Call for Nominees, The Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award


November 20, 2019

The Women’s Philanthropy Advisory Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona announces the fourteenth annual Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award. This award, created to honor Bryna Zehngut, of blessed memory, recognizes an outstanding Jewish teenaged girl.

The recipient should be a high school junior or senior Jewish girl who has been a role model of Jewish values and shown leadership through her community organizational or volunteer activities. She will receive a $613 gift relating to the Torah’s 613 mitzvot. The money can be utilized towards participation on a trip to Israel, a Jewish leadership/educational program, or it can be donated in the recipient’s name to a Jewish non-profit organization. The honoree will also be recognized by Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona during the 2020 Connections Brunch, featuring speaker Dr. Ruth Westheimer, on Sunday, March 8 at Loew’s Ventana Canyon.


Nominee requirements and the application form are available in the following links: 
Nominee Letter is available here
Application is available here

We encourage you to submit one or more nominations

Please inform the girls of your nominations as they will be responsible to submit a brief resume, one letter of recommendation from a non-family member, and a brief statement of intent for use of the $613 award. All forms can be submitted online and must be uploaded no later than December 21, 2019. Questions can be directed to Susannah Castro at the Jewish Federation, 520/577-9393 or

Please note: Nominations cannot be submitted by a family member but can be self-submitted so please alert eligible students.

Applications may be submitted online using the above form. 
They may also be submitted by emailing the attached application form along with the required information to or mailing/delivering the same information to the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, 3718 East River Road, Suite 100, Tucson, AZ 85718, Attn: Susannah Castro. 

We thank you for joining us in recognizing the outstanding achievements of our youth.


Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award Winners by Year


Erica Spivak

I encourage young women to aspire to be great and find things that bring them joy. Being an active member and leader within the Jewish community and wider Tucson community brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined. One voice has the power to make a difference and I urge all young women to use their power within the Tucson community because you are never too young to make a difference. 

I am currently attending the University of Wisconsin- Madison. I do work with Blessings in a Backpack which is a nonprofit that helps to support food insecure children. Next semester I will be volunteering with children in the greater Madison community either at a day care or in a museum. 


Jillian Cassius and Maya Levy
Maya Levy - “Becoming an active member and leader in both the Jewish community and the wider Tucson community has changed my life. I made lifelong friends [and] found my passions. I urge all young women to find their voice within their community. You have the power to change the world, all you have to do is take a chance and take a step — I promise you won’t regret it,” adds Levy, now a senior at University High School and president of NFTY Southwest. She also tutors in all school subjects as well as for b’nai mitzvah and volunteers at Handmaker.  



Zoe Holtzman


Madyssen Zarin


Sarah Cassius


Adina Artzi


Ital Ironstone


Rachel Knox


Alyssa Silva


Cate Rubin


Ariella Faitelson


Rebecca Beckman

2007 – first award, Allison Abraham

Creation of award, 12/8/06