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

Nominator information and relationship to the nominee
Nominee information
A Dreamer Statement explaining why this person should be considered for this award (not more than 500 words or a four-minute video)

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, 2023.
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 in March and an award event will take place on April 11, 2024 in Rockville, Maryland.

We look forward to reviewing your submissions and celebrating this outstanding professional!

Questions? Contact The Phyllis Margolius Family Foundation, Inc. at