Meet Our 2021 Leadership Awardees

Each year, the Federation honors distinguished community members whose Jewish values, contributions of time, creativity, energy, and resources sustain and enrich the Jewish community.

Laura Lauder Honored with the Robert Sinton Award for Distinguished Leadership

"Laura's capacity for impact has led to amplified voices at the table for the Federation's Endowment, and with her leadership, more representative of our community. More humbling is how Laura has opened her heart and her home throughout the years for numerous occasions of the Federation, each of which has had a rippling effect throughout the philanthropic potential of the Bay Area. Thank you for your leadership, Laura!" - Nominator

Laura Lauder is a native of Canton, Ohio, and journeyed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Seville, Spain for her undergraduate education. In 1992, she joined her husband Gary in their venture capital partnership, Lauder Partners, specializing in tech investments.

Laura is a social entrepreneur and venture philanthropist. Laura co-founded the Center for Media and Democracy in Israel in 2019, which is like an Israeli “ProPublica”. She founded DeLeT: Day School Teaching through Leadership in 2000, a national Jewish Teach for America type program. She co-founded the Jewish Teen Funders Network’s Foundation Board Incubator in 2012 that develops community-based teen philanthropy programs throughout North America, Australia, and Israel. Laura and her daughter, Eliana, created the Gap Year program at Duke University in 2018, during Eliana’s senior year at Duke, that seeks to encourage young people to take a gap year between high school and college to grow, explore, and serve. Together, Laura and Gary co-founded the Socrates Program of the Aspen Institute in 1996, which has convened over 8,000 young leaders worldwide in Aspen.

Laura also serves on numerous nonprofit boards. She is the immediate past chair of the Federation’s Endowment Committee. Laura serves on the Advisory Board of Service Year Alliance that provides a year of full-time community service. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute and chairs the Board’s Socrates Sub-Committee. She serves on the Social Finance Board in Boston, which facilitates impact investing.

She was named one of “10 Women to Watch” by Jewish Woman magazine in 2004. She has won numerous awards, including Volunteer of the Year from the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund in 2011, the Jim Brooks Achievement Award in 2004, and the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership in 1999.

Laura is an avid cyclist and won a bronze medal in the Maccabi Games in Israel in the cycling time trial in 2009. While she is a political junkie, she never intends to run for political office, but is willing to climb any mountain on a bike.

Named after Robert Sinton, a businessman and community leader whose dedication to the Federation and other Bay Area organizations spanned more than five decades, this prestigious award embodies a passion for Jewish communal volunteerism and includes a financial stipend to a Jewish agency or organization chosen by the recipient.


Joyce Linker Honored with the Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award

“Joyce is a true leader — because everyone wants to be on her team — because it is always winning no matter how complicated or how challenging. Joyce allows us to find a way to reach higher, do better and leave our community so much better than how we found it.”- Nominator

Joyce was raised in Detroit in the 50’s when it was ghettoized with quite a bit of antisemitism. She found comfort and satisfaction helping others in the Jewish community and has been a Lion of Judah since 1997. 

Joyce has a long history with Federation, starting as a solicitor in the 60’s and creating YAD (Young Adults Division) with Irving Rabin. In those days contributions were $21. Joyce has continued in her efforts since then, serving on the Investment Committee since 1998. Joyce also serves on the Federation’s Donor-Advised Funds Committee.

Joyce is one of those one-of-a-kind community leaders whose impact is far more than anyone understands. At the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM), no one can compare or compete with the impact Joyce has had. She leads with incredible grace, humor, intelligence, and thoughtfulness.  At every step along the way, she provides invaluable guidance, vision, passion, and hard work.  She not only provides essential guidance and leadership, but she is also never afraid to roll up her sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the work done.  Her commitment to the community, and to tikkun olam (repair the world) is truly inspiring.  Her passion for the arts and community has impacted individuals and families around the Bay Area, allowing them to engage with the arts in meaningful and enduring ways.  

Through the years, Joyce’s volunteer commitments have been endless. She was the first female president of the JCCSF, has been a long-time board member of the CJM as well as Menorah Park, and has been an active member of Congregation Rodef Sholom in Marin County. 

In addition to her work in the Jewish community, Joyce has been a major supporter of North Beach Citizens (a nonprofit for the homeless) and a campaign committee member for Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and recently Kamala Harris. Joyce created and chaired the first annual women’s congressional fundraising luncheon in 1982, “Women Making History,” for Barbara Boxer. She has also served on the boards of the California College of the Arts, the SFMOMA Photo Accessions Committee, Mt. Zion Hospital, and the Friends of the Fromm Institute.

Judith Sirbu Chapman was an esteemed volunteer leader, friend, change agent, and member of our Jewish community. Her leadership skills bloomed through dedication, focused effort, on the job training, and vision. Overcoming painful shyness, she became an advisor to community professionals and a mentor to all the women who were fortunate enough to know her. Judith used to say that she was a “professional volunteer,” treating every position as if she had a paycheck and a promotion at stake. Her personal investment was immeasurable and provided a profound impact on her community.


Adam Swig Honored with the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership

"Adam Swig is a leader and trendsetter in cutting-edge Jewish leadership. Not only is Adam thinking with innovative fashion for San Francisco, but as the world stopped, he chose to keep going and bring his leadership to the virtual front for the rest of the globe and show them what leadership in the San Francisco arena looks like!” -Nominator

Adam Swig is the founder and executive director of Value Culture, a California nonprofit focused on engaging the next generation in culture and philanthropy through events and culture programming. Since 2012, Adam worked with over 60 nonprofit organizations raising over $1 million dollars for philanthropic causes. His constantly sold-out events have raised awareness for many causes including the environment, children in need, Shabbat and Jewish life, homelessness, public institutions, inclusivity, the arts, up and coming musical artists of all genres, disaster relief, cancer, women’s issues, goats, strengthening Bay Area culture, and encouraging philanthropy. Adam currently serves on the board of trustees at the University of San Francisco, The Bammies Music Foundation Advisory Board, the board of the Bay Area Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California, a member of the Doolan Larson Residence and Storefront Task Force, & the Contemporary Jewish Museum Contemporaries. Highlights of 2021 pandemic programming included producing a 60,000-person international virtual Passover seder featuring stars like Tiffany Haddish, creating the first Afikomen NFT featured in The NY Times, and hosting virtual talks with Holocaust survivors reaching hundreds of thousands of new listeners to the topic.

With nominators and supporters from across the country, Adam Swig has fostered deep and meaningful relationships in the Bay Area and national Jewish communities. Adam has his finger on the “pulse of our city and various communities within it” while extending himself with generosity and kindness. He is a mensch, does his work with heart, and is proudly Jewish. Adam’s leadership is creative, and he builds bridges across communities with high impact and innovative events and relationships that are open to everyone, and at little or no cost.

What started out through his own sense of giving back to his primarily Jewish community has developed into a national schedule of events that bring together his colleagues, his peers, and his fellow Jews. He creates programs and opportunities that “represent the moment and the passions and values that many of us share at this particular junction in history.” He’s creating spaces to confront topics and ideas that many didn’t even know we would want or need in Jewish community. 

Honoring the first president of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, this annual award, inaugurated in October of 1959, recognizes an outstanding young leader in the local Jewish community.


October 19, 2021