Shalom Austin and HFLA Combine Efforts for the Greater Good of Community | Shalom Austin

Shalom Austin and HFLA Combine Efforts for the Greater Good of Community

The Jewish Outlook

Dec 1, 2023

By Allison Teegardin 

Recently, the leadership of Shalom Austin and Hebrew Free Loan of Austin (HFLA) embarked on a joint venture to combine their efforts and support each other’s missions, both aimed at building and sustaining a thriving Jewish community in the Greater Austin area.

Shalom Austin CEO Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus said, ”We are excited about this growing partnership with an organization that is equally dedicated to supporting the thriving Austin Jewish community.”

Ed Hockfield, Hebrew Free Loan of Austin (HFLA) board chair, first learned about HFLA while speaking with people he met while attending a JAMen dinner. New to Austin after recently relocating from Chicago to be closer to his grandchildren, and with more than 45 years of relevant experience, Hockfield said he was excited to join the board.

Hockfield notes that as the Jewish community in Austin continues to expand, so will the needs, and HFLA is committed to being there alongside Shalom Austin. 

“There is enormous potential for the growing, thriving Austin Jewish community to fuel philanthropy at levels most often seen in much larger cities,” Hockfield said. “We are in the strategic planning process right now and know that a critical component needs to be donor development. The more we have, the better we can do. And there is more to do.”

Diana Resnik is an HFLA board member who has been involved with the organization for seven years. “I have stayed involved for so long because I love what we do for the community,” Resnik said. “All board members must lead a loan and participate on a committee approving other loans. Telling an applicant their interest free loan was approved is rewarding and reenergizes members of the Board. This makes me proud of the work we do!”

HFLA has been serving the Austin Jewish community for over twelve years. What began with co-founders Tracy Solomon and Dr. Michael Rotman, of blessed memory, sitting around a kitchen table, the organization has loaned over $1,000,000 to date. With a few more weeks left in the year, Hockfield says it is still possible for HFLA to reach a record $300,000 in loans this year. What is more is how far each loan can extend. “Nowhere else in any organization that I have been a part of have I seen a gift truly last a lifetime. Every dollar stays in the community for generations,” Hockfield said. 


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