This year’s Jewish Day School annual dinner and auction is set for Sunday, March 11, 2001, at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel.
Co-chairs Judy Swenson and Shannon Kahn, and more than 50 other volunteers, are hoping to surpass last year’s fund-raising achievement of $250,000. This year’s honorees will be the Etsekson families— Nancy and Paul and Deanne and Don. Together, they have five children at the Jewish Day School: Chloe (8th grade) and Michele (5th grade) are the daughters of Nancy and Paul. Joshua (4th grade), Nicki (3rd grade) and Talia (kindergarten) are the children of Deanne and Don.
Over the years the Etseksons, as individuals and as a family, have remained dedicated to the school through their activism and support. In addition to their participation in ongoing all-school and classroom activities, they have each contributed to the growth of JDS in meaningful ways. Nancy has been instrumental in the work of the Education Committee and its language arts subcommittee, as well as with the growth of the school auction. Through her input as both a parent and a special education professional, the school continues to strive to new heights in examining and creating spiraling a curriculum.
Deanne has served, and continues to serve, on the JDS Board of Trustees and its Executive Committee, having volunteered as Development Chair the past two years. Under her leadership, the development program has grown to involve many more volunteers, to reach hundreds of new donors and to raise record-breaking dollars for the school. She currently co-chairs the New Building Task Force, researching facility needs and growth possibilities.
Yet it is perhaps what the Etseksons have done in the wider Jewish community that makes them most worthy of this honor. Amidst their very busy lives as parents and professionals, they have always made a place for meaningful work in the community. Having grown up in Tacoma’s Jewish community, the brothers learned about the importance of community through activism in synagogue and youth groups.
Paul has served as a board member of the Jewish Education Council and has taught at the Community High School of Jewish Studies. He co-founded the Seattle Falasha Support Society, supporting the rescue of Ethiopian Jews, and has served as a board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and as chairman of the International Truck Parts Business Trade Association. He is active with the local Hebrew University Alumni Association. For the last 10 years, Paul has focused his community involvement with the Stroum Jewish Community Center, serving as a board member and executive officer in several. This month, Paul will begin his tenure as the JCC’s board president.
Don has served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation. He is a past chair of the federation’s Community and Leadership Development Committee, and was an active member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal. He served as a co-chair of a National UJA Conference for young leaders held in Los Angeles, and serves as a trustee for several private foundations within our Jewish community. They support numerous Jewish organizations including the Kline Galland Home, Jewish Federation, B’nai B’rith and the National Council of Jewish Women, and are members of Congregation Herzl-Ner Tamid.
Nancy was a founding teacher at the Northwest School for Hearing Impaired Children. She has served as the financial secretary for Women’s American ORT, as co-chair of the JCC’s Early Childhood Services Program and as co-chair of the JCC’s “Nosh” Auction, and is a recipient of the JCC’s Volunteer of the Year Award. She was a member of the Jewish Federation’s Board of Directors, a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Cabinet, chair of the Women’s Division’s Connections Event, and co-chair of Seattle’s Israel Independence Day Gala Evening. She has served in numerous capacities with the National Council of Jewish Women, including as programming co-chair, chair of the Hannah G. Solomon Award Luncheon, and co-chair of its Centennial Event. Nancy is a founding member of the Women’s Endowment Foundation, and currently serves on the Jewish Education Council, chairing its Adult Education Catalog Program Committee and its initiatives in the area of teacher training.
While balancing raising a young family, business, and numerous volunteer commitments, Deanne and Don have also demonstrated their own personal commitment to Jewish education and life-long learning. They both recently studied in Israel for a year at the Pardes Institute. They are also Wexner Heritage Fellows. Deanne has held numerous positions throughout the community beyond her focus on the JDS. She served as the chair of the JCC’s Early Childhood Services Program and as co-chair of their “Nosh” Auction. She was a member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal, the Jewish Education Allocations Committee of the Federation and the Women’s Division Board of Directors as its Leadership Development vice-president as well as a member of its Young Business and Professional Women’s Cabinet. She currently serves on the Board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
To find out how you can play a part in honoring the Etseksons and to get your tickets to the JDS auction and dinner, call Lori Pollack at 425-460-0230 or e-mail Auction@JDS.org.