Steinbergs lead way for JFS expansion
Photo: Kim Leeson Photography
Joel Litman, Ynette Hogue, Jim Hogue, Stan Rabin, Eric Goldberg, Cathy Barker, Steve Waldman and Don Zale gathered at the March 4, 2024, ribbon cutting of JFS Northpoint Health Center.

By Deb Silverthorn

As the services of Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas have expanded through the years, so now too will its locale. With a groundbreaking this September and an expected move-in date of fall 2025, the agency has announced its lead gift to the capital campaign by Karla and Larry Steinberg, who will be honored with the naming of the new building.

“We are most grateful to Karla and Larry for their generosity, the lens through which they provide this gift and the responsibility they wholeheartedly embrace to help others when and where needed most,” said Cathy Barker, JFS’ president and CEO. “Their gift is a call to action for everyone in the community to help our agency as we move forward.

“Our building has been identified and in the coming months we will celebrate a groundbreaking and begin renovations,” said Barker. “Our mission, to serve the ‘whole person’ in our clients, by providing comprehensive health services that focus on physical, emotional, nutritional and financial well-being, is fulfilled stronger with every step of our growth. This move, and what we can provide, will be monumental.”

Funds to the capital campaign will support the new building, located nearly a mile from JFS’ current location. The facility will host all JFS administrative and service offices, now at the Arapaho Road site, along with a second community health center with space for four medical providers and a dental clinic. The space will also house JFS’ PLAN (People Living Active Now) Clubhouse, a sensory gym for children with special needs, as well as walk-in refrigerators and freezers for JFS’ expanding Food Pantry.

“We are moving out of 28,000 square-feet where we are bursting at the seams,” said Barker. “The new building will be more secure. We will have space to expand existing services and to add programs based on community needs. We will be able to support our community in ways we can’t even imagine.”

For Karla and Larry Steinberg, longtime members of Temple Emanu-El, providing the lead gift to the campaign follows their heartfelt belief that helping others is the right thing to do. Supporting JFS, its team and its clients allows them to “do our part to help others.” That spirit of giving and the good feeling that comes with supporting a mission that aligns with their own is lasting.

An introduction to Barker by Steinberg family friend and former JFS board member, Melanie Rubin, sparked the couple’s interest in supporting this effort.

“We met with Cathy and were brought up to date on the needs of the agency, the innovative and comprehensive services that JFS provides and the goals for the future,” said Karla, who has long supported the JFS Woman to Woman luncheon. She has also volunteered with JFS’ Food Pantry and additionally, after Hurricane Harvey, supporting the influx in need at that time. “There is no other agency in our community that provides such a broad array of services to both the Jewish and greater communities.”

Karla is a native of El Paso; Larry was raised in Fort Worth. The couple’s hope is to encourage others to give however they are able. Active on behalf of countless organizations in the Jewish and secular arenas in Dallas and overseas, the Steinbergs are living the legacy passed on to them and which they hope their own children will follow. Karla mentioned that her parents and grandparents, doers and givers, set an example for her from an early age.

“Larry and I have always had a passion for helping those in the Jewish community and beyond. We have quietly dedicated our time and resources to causes that are meaningful to us,” said Karla. “We looked for a way to make a lasting difference in our community. With this gift, we support what will be an invaluable resource that will allow JFS to continue to effectively meet the needs of the community as it has for nearly 75 years.”

“I made my first gift, money I’d saved from my allowance to the Jewish Federation, then known as United Jewish Appeal, when I was 13 years old,” said Larry. “My AZA chapter was serving meals at a Federation dinner and I was impressed as I learned of the work the organization performed.”

“This gift is not about us; it’s about the community. We are passionate about helping to make a difference,” said Karla. “The depth, breadth, quality and vision of Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas caught our attention and captured our hearts.”

The capital campaign, led by Barker and JFS Capital Campaign Chair Joel Litman, JFS Board Chair Eric Goldberg and Community Ambassadors Ynette and Jim Hogue, Stan Rabin, Steve Waldman and Don Zale, supports the purchase and renovation of the building along with the addition of funds to the endowment for annual costs for its operation.

“Philanthropy is very personal. It is learned through what we see and experience over our lives, whether in our synagogues, through our parents or by being involved in the community where we live,” said Barker, hoping others in the community will consider Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas as a beneficiary for those considering legacy gifts.

“This is a story of where two visions, one for a family’s personal legacy and one for an organization serving others, have aligned beautifully,” Barker concluded.

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