Meet our 2010 award honorees

Robert Sinton Extraordinary Leader Award: Annette Dobbs


The Sinton Extraordinary Leader Award is given in honor of volunteer leadership in the Jewish community, as exemplified by Robert Sinton, a businessman and community leader whose dedication to the Federation and many other Bay Area organizations spanned more than five decades. It embodies his concern for Jewish communal volunteer involvement and includes a financial stipend to a Jewish agency or organization chosen by the recipient.

Annette DobbsFor nearly 50 years, Annette Dobbs has been an inspiring community leader and volunteer, working tirelessly on behalf of the Jewish people both here and in Israel. Her passion for Israel, as evinced by some 70 trips to the Jewish State, was sparked by a life-changing trip she took in 1970. Three years later, Dobbs became president of the JCF Women’s Division, and in 1988, she served as JCF Campaign Chair. That same year, she became the second woman to serve as President of the JCF Board of Directors. Dobbs has a unique gift for connecting with people, and her passion has inspired many – including her own children and grandchildren – to serve the Jewish community.


Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Young Leadership Award: Jeffrey L. Zlot

Honoring the first president of the Jewish Community Federation, the Annual Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership, inaugurated in October of 1959, recognizes an outstanding young leader in the local Jewish community.

 Jeffrey L. ZlotA third generation Jewish communal leader, Jeffrey L. Zlot has played an invaluable role at JCF for nearly a decade. As a founding member of the Business Leadership Council and fundraising co-chair since 2007, Zlot brings his business acumen, quiet wisdom, and gift for strategic thinking to the work of Federation. Among his many roles at JCF, Zlot has served on the JCF Finance and Administration Committee since 2001, and he currently chairs the Interfaith Outreach Endowment Fund advisory committee. Co-founder and Managing Director of Presidio Financial Partners, Zlot also co-founded a chavura in which families alternate hosting Shabbat dinners at one another’s homes.



Volunteer of the Year: Leah “Liki” Abrams

Volunteer of the Year is given to a volunteer committed to Jewish values, whose contributions of time, creativity, energy and resources sustain and enrich the Jewish community.

One of the Bay Area’s most engaged and inspiring lay leaders, Liki Abrams brings her boundless energy and vibrant spirit to the work of our Jewish community. As a JCF volunteer for more than fifteen years, Abrams has worn many hats, most recently serving as chair of the Israel & Overseas Committee, and as inaugural chair of Panim el Panim. She has also served on the JCF Board of Directors, the Israel Center Executive Committee, and as president of Women’s Philanthropy. A native of Israel, Abrams sits on the Pacific Northwest regional AIPAC board, and she is chair of Gvanim Ba Mifratz, a leadership program for Israelis living in the Bay Area.



JCF Staff Person of the Year: Judy Bloom

JCF Staff Person of the Year embodies the highest values and ethics of Judaism and makes contributions towards the enhancement and quality of Jewish life.

Judy BloomAs Development Officer/Director of Imprint Giving for the Endowment Fund since 2002, Judy Bloom has long exemplified what it means to be a Jewish communal professional. From working with donors to project managing the Youth Philanthropy Initiative, Bloom’s enthusiasm and clear-eyed vision infuse every aspect of her work. A supportive colleague known for her wise counsel and willingness to lend a hand, Judy always finds the time to listen to an idea and offer feedback. A committed humanitarian, Bloom used the occasion of her recent sabbatical to travel to Africa and Israel.



Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award: Kathy Williams

Kathy WilliamsFor more than three decades, Kathy Williams has displayed a passionate commitment to the Bay Area Jewish Community through her work as a volunteer leader and philanthropist. Known for her warmth, elegance, modesty, and wit, Williams has served on the boards of the Bureau of Jewish Education, Peninsula Temple Sholom, the Wornick Jewish Day School, and Pacific Northwest regional AIPAC, among others. Williams first joined the JCF Board in 1993, and among her many contributions, she co-founded the Women in Leadership program in 1999. A former volunteer and professional counselor who has worked with abused children, Williams is passionate about abuse prevention, education, health issues, and overseas needs.


Agency Staff Person of the Year: Barbara Scharf

Agency Staff Person of the Year is given to an exceptional staff member or executive of an agency or organization who strengthens the Jewish community.

Barbara ScharfFor the past decade, Barbara Scharf has devoted herself to improving the lives of Sonoma County seniors as Program Director of the Friendship Circle. Consistently going above and beyond the call of duty, Scharf is more than a Program Director – she is a caregiver and friend to countless seniors. In these tough economic times, Scharf has shown herself to be flexible and creative, doing much with limited resources. She has kept programs affordable, as well as provided emotional support to seniors impacted by the downturn. Scharf is a treasure to the Bay Area Jewish community, always imbuing her work with the true spirit of tikkun olam.



Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award: Lauri Flaxman

The Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award is a national award presented to up to 65 teachers throughout the USA based on significant contributions to classroom teaching and carrying with it funds for professional development and a cash award.

Lauri FlaxmanA caring and devoted early childhood Jewish educator, Lauri Flaxman has spent the last eight years as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Beth Jacob Preschool in Redwood City. With more than 18 years of experience, Flaxman is known as a gentle and calming presence for her students and a supportive mentor to her fellow teachers. Flaxman has a unique ability to facilitate social interactions between children, and she is constantly adapting her curriculum to meet their emotional and developmental needs. Combining her early childhood skills with her training as a Speech and Language therapist, Flaxman also teaches a Facilitated Playskills Class for children who need additional assistance with social skills.



Program of the Year: JCC Maccabi Games

JCC Maccabi GamesIn one of the largest volunteer efforts ever undertaken in the Bay Area Jewish community, more than 1,300 volunteers mobilized to host the 2009 JCC Maccabi Games in San Francisco. A Bay Area first, the Games brought nearly 1,500 teen athletes from around the world for a week of athletic competition, social events, and a day of social action, all within a Jewish context. Visiting delegations from across North America and beyond got to know the Bay Area’s diverse Jewish community by staying with local host families, and they even helped to beautify our city. As part of an enhanced community service component, participants helped rehabilitate more than a dozen of San Francisco’s most distressed parks.



Read about the Helen Diller awardees for Excellence in Jewish Education

Categories: Awards, Endowment, Videos


May 21, 2010


The Federation