A lifelong connection
By Deb Silverthorn
Craig Einhorn and Shuly Shaked met in 1986 as teenagers. She was visiting the United States in need of medical care and he was a volunteer for the Jewish Federation of Tidewater in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he was sent to the hospital to make a get-well visit.
Thirty-four years later, married, parents of two and now Dallas residents of five years, the Einhorns are still involved with Federation. They and their family have given back to the community by distributing 15,000 face masks to the Jewish community, from a total donation of 40,000 masks.
“This act of chesed is an expression of the Federation’s relevance in our community for 109 years,” said Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas President and CEO Mariam Shpeen Feist.
“The Einhorns have allowed us to help them and help so many. This is an absolute example of the Federation being more than a donation collection and allocation agency, but one that brings the community together, serving the many,” said Shpeen Feist.
The masks gifted to the Federation have thus far been distributed to the Aaron Family JCC, Ann and Nate Levine Academy’s Camp Shemesh, CHAI (Community Homes for Adults, Inc.), Chabad of Plano’s Camp Gan Israel, Congregation Anshai Torah’s Camp Ruach and Jewish Family Service.
Shpeen Feist and members of the Federation’s staff, and the recently formed Health Crisis Management Team (supporting all things pandemic-related for the community), divided the masks into labeled bags of five each, prepping them for distribution.
In 100-plus degree heat, Federation staffers handed off bags to cars lined up at their Northaven Road offices, and also at the JCC, with other recipient agencies picking up packages to share as needed. Stock remains at the Federation offices for anyone in need, and bowls of masks are available to congregations or other agencies needing to have them in-house.
“The Einhorns are an expression of how our relationships go beyond only dollars and cents,” said Shpeen Feist. “Their gift is an outpouring of appreciation to the community.”
The Einhorns, parents of Roy and Tia, both graduates of Akiba Yavneh Academy, are members of Congregation Anshai Torah. They were able to secure the masks because their supply chain resourcing company, Strategic Sourcing International, had an abundance of masks, and the couple saw a way to make a difference.
“We wanted to give and what we could give were the masks,” said Shuly. “My husband’s motto and teaching to me and our children has always been give until you feel it. Easily we could have sold the masks for great profit but the greater gift is in seeing our community feel and be safe because of what we shared.”
Masks for the JCC were given to staffers and campers, as well as seniors participating in the Senior Meal Program, currently a drive-thru pickup program.
“These masks were an absolute need that came just at the right time and the Einhorns’ gift is a reminder there are many ways to give,” said Aaron Family JCC CEO Artie Allen. “It made for one less, for thousands of less, things to worry about in this already challenging time. These community members, and our Federation, acting to stand by, and showing how we can be there to help one another, is a beautiful breath of fresh air.”
To the residents and staff of the CHAI homes, there is no price tag on the gift of health and safety.
“We are very grateful to the Einhorn family, and to the Federation, for recognizing the care that our staff and caretakers provide our residents. Masks to our community homes are of critical importance,” said CHAI CEO Lisa Brodsky. “As for everyone, these are very trying times and resourcing assistance like this, even more so as a gift, is incredibly important and appreciated.”
In addition to the Federation donation, the Einhorns have sent 10,000 masks to local police departments and 5,000 each to local fire departments, the Austin Street Center, Legacy Senior Committees and family and connections in Israel and in Virginia Beach.
“Our passion is to help, and in this time, whatever people have to give — money, time, talent or energy — we should all give,” said Shuly.