to focus on building a stronger, thriving Jewish Dallas Metroplex.

Tammiko Jones

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum

Tammiko Jones has been with the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum since 2019. As Executive Assistant to the CEO/President, she not only provides crucial support to the Museum’s board and leadership team but is also always willing to help all of her colleagues. Tammiko works diligently to ensure the Museum’s administration runs smoothly, and her passion for the mission is unmistakable. As a key member of the “Fun Committee,” she never misses an opportunity to mark team milestones, celebrate a colleague’s birthday, or arrange staff get togethers. The Museum simply could not run without her.

 

Susan Lipinsky Schackman

Dallas Jewish Historical Society

Our DJHS “Unsung Hero 2021” is Susan Schackman, board member extraordinaire. Susan has a long family history of volunteerism, within and outside of the Jewish community. With her parents as role models, Susan has participated in myriad community organizations, including Shearith Israel Sisterhood, NCJW, AJC, JFS, and the Dallas Arboretum. She makes a difference by providing thoughtful advice, solid ideas, acting as a community ambassador to members and sponsors, and doing it all with a sense of humor and a smile on her face. Susan recently co-chaired “Viva Shalom—One Story at a Time,” our successful biennial Oral History fundraiser.

Talia Wolk

Gan Menachem Preschool

Talia is a dedicated and hard worker who is always dependable. Always willing to step in and do what she has to do to make our operation smooth. She is devoted to her students and always goes the extra mile.

 

Katie Rose

Hillels of North Texas

Katie Rose is Hillel of North Texas’ unsung hero. Just before the pandemic, she became our development intern and plans shifted very soon after. Katie was always open to supporting the organization in whatever capacity. She continued as an intern into the fall semester, wearing many hats. She was there for students whenever they needed someone to talk to. In her final semester, Katie moved to full-time engagement associate working very hard to virtually engage students. Katie’s positive energy kept student leaders going through difficult times. We’re proud to call her an alum, staff, and now volunteer.

Carey Nottingham

Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas

Carey Nottingham worked tirelessly to launch JFS' Emergency Housing Assistance Program in 2020. She interviewed, trained, and hired 17 application processors all remote, in the middle of the pandemic. She was quick to create processes and get started helping as many people as possible with financial assistance, giving away more than $1.2 million by the end of the year. We received lots of messages from clients saying Carey and her team were thoughtful, kind, and incredibly helpful. She was truly a lifeline for the recipients of these emergency funds.

 

Ann Kahn

Jewish National Fund

Ann Kahn is the embodiment of a true mensch. She has spent decades giving back her time to non-profits across North Texas. You would not find a person with more humility than Ann. She would never tell you the countless hours she has spent delivering meals on wheels to those home bound each week. The lives she has touched due to her acts of kindness are immeasurable. She always made time for her community and Israel while being a businesswoman and mother. Jewish National Fund-USA is honored to shine a light on Ann Kahn, our unsung hero.

Susan Skibell-Press

Mikvah Israel

Mikvah Israel attracts women from all areas of the Dallas Jewish community because of its values and vision. The mikvah serves more than 120 women each month by appointment. For almost 20 years, Susan Skibell-Press has been Mikvah Israel's Scheduler calling back each woman with their appointment time. Her warm personality and low-key demeanor have been much appreciated by the women of the Dallas Jewish community. With our new Online Appointment capability, Susan's scheduling expertise is still integral to our important mission.

 

Karen Stock

National Council of Jewish Women

Karen has voluntarily made critical contributions to the infrastructure of NCJW Dallas, sacrificing her time and talent, often without recognition. An accomplished Technology Solutions professional, Karen created NCJW Dallas' CRM database system, setting up a central hub for data collection, management, and dissemination. A trusted advisor and life-long member of NCJW Dallas, Karen has seen the organization through some of its most difficult times. She never complains. She just does what needs to be done to help. Primarily, her work is accomplished behind the scenes and often no-one knows the genius who made things happen so smoothly.

Jeff Burgett

The Legacy Senior Communities

During the winter storm in early 2021, Jeff, a driver with The Legacy Willow Bend since 2017, assisted in moving over 90 residents, patients, and staff to Legacy Midtown Park due to a campus wide power outage in Plano. Jeff didn’t stop there, he continued to brave treacherous road conditions and shuttled food, supplies, bed linens and other items needed to care for all of the displaced residents and patients. In the following days, Jeff transported staff afraid or unable to drive to work. Throughout the storm, Jeff continuously put others first and served with a smile and positive attitude.

 

 

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Contact Us

Dallas Jewish Community Foundation
Byrna & Joe Funk Family Philanthropy Center
12700 Hillcrest Road, Suite 201
Dallas, Texas 75230

E-mail: info@djcf.org
Phone: (214) 615-9351
Fax: (214) 363-5942