Jewish center to honor 7 humanitarians



The Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque will honor seven individuals at the 2013 Humanitarian Awards Dinner next week.

“This group of winners is as diverse as they are deserving,” Dave Simon, executive director of the Jewish Community Center, said in a statement. “All of them are true humanitarians who have served our community and whose values mirror the Jewish values and ethics of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (charity to those in need).”

The honorees are:

  • Don Chalmers, a car dealership owner who has served on and led numerous nonprofit boards, including the United Way and the National Dance Institute; he also helped establish Central New Mexico’s chapter of the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and used his business to fund college scholarships.
  • Leslie Elgood, who will retire in September as president and CEO of New Mexico Community Capital, a nonprofit organization that invests in 10 New Mexico companies that agree to remain in the state. She has developed mentoring opportunities for Navajo women entrepreneurs and made investments in Native American-owned businesses.
  • Robert Bowman, former board vice chairman of the Metropolitan Homeless Project, who has promoted legislation supportive of lesbian, gay and transgender issues and other civil rights issues through Equality New Mexico.
  • Jill and Michael Montoya, founders, Los Ojos de la Familia, a nonprofit charity that funds high school scholarships to approximately 15 students each semester and has more than 100 volunteers who distribute Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets to 200 families in central New Mexico.
  • Beverly and the late Bob White, both members of B’nai Israel. Bob White served as a leader of Hillel, the Jewish student organization at the University of New Mexico; Beverly White provided grief counseling around the state for people who’d lost babies to sudden infant death syndrome.


The dinner, sponsored by French Funerals and Cremations, will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Woodward Place NE at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 and costs $125 per person.