Shalom Austin Staff and Volunteer Spotlight

Shalom Austin Staff and Volunteer Spotlight

Jenifer Thompson
Accounting Coordinator - Development

What is your role and what do you do at Shalom Austin?
I am in the Accounting department and I process all of the donations for both Shalom Austin’s Annual Campaign and for the Generations Campaign.

What is your background and what brought you to Shalom Austin?
I have a degree in Advertising from UT and I worked in one of the country’s biggest ad agencies in Chicago before returning to Austin. When I enrolled my daughter in the ECP almost five years ago, a position at the Federation caught my attention - they needed someone organized with a head for numbers to help process donations and event registrations.

What do you feel has been your most rewarding experience so far?
It feels great to be a part of something that can help so many, like a few months ago when Shalom Austin raised money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Every donation helps - no matter the size - and it gives me great pride to help those in need.

What is your favorite part about working here?
It’s been said before, but there is a wonderful sense of community here at Shalom Austin and I have made some close friends, and they are what makes working here fun.

Describe any exciting programs or projects in the works.
I recently began processing donations for the Generations Campaign to rebuild and regenerate our campus. It is so exciting to be a part of building something that will have a profound and lasting effect on Austin’s future generations.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting involved with Shalom Austin?
It’s a great place to work and play!

Suzy Gallagher
Shalom Austin Volunteer

What are you involved with at the J?
Primarily Dell Angels (the singing group). I exercise with senior aerobics and zumba.

What’s your favorite part about being involved in the Jewish community?
Making friends. Getting to know people. Being with other people. The social aspect of anybody’s life at a certain age keeps you alive. That’s why the senior adult programs have these luncheons and other events to keep us in touch with each other.

How long have you been in the community?
About 10 years. I grew up in New Orleans and we were member s of the JCC there when I was growing up as a kid.

Can you share an experience in these last 10 years that really stands out in your mind?
One of the most interesting experiences was when my husband and I were in a play called “Oy!” a few years ago. We played the parents of an 11 year old boy (even though I was about 70). It turns out we got to know this young man. He was very interested in older people and we were interested in what he was doing, so we had a great time and got to know each other pretty well. He was 12.

What would you say to someone who is considering moving to Austin or lives here but hasn’t yet been engaged in the Jewish community?
I would say it will make a tremendous difference in your life, and I think making contact and being a part of a community is the most important thing you can do as you age. If you’re not part of a community, then the definition of what you are is alone—and that is bad for anybody.

Any last thoughts?
I’m still having a good time! ■

Mothers from Austin Participate in the First Inaugural Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) Mission to Israel

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Gloria and Harvey Evans Make a Substantial Leadership Gift for a Performing Arts Center

Gloria and Harvey Evans Make a Substantial Leadership Gift for a Performing Arts Center