Rapoport Center Serves as New Education Hub

Shalom Austin is excited to announce a $1 million gift to the Generations Campaign to create first-rate learning spaces and programming through the new Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Jewish Culture and Education! 

The Rapoport Family gift will have a transformative impact on Jewish life in Austin by enabling the construction of technology-rich learning spaces in the soon-to-be expanded Jewish Community Center.

“As Austin becomes a center of Texas Jewry, we wanted there to be a corner to remember them because they were so committed to Central Texas Jewry. My hope is we can be a convener for education efforts and that it can then be a great resource to all the people in the community looking for ways to define Jewish living and be a community and find learning communities and resources—to have Jewish homes and lead Jewish lives but with the freedom to identify what that means to them,” said Abby Rapoport, granddaughter of Bernard and Audre Rapoport and incoming Shalom Austin board chair.

Top Row L-R: Dr. Ronald Rapoport, Abby Rapoport, Emily Rapoport, Patricia Rapoport
Front Row L-R: Audre Rapoport, Bernard Rapoport

This generous gift also provides seed money to hire Rachel Stern to serve as the Center’s Chief Learning and Engagement Officer and grow creative, cutting-edge, collaborative Jewish learning and enrichment programming on the Dell Jewish Community Campus and throughout Central Texas.

A seasoned educator and mentor with more than 20 years of experience, Stern is one of the most highly regarded professionals in the field of Jewish education.

For the past 15 years, Stern has served as a consultant and then director of education at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. During her tenure, Stern grew the ISJL’s regional education program from a four-state, 22 religious school site pilot project in 2005 to a fully-formed, ever-evolving program serving 12 states and 76 religious schools in 2018. She serves as a mentor for 50 education fellow alumni, all of whom she directly recruited, hired, trained and supervised.

 Rachel Stern

Stern also serves as an education consultant and adult education instructor to congregations and organizations, guiding them in strategic planning around defining their education goals.

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We are thankful for this generous contribution and the Center that will serve as a source of institutional Jewish pride, and a welcoming, educative place to non-Jewish visitors.

Visit our website to learn more about the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Jewish Culture and Education and Chief Learning and Engagement Officer Rachel Stern.

Keith Zimmerman and Judy Waxman
Generations Campaign Committee Co-Chairs

Rabbi Daniel Spetimus
Shalom Austin CEO

Harriet Kirsh Pozen
Generations Campaign Director

To give to the Generations Campaign, contact Harriett Kirsh Pozen at harriett.kirsh.pozen@shalomaustin, (512) 735-8076 or visit shalomaustin.org/generationsdonate.