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Debby Singer Honored with Second Annual Marv Gross Social Justice Award

On behalf of the Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center Sisterhood, it was my honor to nominate  Debby Singer for the Marv Gross Social Justice Award and to stand on the Bimah with this year’s honoree during the Social Justice Committee Shabbat Service on April 22nd.

Debby  has served as Sisterhood’s Tzedakah Chair for many years, bringing our attention and support to Friends in Deed Women’s Room, Food Pantry and Bad Weather Shelter. Not only does Debby keep us up to date on the organization’s activities and needs, but she coordinates a monthly hot lunch for 35 women, soliciting Sisterhood members to participate in preparing portions of a complete meal. As an advocate for Friends in Deed, Debby arranged for Sisterhood to adopt several winter dates on which Sisterhood members and friends came together to set-up the bad weather shelter and prepare a hot meal for approximately 100 homeless clients.

Debby’s passion and concern for those in need is further evidenced by her years of participation on the Friends in Deed Board of Directors. She is currently the Secretary of the Board, taking on a more prominent leadership role. Executive Director Rabbi Joshua Grater shares that “Debby is an important voice on our Board of Directors. Debby has also been a volunteer at the Bad Weather Shelter, the Women’s Room as well as being a major donor.  In all the time I’ve known Debby, she has always been passionate about Tikkun Olam, always focused on ways to help others and how to bring the community together, including our children, to do the most good.” I am pleased to announce that Sisterhood is donating $ 180.00 to Friends in Deed in honor of Debby.

Judy Callahan shared that “when Debby was Director of Louis B. Silver Religious School, she led by example.  Emphasizing for our students that Tikkun Olam, making the world better, was a fundamental teaching of Judaism, Debby introduced the mitzvah projects to accompany b’nai mitzvah programming.  She joined students on walks for Jewish World Watch.”  Her legacy of mitzvah projects continues to be an integral part of the b’nai mitzvah experience at PJTC.                                                                                    

With Debby’s guidance, Sisterhood has focused its participation in the annual Louis B. Silver Religious School Mitzvah Fair with projects that support Friends in Deed, including collection of toiletries and creation of no-sew quilts for Women’s Room clients as well as assembly of soup-in-a jar for the Friends in Deed food pantry.

Even before Debby began working at the Jewish Federation of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys as its PJ Library and PJ Our Way Program Director, she had been intimately involved in giving back to our community.  She has been a long-time member of the Jewish Federation’s Jewish Book Festival committee and a long-time supporter of the Jewish Federation.  Through her work with PJ Library, she has revolutionized how families with young children engage with and find their way into our Jewish community.  The passion she brings to reaching families and engaging them with Jewish activities is remarkable.  Through her efforts, PJ Library has far exceeded its outreach goals.  Federation Executive Director Jason Moss shares “Our community is lucky to have such a committed and dedicated community member. I know that the Jewish Federation would not be what it has become without the efforts Debby has made to help us further our mission to strengthen and enhance Jewish life in our community.”

Debby Singer is clearly an individual who, like Rabbi Marv Gross of blessed memory, embodies the Jewish teaching of Tikkun Olam with her commitment to Jewish life, social justice and making the world a better place to live through her volunteer activities, leadership and acts of kindness.

by Nancy Carlton, Sisterhood President


Tue, June 28 2022 29 Sivan 5782