TsimTsum Fund at Southwest Community Foundation generates support
By Deb Silverthorn
Veronique Jonas has painted the community with colors, sculptures and the designs of her heart for decades. Now, through the TsimTsum Fund, which she’s established at the Southwest Community Foundation, 50% of her proceeds will help others and help heal the world.
TsimTsum, from the Kabbalah, alludes to G-d having created the world and then broken it into many pieces, with humans having the responsibility to put the pieces together again. This includes caring for and repairing the broken world by performing good deeds. Through her TsimTsum fund, Jonas hopes to do just that and to inspire others to follow her lead.
“Our world is broken in so many ways. There is so much repairing that needs to be done and people that need our help,” she said. “There are children with special needs, there are the hungry and disenfranchised, there are the homeless, there are those who lack education and those that, through ignorance, perpetuate hate throughout their communities and the world.
“There are already so many individuals and businesses making a difference in this world. I hope to encourage many more to share in this way,” said Jonas. “There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel in terms of the dynamics of how to give. We all really do have a friend in the Southwest Community and Dallas Jewish Community foundations.”
Jonas’ fund is managed by the Southwest Community Foundation (SCF), which is affiliated with the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation (DJCF). The SCF was created seven years ago as an affiliated agency to the DJCF to be able to provide the organization’s same services to agencies or financial advisers that may not be able to work with religiously affiliated entities.
The Southwest Community Foundation works to improve the community and the world through the development and stewardship of philanthropic resources of donors and community partners. Consistent with this mission, the Foundation and its supporting organizations have contributed more than $125 million in charitable distributions in the last decade, supporting a wide range of philanthropic interests including education, human services, the arts and faith-based organizations.
“We are thrilled Veronique created a fund that embodies an ancient Jewish thought. As we do for all our fundholders, we listened to her intent and created personalized fund documents. The TsimTsum Fund allows Veronique to boldly share this universal message with her art patrons, making charity the clear winner,” said Megan Hyman, Dallas Jewish Community Foundation president and CEO.
“We are all partners in tikkun olam,” said Hyman, “and Veronique’s passion for this is now represented proudly on her website.”
Jonas was born in Lubumbashi, Zaire (now the Republic of Congo). As a young child and because of political unrest, her family fled to Rhodesia, where she lived for four years before moving back to Congo. She was then sent to a boarding school in New York, where her brother lived. At age 15, she and her family moved to South Africa where she finished high school and eventually attended and graduated from the University of Cape Town.
She met her husband, Hylton, at the Muizenberg synagogue, when she was just 16. The two had been married for 10 years when they immigrated to Dallas with their children Colette (Jaime) Lipszyc, Nathalie (Phillip Nobel) Jonas and Gary (Allison) Jonas. This year they celebrated 51 years of marriage and enjoy their family’s canvas, which includes grandchildren Avi, Sara and Noam Lipszyc, Ora Noble and Maddie, Viola and Ellis Jonas.
Jonas is a docent educator at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum and passionate about teaching the lessons of the Holocaust to all visitors. One of her more important groups of paintings was created in memory of her grandparents and extended family members who were taken from their home in Rhodes, Greece, and murdered in the Holocaust. Along with a series created by a fellow artist, Julie Meetal Berman, it became known as “The Color of Memory” (colorofmemory.com).
Jonas was a faculty member for 18 years at Ann and Nate Levine Academy. She taught the love and appreciation of art, bringing out every child’s artistic potential.
She is a founding board member and first president of the Texas Jewish Arts Association. Inspired by such an exhibit in New York, she organized the 2018 Sukkah Project: Dwell in Design, a juried architectural competition and exhibition at the Museum of Biblical Art, which houses the National Center for Jewish Art.
“My art has always expressed my feelings and shown my emotions,” said the painter and sculptor. “In any of my pieces you know who I am, how I live — it all comes through.
“I don’t create only Judaica but certainly a large part of my artwork has been influenced by my treasured Jewish heritage. Judaism and its culture are the center of my life,” said Jonas. “The threads of this fabric are illustrated in lifecycle events, the weekly Sabbath observance, the yearly observance of festivals and major holidays. I find myself, moved by words, lines and stories from the Torah, expressing this beauty and joy.”
Delegating the sharing of her tzedakah to the Southwest Community Foundation’s leadership is something Jonas has done with the utmost confidence.
“I care so much about the future of our people and humanity and I hope this personal mitzvah project of mine will make a difference. The Foundation understands the needs of those less fortunate and I trust them completely to serve them well,” Jonas says.
Veronique Jonas’ work can be found at shop.veroniquejonas.com and veroniquejonas.com. The Southwest Community Foundation and Dallas Jewish Community Foundation can be reached at southwestcf.org and djcf.org.