About Phyllis G. Margolius
Phyllis Ann Goldman Margolius cared deeply about strengthening the Jewish community in Washington, D.C., Israel, and around the world. Where others saw problems, she saw opportunities and solutions, pushing the needle forward and motivating those around her to do the same.
She was loved and cherished by many – not only for her meaningful and charitable work for organizations like the United Jewish Endowment Fund, the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Washington, and the Council of Jewish Federations, but also for her personable demeanor, creative approach to issues, and her determination to succeed even under seemingly impossible circumstances. Phyllis inspired her family, friends, colleagues, and the greater Jewish community at large to get involved, give back, and make a positive impact on our world… just like she did.
The Phyllis G. Margolius Impossible Dream Award
Throughout their lives, Phyllis and her husband of 45 years, Philip, received numerous awards for service to their community. Now, in honor of Phyllis’ legacy, The Phyllis Margolius Family Foundation, Inc. is paying it forward and honoring one local D.C.-area Jewish communal professional with the prestigious Phyllis G. Margolius Impossible Dream Award. This award carries a cash prize of $18,000.
The winner will be someone who has achieved a result against difficult odds – just like Phyllis did. They could have accomplished their goals through innovation, disruption, mediation, relationship-building, a partnership, a merger, a turn-around, and/or transformation.
Who Is Eligible for the Award?
We are accepting nominations for any professional working in the Jewish communal world. Self-nominations and nominations from a family member will not be accepted.
The recipient requirements are as follows:
Work experience of at least 5 years in the Jewish community
Currently affiliated with a Jewish organization
Has expressed a commitment to remain in Jewish communal work
Professional resides in the DC area
The ideal recipient will also have the following qualifications:
An exceptional Jewish nonprofit professional
Has had a significant impact on the local, national or Israeli community
Generates outstanding outcomes, often overcoming difficult obstacles
A role model for others
Collaborator on teams
Dedicated to Jewish continuity
Any professional meeting the qualifications and working for a Jewish nonprofit in the D.C. area is eligible for this award. Organizations can be local, national or global, as long as there is a physical or remote D.C. area office and it is the professional’s place of residence.
How to Submit a Nomination
Complete nominations will consist of the following
Two Letters of Recommendation
Nominator downloads and fills out the Nomination Form. The Dreamer Statement submitted by the Nominator should include a summary of the project or challenge undertaken, including the vision, obstacles that were overcome, how the person overcame them or is overcoming them, and what success looks like.
The Nominator will send the nominee a Notice of Nomination, after which the nominee will provide more information to the Foundation about the nature of the work for which they were nominated and their CV.
The Nominator will also select two people to write Letters of Recommendation and request they be emailed by the deadline in accordance with the nomination instructions.
Each part of the nomination process can be emailed separately to the Foundation with clearly marked nominee identification on the documents and in the subject line of the email.
Nominations will be open between November 1 – December 31, 2022.
Only those individuals with completed nomination kits (all parts of the process) will be considered for the award.
Our prestigious selection panel will select the winner to be announced and an award event will take place on April 20, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
Our Selection Committee
The Impossible Dream Award winner will be selected by our esteemed Selection Committee.
Founder and Chair of the Partnership for Patient Advocacy
For over 40 years, Ted Farber helped organizations achieve lasting success through transformational change and organizational management. His extensive career included 17 years as the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and 20 as the President of TBF Consulting. Ted holds certificates in negotiations and executive education from Harvard University and Vanderbilt University, respectively as well as a Masters of Social Work from New York University.
In retirement, Ted lives in Potomac, MD with his wife, Ronni where they are within 10 minutes of their children and grandchildren.
From 2009 to 2017, Sarah Hurwitz served as a White House speechwriter, first as a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama and then as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama. Prior to serving in the Obama Administration, Sarah was chief speechwriter for Hillary Clinton on her 2008 presidential campaign. Sarah is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law school, and she is the author of Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life – in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There).
Sallai Meridor is the Chairperson of the Board of the National Library of Israel. He served as Israel’s Ambassador to the USA from 2006 to 2009, and as the Chair of the Jewish Agency from 1999 to 2005. From 2011 to 2018, he served as the Chairperson and co founder of a cyber security focused VC fund. Since 2018, he serves as the Chairperson of the Pension and Provident fund of the Jewish Agency. He is a board member of the Israel Democracy Institute, the Jewish People Policy Institute, and the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research. He is married to Noa and they have 3 daughters and 9 grandchildren.
Robert Satloff has served since 1993 as the executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, our nation’s foremost research institution focused on Middle East politics and US regional policy. An expert on Arab and Islamic politics as well as U.S. Middle East policy, his books include Among the Righteous: Lost Stories of the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands, the best-selling account of Arab “heroes” and “villains” of the Holocaust that was made into a PBS documentary broadcast nationwide. In addition, Dr. Satloff is the creator and host of Dakhil Washington (“Inside Washington”), a news and interview program that has appeared weekly since 2005 on al-Hurra, the U.S. government-supported Arabic satellite television channel that beams throughout the Middle East. In that capacity, he is the only non-Arab to host a program on an Arab satellite channel.
Susan Turnbull of Bethesda, Maryland has dedicated close to 40 years to community activism at the local and national level through both political and philanthropic efforts. Susan currently serves as a Board Member of Integrity First for America which was instrumental in the lawsuit against the conspirators of the Charlottesville disturbances in 2017. Previously, Susan served two terms as Chair of Jewish Women International, Chaired the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, was a member of the executive committee of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, was a board member of Hillel International and was a long-time board member of the Jewish Social Service Agency and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Washington.
In the political world Susan represented Maryland at the Democratic National Committee for 19 years and during that time served as DNC Vice Chair, Chair of the DNC Women’s Leadership Forum and DNC Women’s Caucus and Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. In 2011, Susan co-founded Emerge Maryland an organization dedicated to training Democratic women to run for office. She was the 2018 Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor of Maryland.
Simone Friedman is the Founder and Chair of the Partnership for Patient Advocacy. She also manages grantmaking across the foundations and other charitable giving programs under the EJF Philanthropies umbrella and serves on the advisory board for the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy.
We look forward to reviewing your submissions and celebrating this outstanding professional!
Questions? Contact The Phyllis Margolius Family Foundation, Inc. at