JFSA women name Zehngut award recipient

Zoe Holtzman

The advisory council of the Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona will present the 11th annual Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award, recognizing an outstanding Jewish teenage girl, to Zoe Holtzman on March 5 at the Women’s Philanthropy “Connections” brunch. The council, which includes past Women’s Philanthropy chairs and campaign chairs, created the award in partnership with friends of Zehngut, who died in 2005, to honor her example as a community leader. Zehngut, according to council members, “personified the greatest assets of the human spirit, displaying sincerity, generosity, compassion, wisdom, and righteousness.”

Holtzman, the daughter of Kyra and Barney Holtzman, is a senior at University High School.

Holtzman’s involvement and leadership in Jewish communal life and the greater Tucson community, tzedakah (righteous giving) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) were keys to her becoming this year’s recipient. Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim describes her as “a role model not only for her sisters, but also for her peers and all the young people she encounters.”

Holtzman has served as a board member of the Tucson Jewish Community Center board of directors, founding member of JTAG (a board of leaders within in the Jewish teen community who work to plan social action and leadership training events for all Jewish teens in Tucson), officer and member of BBYO and advocate for the Jewish Latino Teen Coalition. She’s also been Southwest regional director of Young Democrats of America High School Caucus and captain of the Tucson JCC Stingrays swim team. Holtzman is the co-editor in chief of her school newspaper, member of the University High School site council and a volunteer at her school Rotary Interact Club.

Holtzman will be recognized at the “Connections” brunch featuring Rabbi Susan Silverman at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on March 5 at 10 a.m. She will receive a gift of $613, relating to the Jewish tradition of 613 mitzvot, which she plans to donate to the Jewish Latino Coalition and the Project Safe Place program at Jewish Family & Children’s Services.

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