Honoring a Giver: Etta Raye Hirsch Etta Raye Hirsch is a name known to many of us in Atlanta, both for philanthropy and for a life lived at an exceptionally high level of menschlickeit (humanity). Mrs. Hirsch has been a committed major donor to Federation and many other Jewish organizations for the past 34 years, and we are very proud to share she was recognized by the Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as its 2019 Philanthropist of the Year.
Etta Raye is a giver through and through. You might say, it’s her superpower! A friend says, “On any given day, if you were to look inside her car, you’d probably think she was on her way home from a shopping excursion. The truth is, Etta Raye’s car is stockpiled every day with items ready to be delivered to people in need. Inside you’ll find clothing for The Drake House’s resale shop, paper towels for The Community Action Center, non-perishable food for Jewish Family & Career Service’s food pantry, and art supplies for Creating Connected Communities.“ By our count, she supports 45 different Jewish causes. Her holistic concept of Jewish Peoplehood means that the entire community is supported, not just one segment.
Born to Jewish immigrants, Etta Raye Hirsch grew up in Pulaski, Tennessee, a small town of 5,000, also known as the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan. The family had to travel up to an hour to Nashville, just to connect with other Jewish people. Deepening her Jewish heritage was such an integral part of her upbringing that her philanthropic foundation is called the Henry and Etta Raye Hirsch Heritage Foundation.
When she was widowed at age 60, Mrs. Hirsch found new purpose viewing the world through the lens of a single woman. As a steward of our community, she engages in projects that build future resources including LIFE & LEGACY and Atlanta Jewish Foundation’s Family Philanthropy initiative. Her children and grandchildren follow in these footsteps. Years ago, at an event of over 300 guests, Etta Raye’s then 15-year-old granddaughter captivated the crowd as she proudly made her first gift to Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta in honor of her grandmother. Thank you, Etta Raye Hirsch for epitomizing the phrase, l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation!
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