On March 21, 2023, the Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix (CJP) will host our 2023 campaign breakfast, recognize Community Award Honorees and hear from Julie Platt, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America.
Read more about our keynote speaker and the award winners below and join us in congratulating the deserving honorees.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: JULIE PLATT
Julie Platt is the chair of the board of trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and immediate past chair of the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and serves as chair of the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Prior to serving as board chair at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Ms. Platt served as their general campaign chair, chair of its Ensuring the Jewish Future Strategic Initiative and chair of Federation’s Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy. She was honored with the Ruby Award for her commitment to leadership and community service, presented by Women’s Philanthropy. Ms. Platt’s lifelong connection with the Jewish community began at Camp Ramah in Ojai, California, and today she is a driving force behind shining a bright light on the transformative impact of a Jewish camp experience and raising funds for the field. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Platt serves on the board of trustees as well as Penn Hillel’s National Board of Governors.
BELLE LATCHMAN COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
The Belle Latchman Community Service Award is presented in recognition of an outstanding current contribution to the enhancement of the quality of life in the Greater Phoenix area by a local nonprofit Jewish agency, organization, institution or committee.
This year, two organizations, Valley Beit Midrash and the East Valley Jewish Community Center, were selected to receive the award. Both of these organizations applied Jewish values to create programs that address growing needs both within and outside of the Jewish community.
Valley Beit Midrash – Arizona Jews for Justice (AJJ)
AJJ is the fastest growing Jewish social justice organization in the Southwest. Guided by Jewish ethics, AJJ and its volunteers take action in pursuit of a more just world. Its initiatives include work that uplifts the homeless, supports refugees and assists asylum seekers. Last year AJJ provided 200 meals every Sunday to individuals and families in need, provided food and water to the homeless during the heat of the summer and raised $4,000 to purchase hundreds of toys that were distributed to vulnerable children. AJJ tackles social issues with forward thinking learning opportunities that are rooted in Jewish values to inspire people from all background to learn to act.
East Valley Jewish Community Center (EVJCC) – JBox Program
Last year, the JBox program provided over 5,000 meals to low-income youth and seniors in their homes. Volunteers not only deliver the food but also take time to socialize with the recipients to ensure they are well and to provide information on additional resources. The JBox program also provides free lunches to low-income children who attend the East Valley’s Early Childhood Center. During the pandemic, the EVJCC saw a rising increase I the need to help more families by providing food items, so they established the JBox Food pantry that provides 300 additional families with free groceries.
LEE AMADA AND SY CLARK YOUNG LEADERSHIP AWARDS
The Center for Jewish Philanthropy’s Young Leadership Awards are presented to individuals who are 45 years of age or younger and have a minimum of three years devoted to some phase of volunteer community service within or outside the Jewish community. Honorees have demonstrated a willingness to serve, an understanding of the purpose of Jewish communal work and the potential to assume leadership roles in the community.
The Lee Amada and Sy Clark Young Leadership Awards are presented to outstanding young leaders who have shown their dedication and passion for Jewish causes and who have given their time and energy to make an impact.
This year, CJP is proud to recognize Leah Bold Mondlick as the recipient of the Lee Amada Award and Bryce Schotz as the recipient of the Sy Clark Award.
Both Leah and Bryce have been actively involved with CJP and other organizations in our community. They both embody a new generation of young leaders who are stepping up and assuming positions of leadership in established organizations or launching new initiatives to reach their peers in novel ways.
Leah Bold Mondlick, Lee Amada Young Leadership Honoree
Leah Bold Mondlick has worked in commercial Real Estate for the past 20 years. She started her career working in residential real estate selling high-end luxury condominiums in the Washington D.C. area. She then relocated to Detroit, Michigan for Taubman, a national mall developer, where she has been working for the past 16 years as a leasing manager, leasing luxury shopping centers across the country. She is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and has served on their NextGen board.
Leah has been involved in the Jewish community from a very young age. She attended Jewish day school in Dallas, Texas, was part of BBYO in her teen years and was active in Hillel at West Virginia University. She became very involved with the Jewish Federation in Detroit serving on the NextGen Detroit board and executive committee and serving as the first co-chair for Detroit’s NextGen young leadership annual campaign event, Epic, which has raised over $200,000 annually and is still an ongoing event today.
She has chaired two young leadership missions to Israel and is a National Young Leadership Cabinet alumni. She is the past chair of NowGen in Phoenix where she served as the chair for two years and launched the Live, Give, Lead program which is still in place today. She is a prior Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix board member, and now serves on the Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix’s board. She is the current chair of Women IN Philanthropy (WIP) which she relaunched in 2020, bringing new programing to the Valley including Dignity Grows, Floranthropy and the first WIP Women Cares Day, a day of community service for women across the Valley.
Leah and her husband Josh have three children, Abe (6), Zane (5) and Halle (2 1/2). They are active in their children’s Jewish preschool and synagogue and care deeply about PJ Library and bringing Jewish books and education to our children via reading in the home. In her free time, Leah enjoys shopping, spending time with her family, riding bikes, skiing, spending time in Coronado during the summer and traveling with friends and family.
Bryce Schotz, Sy Clark Young Leadership Honoree
Bryce was born and raised in Phoenix as a second-generation Valley native and has been a part of the Jewish community for as long as he can remember. Growing up, he attended Hebrew school and played sports at the JCC. As a teen, he was heavily involved in BBYO which transitioned him to Jewish involvement on his college campus at Arizona State University. Bryce held leadership positions in his Jewish fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu, was president of Chabad at ASU and an active member of Hillel and pro-Israel groups on campus. He attended Birthright in the summer of 2009 where he met his wife, Shawna. Upon graduation from the WP Carey School of Business, he helped launch Moishe House Phoenix and the NowGen Giving Circle while being a BBYO advisor for Jonas Salk AZA for five years.
Bryce continued being involved with NowGen, serving on the board for multiple years and where he eventually became the board co-chair. He is an active participant in JNFuture and has co-chaired Shabbat in the Desert twice. Currently, Bryce is a member of the Young Leadership Cabinet where he continues his passion for giving back to the community and is an alumni of the Men’s Israel Mission trip.
As a new father to their baby, Makenzie, Bryce and his wife Shawna are more passionate than ever to continue building a thriving Jewish community for the next generation. Professionally, Bryce and Shawna run the You Call The Schotz Real Estate Team providing service in the residential real estate industry. In his free time, Bryce likes to maintain an active lifestyle by regularly playing basketball, tennis, mountain biking, golfing, camping, fishing and taking long walks with his dog, Jello Schotz.
About Lee Amada
Lee Amada was born in 1910 in Australia. In 1940, she was 30 years old and lived in Newark, New Jersey, with her husband, Leo. In 1961, she and Leo, a pharmacist, moved to Phoenix. She was a life-long philanthropist. She was passionate about bringing philanthropy and women’s leadership together as evidenced by her roles in both local and national chapters of Hadassah both in New Jersey, where she spent the earlier years of her life, and then in Phoenix. Also, during her life in Phoenix, Amada was an active participant in the United Jewish Welfare Fund; conducted leadership workshops for Junior Civic Leaders and was a member of Congregation Beth El.
About Seymour Clark
Seymour “Sy” Clark was born in Brooklyn and moved to Phoenix in 1951. He was a past president of Lewkowitz B’nai B’rith and a member of Beth El, Friends of Hillel, Jewish War Veterans and the Kivel Home. He was active in the Phoenix Jewish Federation, was a leader and commissioner for the Boy Scouts and received the Shofar Award. He was also active in Phoenix Little Theatre and the Jewish Community Center theater group. Clark died in a car accident at age 45 in July 1971.
To honor the spirit of community impact, which is at the heart of our new organization, the Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix created a new award. The CJP Spark Award shines the light on those whose voice, support, influence, passion and contributions have made a significant impact on the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix.
The CJP Spark celebrates and recognizes extraordinary individuals and leaders who give, advocate and volunteer for positive change in our community. They are the trailblazers who go above and beyond for our community and have demonstrated outstanding commitment through financial support, or through encouragement and motivation of others, to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement. They regularly step up to meet community needs and exemplify the common bonds that connect us.
We are honored to bestow the first CJP Spark award to Carmen and Michael Blank for their extraordinary philanthropic support to our community.
Carmen and Michael Blank, Spark Award Honorees
Carmen and Michael Blank are residents of Paradise Valley and Flagstaff. They met while both were working at the family pharmaceutical business, Sherry Pharmaceuticals, and have been married for 57 years. Michael and Carmen are native New Yorkers and resided there and in California before moving to Arizona. They have resided in Paradise Valley for 37 years and have been members of Temple Chai for 25 years.
Michael and Carmen are the proud parents of Matthew and Jennifer. Matthew and his wife, Edie, have an adult daughter, Melissa. Jennifer has two children, Jacob and Gabriella.
Carmen’s charities that are near and dear to her heart are helping women and children, and she has been an active community volunteer with several organizations, including ASU Gammage and Hadassah, where she was co-president of her chapter.
Michael is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Pharmacy and had a 40-year career with executive leadership positions within several corporations. Michael has served on several boards including the Jewish Community Foundation of Scottsdale and the board of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Michael is currently a trustee of the Molly Blank Fund, which focuses its giving on arts and Jewish causes in Phoenix and Atlanta, Georgia. The Fund has donated approximately $18 million in Arizona since its inception in 2015.
Though the Lighting the Spark event is currently sold out, you can still make a donation in honor of these award winners.
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