Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

Randy Gold Named North America’s Jewish Community Hero of 2011 for Outstanding Service Work

December 7, 2011

ATLANTA, Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) today awarded Randy Gold, from Atlanta, GA, the 2011 Jewish Community Hero of the Year Award. The award marked the culmination of the third annual Jewish Community Heroes campaign, in which 240,000 votes were cast online to recognize the selflessness and courage of those who are helping their communities through their careers and volunteer service.

“We are excited to name Randy Gold as this year’s Jewish Community Hero Award winner for his major contribution to the Jewish community and the positive, healthy future of the Jewish people,” said Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America.

Randy was named this year’s Hero for founding the Atlanta Jewish Gene Screen, an organization that creates awareness and educates Rabbis, doctors and Jewish couples on the importance of genetic counseling and screening for preventable and life-threatening disorders commonly present in Jewish families. When Randy and his wife’s second child was diagnosed with a preventable Jewish genetic disease, they were surprised to learn that they were only screened for 8 of a possible 19 known diseases. This fueled their motivation to found the Atlanta Jewish Gene Screen, which aims to one day have screening for all nineteen Jewish genetic diseases as the standard medical practice for Jewish couples worldwide. Randy received a $25,000 Heroes grant for the Atlanta Jewish Gene Screen. Click here to view photos from the check presentation.

“It was an honor to learn about all of these heroes within the Jewish community,” said Linda A. Hurwitz, president of National Women’s Philanthropy of JFNA and one of the Heroes judges. “It’s a privilege to even briefly be touched by and taught by these heroic Jews. We, as the Jewish community, are strengthened by the individual passion and collective action of our people.”

Four more Heroes join Randy as finalists, selected by the judges to receive a $1,000 Heroes grant:

  • Shana Erenberg, Chicago
  • Tessa Gerall, Houston
  • Hart Levine, New York
  • Jenine Shwekey, Long Branch, NJ

“To pick a Hero among heroes is a huge responsibility and not an easy one,” said Heroes judge, actress and former star of Blossom, Mayim Bialik. “However, the work that Randy Gold has done is not only one of true menschkeit and selflessness; and it is not simply a matter of taking a tragedy and turning it upside down. What Randy has done is lay the groundwork for changing the way Jewish people understand and create future generations with our genetics.”

To learn more about the Jewish Community Hero of the Year, visit the Jewish Community Heroes Website.

The Jewish Federations of North America, collectively among the top 10 charities on the continent, protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning).

SOURCE Jewish Federations of North America

Source: PR Newswire