While our world is gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, heroes are emerging.  You know who they are…. it’s men, women and children across our Jewish community who are caring for all of us.


It’s the synagogue volunteer who gives you a call, just to make sure you’re doing okay; your neighbor who includes your shopping list in her weekly grocery store run; the healthcare provider who took your temperature when you thought you might be coming down with the virus; your rabbi who inspires you each week through a meaningful sermon or lesson over zoom; or the teacher who works overtime to make her virtual second grade classroom engaging and meaningful. 


During these times of darkness, stars are appearing!


Help our community recognize their above and beyond efforts by nominating a local Jewish hero. We'll celebrate them online, sharing your thoughts on what makes them vital to your well-being and the well-being of our community.

  • Brooke Goldstein

    Indianapolis-area resident Brooke Goldstein sewed roughly 1500 face masks this spring.

  • David Calderon

    Niche Business Owner Responds to COVID-19 Supplies Call for Action

  • Dr. Amy Kressel

    Eskenazi COVID Taskforce Head Models Jewish Leader's Teachings

  • Jordan, Eli, and Benji Fisch

    A mother's charitable teaching to her two children stocked the shelves of Jewish Family Service (JFS)’ Popsie's Pantry, helping to feed more than 100 families in the local community.

  • Robert Rising and Peter Cukier

    Partners Robert Rising and Peter Cukier delivered at least 750 meals to staff at St. Vincent hospitals over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Ella Shemesh

    Ella Shemesh, 14, sewed more than 200 headbands for healthcare workers this summer.

Elliott Gold

Elliott Gold took it upon himself to organize the group of men, affectionately known as the ROMEO's, to take the money they would have spent on getting together for lunch and send it to Popsie's Pantry!!

Didi Kerler

Didi Kerler, Education Director with Congregation Beth Shalom, hasn't missed a beat in taking care of her community. She has gone above and beyond, taking on mitzvah projects by herself and serving every aspect of the congregation.

Marcia Goldstein

Marcia Goldstein, Founder of Life After Fifty, at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation (IHC), offered computer help and organized a buddy system during the pandemic. She is always there for help. 


Nancy Koppel

Nancy Koppel, a child advocate volunteer at the Indiana Department of Child Services, is in a high risk COVID-19 class due to age. Even though she is high risk, Nancy continues to work tirelessly at the Indiana Department of Child Services, preparing social histories for children in the DCS system in need of adoptive homes. 

Jeff Hagerman

When Evan Lubline realized that Hooverwood's residents needed to connect with their families, he reached out to Jeff Haggerman for help. Within 5 minutes, Jeff said YES! and today, residents and their families are enjoying a new visitor window. 

Sandy Nachlis

Every week before Sandy Nachlis goes to the grocery, she thinks about Popsie's Pantry and all the clients JFS serves. She texts Julie and Rachel to ask what she should buy, knowing that the needs shift day-to-day. Its a huge help and a treat to see her face each week


Jennifer Vigran

Jennifer Vigran and her team have been stepping up more than ever to provide food relief to thousands of Hoosiers. Through Jennifer's leadership, Second Helpings adapted their services to meet the new pressing needs of our community.


Ari Hodes

Ari Hodes has volunteered with a local organization to help package and distribute food to Hoosiers all over Marion County. He has also brought dozens of boxes to Popsie's Pantry to help support the increased demand for food at the beginning of this pandemic


Rachel Heger and Ross Siegel

Rachel Heger runs the local chapter of I Support The Girls and her cousin, Ross Siegel, has volunteered to deliver materials to Popsie's Pantry to donate. The packages included 5,000 liners, 2,000 tampons, 180 bottles of shampoo, and skin serum.


Robert Rising and Peter Cukier

Since the start of this pandemic, Robert and Peter have been delivering fresh meals to front-line workers at St. Vincent Hospital. They are taking care of the professionals who need it and supporting local businesses all at the same time.

Shelley Kahn

Shelley Kahn is a dedicated Hooverwood volunteer serving on the Executive Board, co-chairing the Mezuzzah project and chairing the Judaism and Culture Committee. She has a passion for caring for the those who call Hooverwood & Kraft Commons home.

Ella Shemesh

Ella Shemesh, 14, saw a need from a family friend and nurse who expressed having pain behind her ears from wearing a mask all day. Ella saw a similar project on Facebook and sewed buttons on the headbands for over 200 healthcare workers for free.

Lori Schankerman

Lori Schankerman is one of the most dedicated volunteers at Popsie's & has been for many years. She comes in weekly to help organize the shelves & pack groceries for clients. She is also managing our volunteer schedule which takes so much pressure off of our staff.

Faustina Cash

Faustina Cash, 18, has been working as a CNA in a nursing home. She has sewn countless masks for her residents and fellow staff members, and has also worked directly in a COVID unity when half her residents got sick.

 Rosie and Sophia Fisher

Rosie (7) and Sophia (4) Fisher are involved in the Jackson's Grant Baking Club and along with their friends Layla Goodwin (10), Allison Adams (10), Max Ramm (11), and Ryan Ramm (8), they hosted a neighborhood bake sale to benefit Popsie's Pantry & ASPCA

Harris Nachlis

In honor of his Bar Mitzvah, Harris Nachlis donated dozens of new toys to share with local kids this holiday season. Additionally, he donated several boxes of food for Popsie's Pantry. His thoughtful generosity has helped so many local families.

Shayna Burko

Shayna Burko signed up to adopt a family this year in honor & in memory of her grandfather, a Holocaust Survivor, who passed away over the summer. She drove to JFS from 3 hours away to drop off her gifts. She truly went above and beyond, it was such a heartwarming exchange when she came here. 

Joanie Waldman

Beth El Zedeck's Early Childhood Center is what it is due to the creativity and administrative expertise of Joanie Waldman. Widely recognized as a top-notch Jewish program, hundreds of children have received love and learning under her care.

Michelle Korin

Michelle Korin volunteers as the Co-Chair of the Israel/Budapest/U.S. Partnership2Gether program. She has been giving of her time and boundless, cheerful energy for many years, with the desire to help people from Indianapolis connect with Israelis, and with Hungarians in the Budapest Jewish community. 

Michelle understands the power of togetherness and she toils day and night (literally, into the wee hours of the morning), making connections, introducing folks, facilitating new relationships, and encouraging people to reach out and connect. This has proven all the more critical during the past six months of COVID lockdown, as people are feeling lonely and isolated, here and around the world.

Through the Western Galilee Partnership Michelle has facilitated relationships connecting people over the miles, and over the sea. During the lockdown she recorded weekly Shabbat Shalom fun video clips on Facebook, and initiated 'Sunday Beer & Bagels' virtual meetings for people involved in the Partnership. She also initiated the 'We R Family' virtual program, giving an opportunity for families/teens/singles in our community to be matched with similar families in Israel, for virtual friendships. 

Michelle doesn't know a stranger.  For anyone she meets she has a kind word, a joke, a smile, and an air-blown kiss. She also has these teeny glass hearts always in her purse, ready to gift and break the ice. Michelle thinks of the smallest details; when she hears that someone is going to Israel, she'll hand them a few coins so they can fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzedakah when they visit the Kotel in Jerusalem. 

Thanks to Michelle, many Hoosiers have made new friends with folks from around the U.S., Israel and Budapest, helping everyone deal with these difficult pandemic days.