Dream Maker Award honorees Joy and Allan Nachman have a long record of volunteer service to Jewish Detroit beginning in the 1960s, when as a teenager, Allan formed a B’nai Brith AZA chapter when he couldn’t find one open to new members. That passion for creating opportunities for Jewish youth, and for strengthening the Jewish community overall, has, over six decades, led the couple to assume leadership roles at Tamarack Camps, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Adat Shalom Synagogue, United Jewish Foundation, the Jewish Fund, National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Family Services, and, of course, Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit, where we honor them with the Dream Maker Award.
Of his commitment to Hillel Day School, Allan said, “With a history such as that of the Jewish people, and all we have endured to survive and thrive, we don’t have the right to break the chain.” Thus, he and Joy are the proud parents of Hillel alumni Elanah (Rick) Nachman Hunger (class of 1988) and David (Briana) Nachman, and grandparents of current Hillel students Harrison and Dorian Hunger, as well as Juniper, Bowie, and Ford Nachman, who live out of town.
A member of the Hillel Day School Board of Trustees in the mid-1980s, Allan, who is of counsel at Butzel Long, as well as principal of Willowgreen Building Group, LLC, was co-chair of a 1986 capital campaign that made improvements to the school’s facility and parking lot. He has also made education of Jewish youth a priority as chair of Federation teen missions to Israel, cultivating young leadership.
Joy, a psychotherapist in private practice, has for decades advocated for children undergoing adoption, expedited placement of children in permanent homes, and has now expanded her practice in Birmingham to include caring for the needs of a growing elderly population in metropolitan Detroit. She is also the “Joy” behind “The Joy Project,” which provides essential services to women and children through Jewish Family Service. This Mother’s Day tribute program, which is celebrating its 10th year, was started by Elanah Nachman Hunger in honor of her mother, whom she calls “a rock in my life.”
For their lifelong commitment to Jewish Detroit, their inspiring community leadership, and passion for the next generation, Hillel is thrilled to present Allan and Joy Nachman with this year’s Dream Maker Award.