DFW News Articles

2019 Southwest Jewish Congress Award Recipients

Southwest Jewish Congress is hosting their annual Texas Sized Event to honor Dallas’ most dedicated volunteers and activists on Thursday, September 19, 2019. The Texas Sized Event will be held at Eddie Deen’s Ranch, 944 South Lamar, Dallas, Texas 75202.

Meet the Recipients: Lifetime Achievement Awards


Ahn Vo
Philanthropist and Owner of Cindi’s NY Delicatessen, Restaurant, & Bakery, Ahn Vo escaped Vietnam with her family in the 70s on a small boat and has embraced the “American Dream”





Eddie Deen
Owner and Pitmaster of Eddie Deen & Company, Eddie has made had a positive influence on community outreach through educational programs at DISD’s Carter High School and Soul’s Harbor homeless shelter.




Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women of the Southwest Award Recipients

The Inspiring Women of the Southwest Award is bestowed upon five women from diverse disciplines and backgrounds. These inspiring women continually advocate for inclusiveness in our society.



Debbie Dennis
Oncor Chief Customer Officer and Senior Vice President of Human Relations and Corporate Affair, Debbie has developed and implemented community based initiatives, such as the Dallas Mayor’s Youth Fitness Initiative Public-Private Partnership.





Barbara Glazer
Inspired to provide safe and secure communities so that everyone can feel accepted and supported, Barbara initiated Caregivers Day Out Program at Temple Shalom allowing freedom for caregivers of people with special needs. Additionally, Barbara has helped to develop uplifting and engaging activities for Alzheimer’s patients. 




Mary Evans Sias, Ph.D.
American Association of State Colleges and Universities Director, and the Millennium Leadership Initiative and Assistant to the President, Dr. Sias is also involved with The Dallas Chapter of the Links Incoporated and President of the Cottonwood Creek Garden Club, as well as an ACES board member. 




Courtney Underwood
Executive Director of SANE Initiative and a member of the board of Safer Dallas Better Dallas, Courtney opened the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center and works to ensure sexual assault victims have immediate, compassionate, and comprehensive professional evaluation and treatment.






Marsha Williamson  
Marsha is the CEO of Dallas 24 Hour Club, which provides a safe, sober transitional living for homeless, addicted people seeking a new life. Marsha coordinated fundraising and building a new 75 bed facility that served over 600 residents in its first year. Additionally, Marsha is a member of the Park Cities Presbyterian Church “Baby Boomer” Steering Committee.  



Stan Golden Men of Action Award Recipients

This award recognizes five men from diverse disciplines and backgrounds who have distinguished themselves in the pursuit of positive social change and who are both role models and trailblazers for positive social change. 



Giles Davidson
Businessman, Philanthropist, and Social Impact Leader, Giles is involved in Leadership DISD, which deals with educational issues at the local, state, and national levels. Additionally, Giles champions issues such as mental health, equity, and social justice in the non-profit sector




Trini Garza
Civic leader and businessman, Trini was the first elected Hispanic member of the DISD Board of Trustees. Additionally, Trini is retired as the Deputy Regional Director of U.S. Department of Education under President Clinton’s administration.





Stan Levenson
 With a 50 year career in Public Relations and Strategic Communications, Stan was a past Chairman of Greater Dallas Chamber’s marketing committee. Additionally, Stan was a member of University Advisory Boards, Urban League of Greater Dallas, and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.



Tevar Watson 
President of The Hamilton Park Bobcats youth football, Tevar mentors nearly 100 children on a yearly basis. Tevar ensures that kids have weekend food, and attends “Donuts with Dads” with kids who would normally have to go alone, provides them with birthday parties and provides a safe place to do homework.




Paul Zoltan
An immigration attorney and Refugee Support Network co-founder, Paul trains courtroom observers for a recently established initiative to determine the scope of due process violations in Dallas Immigration court. Additionally, Paul mentors other attorneys on pro bono cases representing refugees. 



Future Inspiring Men and Women
Two young men and two young women (ages 14 to 21) were nominated by members of the community and were selected to receive this community service-based award.


Esha Kothapalli
 A senior at Allen High School, Esha will attend Texas A&M University to major in the Public Health Honors Program. Esha completed the JFS Rabbi Gerald J. Klein Summer Internship, which served children at Color Me Empowered. Additionally, Esha has taught English skills to elementary kids at an orphanage in India. 




Aakilah McCoy
A senior at Cedar Hill High School, Aakilah will attend Texas A&M University to pursue Biology for a career in Pre-Medicine. Aakilah volunteered for many charities since the 6th grade, including working with The Dallas Links and Inc. STEAM Academy. Additionally, Aakilah was All-State 1st TEAM in the Texas High School Powerlifting Ass.



Zach Bernstein
 A senior at Yavneh Academy, Zach will attend the University of Texas Austin after a gap year to study in Israel. Zach was Co-President of Students Against Terrorism, planned the charity tournament “Points for Peace” to aid victims of terrorism in Israel, and was a youth leader of Shaare Tefilla





Matthew A. Johnson
A senior at Jesuit College Prepatory School of Dallas, Matthew will attend Loyola University in Chicago and will be majoring in Biology. Matthew was a member of the Jesuit Diversity Executive Board, the Social Justice Immersion Program (International Children’s AIDS Orphanage in Guatemala), the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, and Minnie’s Food Pantry.



For Tickets: https://www.swjc.org/2019-rsvp-form.html

For sponsorship information or to nominate a candidate for 2020, contact Susan Meyers: susan@swjc.org, 214-361-0018 or go to www.swjc.org

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