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JFSA nominates Giffords, Aaron as heroes

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona has nominated Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Rabbi Stephanie Aaron for the Third Annual Jewish Community Hero Awards.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (P.K.Weis/southwest photobank.com)
Rabbi Stephanie Aaron

Created by The Jewish Federations of North America, the awards project uses social media such as Facebook and Twitter to bring national attention to local leaders, volunteers and professionals who are helping their communities. To vote for Aaron and Giffords or to nominate and vote for your Jewish community hero for 2011, visit www.jewishcommunityheroes.org.

“We want to recognize the tireless efforts of Gabby and Rabbi Aaron for making our Jewish community a better place and now for their world-stage roles promoting civility. These are two strong women that have shined a light on Southern Arizona and we are honored to nominate them as Jewish Community Heroes,” says JFSA President and CEO Stuart Mellan.

The national JFNA awards will honor one Jewish Community Hero of the Year, four finalists and one Federation Hero. Each finalist will receive a Heroes grant — $25,000 for the winner — to support their project. Any Canadian or U.S. resident at least 13 years of age is eligible to be nominated through Sept. 27. Voting will take place between Sept. 7 and Nov. 10, and 10 semi-finalists will be announced from each category — individuals and professionals — on Nov. 15. A panel of judges will select the Jewish Community Hero of the Year and four finalists from among the 20 nominees who receive the most online support.

Last year’s Jewish Community Hero of the Year was Jay Feinberg, founder of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation’s registry. According to Feinberg, “The $25,000 grant I received has thus far enabled my organization to fund bone marrow testing (cheek swabs) that led to matches for five people in need of a transplant. Since donors remain in the registry for many years, we know that dozens of additional matches are coming!”