Helping hand adds a pat on the back
Givers recognized for making JFS facilities happen
by Steve Israel
For one shining hour Sunday morning, the big helping hand of Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Greater Dallas was extended for a special reason: to thank those who not only made generous gifts to the Capital Campaign but also chose to have those gifts name a portion of the JFS building and recognize JFS' work in the community.
"This is a magnificent product of what that (Capital) Campaign has been able to accomplish," said Campaign Chair Don Schaffer. "You (givers) have stabilized an agency" and provided "a home where they can ply their professional trade for many decades."
The gathering marked the second anniversary for JFS at the modern one-story structure on Arapaho Road, just east of the Dallas North Tollway.
It's the place where the Jewish community assembles many of its best caregivers to help those in need, with programs to actively support the safety and independence of frail elderly, professional counseling, employment resources, domestic violence intervention, food pantry, support groups and more.
The first project of the Capital Campaign provided $2,200,000 to JFS toward the purchase and renovation of the 18,000-square-foot Edna Zale Jewish Family Service building.
These were the honorees on Sunday, and the facilities that bear their names:
* Hillcrest Foundation, Board Room
* Meadows Foundation, Food Pantry
* Natalie and Dr. Edwin Ornish, in memory of Louis and Hannah Hoffman Ornish, Lobby
* Roosth Foundation, the children and grandchildren of Jennie and Bennie Roosth and the Larry and Celia Schoenbrun Philanthropic Fund, Clinical Services
* Weisbrod family, in memory of Harry Weisbrod, Volunteer Services Suite
* Ethel Silvergold Philanthropic Fund, in memory of Belle Silvergold Rose and Abraham Silvergold, Leadership Gallery
* M. B. and Edna Zale Foundation and Abe Zale Foundation, Building Name
* Joyce and Selwin Belofsky, Facility designation to be announced
* Anonymous gift in memory of Janis Gamm Ablon, Domestic Violence Services facilities
"The campaign goes on," Howard Schultz stressed, adding that he's pleased with his role as fundraising chair. "I wasn't doing anything this decade," he added, bringing laughter from the crowd of about 60.
With the new facility, "Our ability to serve the community is phenomenal," said JFS Executive Director Michael Fleischer. "It has turned out to be a wonderful, confidential place." He said the planners and givers, through unselfish contributions of time, energy and money, had become "a model for all communities to follow."
The Capital Campaign brings 10 Jewish agencies and schools in the Dallas area together to raise funds to expand and renovate the resources and services of the Dallas Jewish community. More than $41 million has been pledged toward a $50 million goal.
Money raised from phase I of the Campaign also allowed construction to begin on the Solomon Schechter Academy middle school, which opened its doors in December. The campus is now able to serve an additional 200 students and has a new gymnasium, performing arts center and science and computer labs.
Funds were also used to establish the Jewish Community Center, Glencliff Campus in Plano. It is equipped to serve more than 9,500 Jewish households in Plano and surrounding communities and includes a health and fitness center, pre-school, meeting rooms, a day camp site and an outdoor pool. More information is available at (214) 615-5261 or
This story was published in the DallasJewishWeek
on: Thursday, November 21, 2002