JFSA women seek teen nominees for Zehngut award

The Women’s Philanthropy Advisory Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is seeking nominations for the 12th annual Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award, recognizing an outstanding Jewish teenage girl. The award honors Zehngut, a community leader who died in 2005.

Nominees should be high school juniors or seniors who have modeled Jewish values and shown leadership through their volunteer activities. The winner will receive a $613 gift, relating to the Torah’s 613 mitzvot. She may use the money toward participation on a trip to Israel or a Jewish leadership or educational program, or donate it to a Jewish non-profit organization. The honoree will be recognized at the Women’s Philanthropy 2019 Connections Brunch on Sunday, March 10 at Westin La Paloma Resort.

“Becoming an active member and leader in both the Jewish community and the wider Tucson community has changed my life. I made lifelong friends [and] found my passions,” says Maya Levy, one of two winners in 2018.

“I urge all young women to find their voice within their community. You have the power to change the world, all you have to do is take a chance and take a step — I promise you won’t regret it,” adds Levy, now a senior at University High School and president of NFTY Southwest. She also tutors in all school subjects as well as for b’nai mitzvah and volunteers at Handmaker.  And, after spending a summer at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Kutz Camp and a week in Washington, D.C., on a trip sponsored by the URJ’s Religious Action Center, she is working with the RAC throughout the year as a member of its Social Action Leaders Fellowship.

Jillian Cassius also received an award in 2018. Previous awardees are Zoe Holtzman (2017), Madyssen Zarin (2016), Sarah Cassius (2015), Adina Artzi (2014), Ital Ironstone (2013), Rachel Knox (2012), Alyssa Silva (2011), Cate Rubin (2010), Ariella Faitelson (2009), Rebecca Beckman (2008), and Allison Abraham (2007).

Nominee requirements and application forms are available online at https://goo.gl/forms/WYC2USmaFigkYePv1.

Nominations may not be submitted by a family member but may be self-submitted. Girls nominated must submit a brief resume, a letter of recommendation from a non-family member, and a brief statement of intent for use of the $613 award. Nominations are due Nov. 16; they may be uploaded online or emailed to Susannah Castro at scastro@jfsa.org.

For more information, contact Castro at 577-9393 or scastro@jfsa.org.