Shalom Austin Staff & Volunteer Spotlight

Shalom Austin Staff & Volunteer Spotlight

Dayle Sager
Events Coordinator, Shalom Austin

What is your role at Shalom Austin?

I work in the Hospitality department as the coordinator for internal events.

Tell me a little bit about your background and what you do at Shalom Austin…

Initially from South Africa, my husband and I emigrated to the States 18 years ago and relocated to Austin from New Jersey 10 years ago. With two small boys and very little offered insofar as Judaism in Austin at the time, I wanted greater exposure for my children and wanted them involved as much as possible in the Shalom Austin community.

I schedule all internal programs, meetings and events for our organization, AJA and Kim’s Gym. I essentially act as liaison between Facilities and Hospitality, making sure there is smooth transition between events and that the events themselves run as smoothly as possible, and ensure a logistical flow with other events taking place at the same time. I work with the event programmer to make sure all setup needs are met, providing a visual of the room layout wherever necessary and so making sure the event runs as expected.

What do you feel has been your most rewarding experience so far?

Watching my children grow from the ECP to this year wanting to be junior counselors at Camp Shalom.

What is your favorite part of working here?

I love walking down the hallway and seeing everything from the AJA kids, toddlers in strollers, the artists hanging new pictures on the gallery walls, the seniors schmoozing with one another, people working on their laptops in the armchairs or ladies with their feet curled underneath reading, the little ones sitting and reading at the PJ Library.

Do you have any exciting programs or projects in the works?

I am currently working with Jessica Ochs on Camp Fest, Lisa Quay on her Tapestry event, Jackie Rabin’s Ladies Night Out and JaMen, Sarah Weisfeld’s Milestone, Adam Roberts’ World of Wee Performances and AJA’s iRules Presentation.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting involved with Shalom Austin?

These last 10 years being immersed in the Shalom Austin community have been absolutely amazing. I have no doubt that the experience would be no different for anyone wanting a deeper involvement in Shalom Austin.

Pam Reznick Shalom
Austin Volunteer

Tell me a little bit about your background and what you’ve done with the organization…

We moved here in 1977. Getting involved was very important to me in order to meet other Jewish people. I had been involved in B’nai B’rith Women, which is now Jewish Women International in St. Louis where I moved from, that’s where I ­first plugged in and then I ultimately got involved in the JCC. I was on the Board in Austin when we bought the space on Jollyville. And then I rolled off the board around the time our daughter started school, and I got more involved recently about 3 or 4 years ago now with the founding of the Jewish Foundation of Austin and Central Texas. I’m a ­financial advisor so that was kind of a natural for me.

What made you decide to become a Shalom Austin volunteer?

I have always been a person that’s been involved in some way in the community. I can remember as far back as high school. When I ­first came to Austin there weren’t the number of organizations that there are now, and it was important to me to get involved in order to meet other Jewish people. Thee way I got involved with the Jewish Foundation was at Book Fair, I saw a book on the Austin writers table and it was on estate planning. I showed it to my friend Diane Radin and said we need to get this person to talk to the Women’s Division. She said you need to meet Arlene Miller, and so I did and we had long talks. She was in the process of trying to get the Foundation started so I pretty much got involved in that from the very beginning. I had served 6 years on the board of the United Way and 6 years on the board of the Austin Community Foundation, both times as treasurer and chair of the investment committee, so I knew what a Jewish Community Foundation could do. And, so I think I had some experience that was helpful that I could contribute. There isn’t any organization, Jewish or otherwise, that doesn’t need a Foundation to support programming and administrative costs. If every organization could start the beginning of the year and know that their administrative costs were covered before they started doing any fundraising, think how wonderful that could be. The Foundation is not just for raising money for the J, it’s for helping all Jewish organizations raise money. We hope, obviously that they will put their foundations and funds with the Jewish Foundation, but even if they don’t and we can help them along that process, we as a community still all benefi­t.

What made you decide to become a Shalom Austin volunteer?

I have always been a person that’s been involved in some way in the community. I can remember as far back as high school. When I ­first came to Austin there weren’t the number of organizations that there are now, and it was important to me to get involved in order to meet other Jewish people.

Why is volunteering important to you?

Doing something that I enjoy and that is important to me and where I feel that I can make a contribution. I guess I got involved in volunteer activities just because I enjoy them, but as I’m older and look back in retrospect, I think it’s important to give back to the community.

What do you feel has been your most rewarding experience so far?

It’s been seeing JFACT become a reality. I’ve met lots of new people on that Cabinet that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. I hope to continue to participate and see it grow.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting involved with Shalom Austin?

I would ask them what are their interests and try to guide them to a committee or a group that fell in line with what their interests are. Sometimes for myself, this kind of dovetails on what I do on a daily basis, but sometimes people want to do something than what they do on a daily basis. There are all kinds of committees and groups at Shalom Austin. I would think there’s something for everyone, depending upon what their interests are.

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