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JFSA women open Zehngut nominations

Erika Spivack

The Women’s Philanthropy Advisory Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is seeking nominations for the 14th annual Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award, recognizing an outstanding Jewish teenage girl. The award honors Zehn-gut, 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, which may be used toward participation on a trip to Israel or a Jewish leadership or educational program, or donated to a Jewish non-profit organization. The honoree will be recognized at the Women’s Philanthropy 2020 Connections Brunch on Sunday, March 8 at Loews Ventana Canyon, featuring Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

“I encourage young women to aspire to be great and find things that bring them joy. Being an active member and leader within the Jewish community and wider Tucson community brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined,” says Erika Spivack, the 2019 winner. “One voice has the power to make a difference and I urge all young women to use their power within the Tucson community because you are never too young to make a difference.”

Spivack is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and works with Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that helps to support food-insecure children. Next semester, she plans to volunteer with children in the greater Madison community, either at a daycare center or in a museum.

Nominee requirements and application forms are available online at

Nominations cannot be submitted by a family member but can be self-submitted. Applications are due Jan. 17.