The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Honoring Sylvia Shepard and Goldie Shepard at Vanderbilt Hillel this November

Sylvia Shepard.jpeg
Goldie Shepard.jpeg

Vanderbilt Hillel recently celebrated its 20th Building Anniversary and launched the 20th Anniversary Campaign to upgrade security, expand its staff, invest in large scale programs, and engage in strategic planning efforts. A large part of its 20th Anniversary campaign efforts will go towards renovating the meat kitchen. Despite the cramped and poorly equipped kitchen, Sylvia and Goldie have spent thousands of hours cooking Shabbat and Holiday meals for Vanderbilt Hillel students for almost 20 years.  “Each week, Shabbat at Hillel is filled with laughter, joy, and community. Goldie and Sylvia’s food is my mom and bubbe’s food. It completes the Shabbat experience and makes Hillel feel like a home away from home. All the students are so appreciative of the home cooked meals they provide every week,” says Nathan Appelbaum, ’24. 


Ari Dubin, Executive Director, reflects on his time at Hillel with Sylvia and Goldie. “It’s impossible to imagine the last 18 years without them, they are the beating heart of everything we do and make the students’ experiences special. The love, care, and attention they put in the food is apparent to all the students and a big piece of what keeps them coming back year after year.” 


Goldie and Sylvia have not only made a huge difference for Vanderbilt Hillel students but have catered hundreds of events in the local Nashville community including weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations, funerals, and so much more. They have been there for all of us as we’ve celebrated life’s milestones, and Vanderbilt Hillel is excited to celebrate them this year. 


Vanderbilt Hillel has launched a “Local Match Kitchen Naming Campaign” generously funded by Barbara Levy, Kenneth and Ellen Jacobs, and Bob and Alberta Doochin. Every local dollar raised by the campaign will be matched up to $100,000 will be used to fund the kitchen renovation. This campaign will culminate in the annual fundraiser honoring Sylvia Shepard and Goldie Shepard on November 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Vanderbilt Hillel, and the meat kitchen will officially be named, “The Goldie Shepard and Sylvia Shepard Vanderbilt Hillel Kitchen.”  


Cindee Gold and Alyssa Hassenfeld are Vanderbilt Hillel’s co-chairs for the Local Match Kitchen Naming Campaign and the fundraiser.  “I was so pleased to help with the effort to raise money for the new Goldie Shepard and Sylvia Shepard Vanderbilt Hillel Kitchen. It was 18 years ago that I implored Goldie to take on this project enabling our community to welcome so many Jewish students over Shabbat dinners. As for Sylvia, if there is a more generous woman in our community, I haven’t met her yet. What a privilege to know these women,” says Cindee Gold, past president of Vanderbilt Hillel 


“It’s an honor for me to chair such an important fundraiser for Vanderbilt Hillel. I am a Vandy graduate who spent time in the kitchen preparing challah and enjoyed countless Shabbat dinners prepared by them. I don’t know how they served so many students using such a small space. Thanks to the support of the Nashville community, Vanderbilt Hillel alumni and parents, and our matching donors, we have raised funds to greatly improve the facilities for Goldie and Sylvia to maintain their amazing legacy of serving Vanderbilt Hillel students,” says Alyssa Hassenfeld, ’15, secretary of Vanderbilt Hillel Board of Directors 



To donate to the Kitchen Naming Campaign, visit: 

To RSVP for the Vanderbilt Hillel Fundraiser on November 12th, visit: 


Photo Credit: 

Sylvia Shepard: Emily Allen 


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