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Celebrating Extraordinary Social Justice Leaders:

Sylvia Finger and Jill Israel; Walton and Jeff Goldring

Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 11am CT/12pm ET 

Online on Zoom

*For event-related questions, please contact Carole Berke at [email protected]com.

Jeff Goldring (left) and Walton Goldring (right)

Walton & Jeff Goldring

Jeff Goldring, a New Orleans native, is the fourth generation to lead the family business, which was started by his great-grandfather, Newman Goldring, in Pensacola, FL, in 1898. Jeff is a Director of the Sazerac Company, America’s largest distiller of alcoholic beverages, and of Crescent Crown Distributing, one of the nation’s largest beer wholesalers. In keeping with his family’s longstanding leading role in the civic and philanthropic life of New Orleans, Jeff serves on the Boards of many local nonprofits, including The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, The Posse foundation, and Send me a Friend Foundation. After struggling with the disease of addiction for years. Jeffrey finally got sober in June of 2001. He devotes a large portion of his time working with and funding organizations like Hazelden, Bridge House, and Send Me a Friend. All of these groups focus on mental health and getting people sober. Jeff is happily married to Walton Goldring and has two sons, Stephen and Zac.

Walton Vetter Goldring was born and raised in Jefferson City, Missouri. She graduated from Bard College with a degree in Spanish Literature and Translation (which she has never used).  She also graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Schools in both London and Paris. After cooking professionally, she went into restaurant and hotel management, and eventually moved to New Orleans in 2006 to manage a luxury Bed and Breakfast in Mid-City. She met and married her husband, Jeff, and now is involved with various charitable organizations and is busy raising her two young sons. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Bridge House, Grace House, and Children’s Hospital, as well as the Dean’s Advisory Council for Tulane’s School of Social Work.

Sylvia Finger (left) and Jill Israel (right)

Sylvia Finger & Jill Israel

Sylvia Finger immigrated to the United States from South Africa in 1972 and in 1976, the family moved to New Orleans, where they have been actively involved in the Jewish community.  Sylvia has served on the Boards of Shir Chadash Sisterhood and Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation in various capacities, as well as the Boards of Hadassah and National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW). Sylvia is a speech-language pathologist and learning specialist with an active private practice in Metairie. She has been married to Dr. Israel Finger for 50 years, and they have 3 children and 8 wonderful grandchildren.

After retiring from a lengthy career with Entergy Corporation, Jill Israel began the next chapter of her life – as a volunteer.  She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Touro Synagogue Board as well as the Touro Infirmary Board. She is the Chair of Jewish Endowment Foundation’s Governance Committee and Chair of the ADL Development Committee. Her work with ADL has previously focused on its educational programming – to expand the reach of its No Place for Hate program to many schools in the South Central Region. Jill and her husband have two children who have recently moved back to New Orleans. 

Both Sylvia and Jill’s work in the areas of voter registration, voter engagement, and voter rights have been a prime focus of the last three years. Sylvia is Chair of the Voter Rights/Mobilization efforts of the NCJW Public Affairs Committee, while Jill is Chair of the League of Women Voters (New Orleans) Voter Services Committee. Together, Jill and Sylvia have created and nurtured a non-partisan coalition of nonprofit organizations called Engaging New Voices and Voters (ENVV).  Creating voter registration events at high schools and colleges and many other locations, including the weekly new citizen naturalization ceremonies. ENVV, through its 250+ corps of volunteers, has registered about 9,000 new voters. Jill and Sylvia are working on ways to register more new voters in this important election year, despite school closings and supporting efforts to expand vote by mail.