The Advisory Council of the Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona awarded Ital Ironstone its seventh annual Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award at the Connections brunch on Sunday, March 3. The award recognizes an outstanding Jewish teenage girl. The council, which includes past Women’s Philanthropy chairs and campaign chairs, created the award in partnership with friends of the late Zehngut to honor her example as a community leader.
Ital, the daughter of Jennifer Ironstone, is a senior at City High School. She was nominated for the award by Rachel Knox, recipient of the 2012 Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award. The two met at the 2012 Connections event where Rachel was honored, and have since become further involved in the Jewish community together.
In her childhood, Ital was homeschooled through “unschooling,” a process in which she learned at home through natural life experiences, allowing her to learn about those things she cared most about. This led to her decision to deepen her practice, understanding and commitment to Jewish life.
Ital has served in numerous leadership roles and is a two-term president of her B’nai B’rith Youth Organization chapter. Through BBYO, she spent a month traveling in Israel, learning about her connection to the Jewish people. She recently participated in an International BBYO Convention in Washington, D.C. Among the organizations and projects she has volunteered with are Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, the Israel Festival, Operation Deep Freeze, Food Not Bombs, the Humane Society, Ronald McDonald House, DC Kitchens Food Recycling and Meal Distribution programs, and Tucson Meet Yourself. She is a teacher’s assistant in the Hebrew and religious schools at Congregation Chaverim.
At the Connections event, she received a gift of $613, relating to the Jewish tradition of 613 mitzvot, which she plans to use to toward a Jewish educational experience abroad. She was also presented with a Julie Szerina Stein print that was personalized for the Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award.