By Priscilla Kostiner
What makes this 5-foot tall ball of energy go like the Energizer Bunny? What makes her the Queen of Tzedakah? She is tireless, creative, enthusiastic and determined. She is like a terrier that won’t let go. And this is all in the name of “doing good.” Carolyn Weinstein’s motivation has always been her Jewish identity, the core of which is doing mitzvot, the ultimate level of which is tzedakah.
Whatever project Carolyn takes on, she puts her heart and soul into it.
Have you ever wondered who polishes the crowns, breastplates and finials for Congregation Neveh Shalom’s Torahs in time for the High Holidays? Who headed the project to recreate the beautiful Torah mantels, designed by artist Sara Harwin? Who headed the synagogue’s Building & Grounds Committee? Who has been co-chairing the congregation’s 150 Year Capital Campaign? Carolyn, that’s who!
Tzedakah, that righteous act of “doing the right thing,” takes more than well-meant
intentions. Most often, it takes money. Some people have it to give and do so most willingly. Others have it to give but must be asked. Carolyn sets the example by giving most generously, and she is passionate about asking. She has served on numerous boards in the community, each one of which requires fundraising to guarantee its goals are met. In addition, Carolyn has passionately chaired exciting events for each of these organizations, bringing people together to learn the lessons of tzedakah.
Carolyn was among the founders of the Federation’s Women’s Division (aka Women’s Philanthropy). She served as Women’s Campaign Chair, and then became the first woman to co-chair the general campaign. In addition, Carolyn served on the National UJA Women’s Campaign Board and the Women’s Business and Professional Board. She has been recognized for her volunteerism and leadership locally as a Song of Miriam awardee. In 2016, Carolyn was honored with the International Lion of Judah Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award. Also, in 2016, she and her husband, Gary, were honored with the Rabbi Joshua Stampfer Community Enrichment Award.
Carolyn’s activities reach beyond the Jewish community. One of her favorite volunteer projects is as a guide with the Urban Tour Group, a volunteer organization dedicated to giving young people a sampling of Portland’s history, culture, architecture and resources.
For close to 45 years, Carolyn has been an outstanding realtor in our community. Again, that tenacious personality comes through in her hard work, helping clients buy and sell their homes. Carolyn’s gift to every Jewish client who is moving into a new home is a beautiful mezuzah, each one unique, each one meant to deliver the message, “This is a Jewish home.”
That is what Carolyn Weinstein is all about: being and doing Jewish, the core of which is tzedakah.