Social Action Shabbat

Date: December 2, 2017

JUDY SAKS SELECTED VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR BY WEST END SYNAGOGUE

The Social Action Committee of West End Synagogue has unanimously chosen Judy Saks as their Volunteer of the year. The award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions made to the greater Nashville community by a member of WES.  Saks will be formally honored at the annual Social Action Shabbat at WES to be held December 2.

Saks has been a very active member within the Jewish community and retired 5 years ago from her position as director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation. She has not slowed down since. 

Saks is a founding member of the Family of Abraham, an interfaith education and advocacy organization, where she organized community forums and ran the Dialogue and Desserts roundtable discussions for women of all faiths. Also in the interfaith arena, Saks worked in conjunction with the Islamic Center of Nashville to inspire the Nashville Interfaith Caravans to visit places of worship throughout the community.  Both adults and high school students participated.

Saks has also worked for the Nashville Literacy Council’s program for immigrants, tutoring a young Egyptian woman.

Saks is a core member of the WES cooking team that volunteers several times a month at the Nashville Food Project, cooking meals for the Salvation Army.  In addition, she continues her work with Catholic Charities on Hunger Banquets and Poverty Simulations.

Immigration issues are important to Saks. She volunteers with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition by helping immigrants file for citizenship.  As a grandchild of immigrants, she feels a special bond to this activity.

Sometimes her voluntarism straddles both the Jewish and greater Nashville communities.  Collaborating with Kitty Calhoon, Judy has created and directed two highly successful community forums held at WES dealing with “Refugees Straight Talk: A Forum” and “Stop the School to Prison Pipeline.”

When asked when she was planning on slowing down in retirement, Saks said she was too busy to think about that!