Sheri and David Jaffa
Dream Maker Award honorees Sheri and David Jaffa have been stalwart supporters of Hillel Day School for decades, beginning with their decision to enroll their daughters, Eden (class of 1988), and Sabrina (class of 1991) in the 1980s.
“We wanted a good education for them - after the first year, we were hooked!” Sheri recalls. “It was a godsend to give them a strong secular and Jewish education that would teach them about their heritage, how to be mensches, and to prepare them for the next stage of their education. That’s the way it was then, and that’s the way it is now.”
The couple are now proud Hillel grandparents to Skylar Elbinger (class of 2018), Jadyn Kaufman (class of 2019), Zachary Elbinger (seventh grade) Kendall Kaufman (seventh grade), and Reese Kaufman (fifth grade), and their devotion to Hillel continues unabated. In addition to making Hillel central to their philanthropic efforts, on numerous occasions Sheri answers the call to volunteer, and both Sheri and David frequently attend events, from specific grade programs to the Annual Gala, often accompanied by their children and sons-in-law, Brian Kaufman, and Kevin Elbinger.
The couple’s profound impact on the Jewish community extends beyond Hillel. They have been named JCC Pillars of Light for their generous support of a multitude of programs for seniors, children with special needs, the arts, and world-class cultural events. At Michigan State University Hillel, the Sheri and David Jaffa Sunday Brunch Endowment Fund sponsors a monthly brunch that feeds 3,500 students each year.
Together, the couple also substantially support the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and the Jewish National Fund, and individually, they volunteer as well. David, a certified financial planner, serves as a board member of the American Friends of the Technion and is a former lodge president of B’nai Brith. For his volunteerism, David was the 2019 recipient of the Quality of Life Award from Cetera Advisor Networks, recognizing leadership in community service.
Sheri, a former teacher in Oak Park Schools, is a lifetime member of Hadassah, as well as active in American ORT, and American Friends of the IDF.
The couple, who make their spiritual home at Temple Israel, say their greatest joy is found in their close-knit family, and they are exemplary role models for their enthusiastic and steadfast support of our school, and our larger Jewish community. We are thrilled to bestow upon them the 2020 Dream Maker Award. May they continue to go from strength to strength.