Jennifer Greenblum to be Honored at Mosaic as the 2022 Woman of Valor
The 2022 Woman of Valor, Jennifer Greenblum. Credit: Dave Hawks.
On Monday, November 7, the Austin Jewish community will honor this year’s Woman of Valor, Jennifer Greenblum, at the Women’s Philanthropy Mosaic luncheon. The much-anticipated return of the signature Women’s Philanthropy event is bringing with it heightened excitement among Austin Jewish women. Taking place at the upscale JW Marriott in downtown Austin, admission includes time for schmoozing, a plated lunch and an opportunity to hear from featured speaker, Sarah Hurwitz, author of “Here All Along-Finding meaning, spirituality and a deeper connection to life in Judaism.”
The Woman of Valor award is presented each year to a woman whose longtime and unflagging commitment to the Jewish community has made her a role model to others. As this year’s Woman of Valor, Greenblum will be recognized for her commitment to the cause of the Jewish people and Israel. She has had leadership positions across Jewish institutions, big and small, has a heart of gold, always provides support to others and graces every room she enters with a smile. Greenblum chatted with The Jewish Outlook to share why Shalom Austin’s Women’s Philanthropy is so meaningful to her.
How did you become involved with the Austin Jewish community?
I became involved in the Jewish Community when I returned to Austin in 1992 and my daughter started Sunday School. It was incredible meeting so many Jewish families in town and my connection to the community took off from there!
My leadership involvement really began in 1998 when I had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn Stahl who was the role model in Austin Jewish women’s leadership. I was asked to join the Women’s Philanthropy Committee and was mesmerized watching Marilyn’s conviction, dedication and commitment to the community. There was not a problem she could not solve or a project she did not spearhead! She asked me to help in different areas and gave me guidance and advice to make sure I would be successful in whatever role I took on. There is nothing like a mentor with a “can do” attitude to make you want to be better!
From then on, when asked to volunteer and get involved, I agreed! I enjoyed meeting new people and by getting involved I was empowered to give back—I hit two home runs! It is an incredibly satisfying feeling to know you have made a difference, whether in a small or major way.
Now, I also hope and aspire to mentor the younger leaders the way Marilyn did for me. She was a force that taught me perseverance and drive will always be a winning combination!
2. What was the most pivotal moment in your Jewish journey?
The most pivotal moment for me as a Jewish woman came when I agreed to be on the Women’s Philanthropy Committee. It opened many doors; both personal and educational. I learned all about the incredible programs Shalom Austin had to offer from engagement opportunities that provided connection to my peers to all the areas supported through the work of Jewish Family Service. I I had no idea the depth of care showed to all Jewish lifestages, from birth to senior programs. The more I engaged, along with accepting leadership roles, the feeling of taking care of each other became so apparent and natural. The sense of fulfillment taking on challenges in different roles only grew and allowed me to increase my desire to help.
And now, I can’t believe how much all aspects of Shalom Austin have continued to grow and I’m excited to take on one of my biggest roles yet as the 2023 Annual Campaign Chair!
3. What would you say to someone who is thinking of getting involved with Shalom Austin?
If you are new to Austin or haven’t had the opportunity to get involved yet for any reason, just say “YES” as that’s the first step to volunteering. The resources available to you are vast and the fellow community members who are involved will be eager to welcome you. Never have I witnessed such an expansion of growth in our community. It is definitely the time to get involved and learn all about the many growing programs offered by Shalom Austin. Once you get started, I imagine your desire to make a difference and volunteer will increasingly grow, just like mine did.
4. What is the number one reason you are involved with Shalom Austin?
The main reason I am involved is twofold. Personally, I want to be a role model for my children and grandchildren. I want them to learn that giving of your time, resources and talent not only benefits the community but creates personal growth too. Secondly, knowing I may have made a difference in someone’s life, a family less fortunate, or for Israel, means everything to me. It is why I continue to get involved. We all reap what we sow.
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