MAZON Names New Board Chair
Dallas Resident Shirley Davidoff Named to Three Year Term of National Anti-Hunger Organization
LOS ANGELES -- Shirley Davidoff, of Dallas, has been named Chair of the Board of MAZON: A Jewish Response To Hunger (MAZON), a leading national anti-hunger advocacy organization, which works to change governmental and institutional policies that allow hunger to persist in the U.S. and Israel. Ms. Davidoff is recognized locally and nationally as a leader in the Jewish community.
“Shirley Davidoff is a remarkable community leader and visionary member of MAZON’s Board of Directors,” says outgoing Board Chair Rabbi Harold Kravitz of Minneapolis, Minn. “As she begins her tenure as Chair, I know she will lead the organization with wisdom, common sense and a passionate commitment to the mission of MAZON.”
Ms. Davidoff says MAZON has accomplished much in the last 30 years. Looking forward, she says she wants to focus on three initial areas: gaining bi-partisan acceptance of and solutions for ending hunger in the United States; strengthening MAZON’s active advocacy initiatives by connecting more closely with donors and urging them to action; expanding MAZON’s programs in Israel when they open their first office in that country this year.
She recognizes the challenge in dealing with the current state of political life in Washington, D.C. “We constantly talk about Congress and bi-partisanship,” she says. “Hunger is an issue that should be above partisanship. I understand that people see things differently. But nobody wants people to suffer hunger. We need to talk more about how we can make sure our vulnerable who are hungry are protected.”
As a nurse for 31 years and a nurse practitioner for 18, she says she witnesses every day the fallout from people who lack nutritional food.
“I’ve seen how malnutrition effects individuals both in children and adults. Nutrition is vital for growth and health,” she says. “If they aren’t getting nutritional food, they face severe heart disease and other complications.”
Growing up in Galveston, Ms. Davidoff became involved in community activism at an early age. “My parents were very philanthropic,” she says. “From the time I can remember, we were volunteering, giving back. They made sure we understood that this is expected and part of who we are.”
Ms. Davidoff says she got her experience for the anti-hunger fight from her work in homeless shelters and food banks. “I have seen that what we do on the streets, here in Dallas and in communities all across the country, is important but it is only a stop-gap. This is a huge, complex problem touching everyone from the elderly and disabled, to children and military families and veterans. We can’t rely just on charity to do the job. We need the government because of the scope of the problem and its continuing growth.”
A graduate of the University of Texas, where she was a member of the Sigma Delta Tau (SDT) sorority, she received her Master’s from Texas Women’s University. Ms. Davidoff is Director of Clinical Services at Cardiology and Interventional Vascular Associates (CIVA) in Dallas.She is married to attorney Bill Davidoff and they have two grown sons. She recently earned professional recognition when named 2015 Texas Nurse Practitioner of the Year by the Texas Nurse Practitioner organization.
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on ending hunger in the U.S. and Israel. Founded 30 years ago in Los Angeles, MAZON works to end hunger through active public policy initiatives in Washington, D.C. and with local partnerships across the U.S. MAZON’s emphasis currently is on reducing hunger in the military, senior hunger and hunger within rural and Native American communities.