University Synagogue’s annual Heroes Among Us honored Palisadians Janet and Tom Unterman, and Donna Shapiro, as well as Michelle and Gary Schoenfeld of Brentwood.
The March 20 festivities celebrated a worthy group of honorees while raising funds to continue the Temple’s mission to bring Jewish values and traditions to youth in the synagogue community.
Tom Unterman is the founding partner of Rustic Canyon Partners, one of Los Angeles’ leading venture capital firms. He currently serves on the boards of The California Community Foundation, CalArts, Heal the Bay, MOCA (life trustee), the Courage Campaign and ProPublica.
Janet’s volunteer activities focus on education and arts organizations. She has long been a docent at LACMA. She also volunteers with Arts Matter, an organization that brings arts education to Title 1 public schools in the Los Angeles area, and participates in the adult literacy program at the Los Angeles Public Library.
The Untermans’ two daughters have chosen careers that focus on public service. Rebecca, their oldest, is completing work on a doctorate in educational policy. Amy and her husband are both M.D./Ph.D. students in Baltimore.
Donna Shapiro’s parents, Marvin and Natalie, joined University Synagogue in 1971. She has been an active adult learner at the congregation throughout the years, from group learning initiatives to individual study. Her pursuit of Jewish knowledge, both the intellectual and the spiritual, serves as an inspiration to all.
Donna became involved with University Synagogue when her sons, Benjamin and Robert Castillo, attended the Early Childhood Learning Center. Her auspicious position as Challah Lady at the preschool launched her adult service to the synagogue. She has served on the Board of Trustees for the past decade, and has also held several officer positions on the board.
She is a trusts and estates attorney at the law firm of Feinberg, Mindel, Brandt & Klein in West Los Angeles, and graduated with honors and distinction from Stanford University, attended Harvard Law School, and completed her J.D. at Stanford University.