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BEST OF JEWISH PHOENIX 2016 41BEST OF JEWISH PHOENIX 2016 41 Judy Schaert believes in making a dierence and that making a dierence starts close to home. My heart is really with the congregation congregational participation and leadership. I have done a number of things in the larger community but Im most at home with my temple. She is a stalwart of Temple Solel where shes been president co-founder of the Tour de Solel fundraising bike ride a participant and writer for Purim spiels and a choir member as well as having served on Solels membership committee and currently chairing its ritual committee. Occasionally she leads a Torah study or co-leads a service. Every Yom Kippur afternoon she says she leads a study session while the rabbis lead a childrens service. Some of her dierence-making eorts in the larger Jewish community outside of her work at Temple Solel include having been president of the Jewish Tuition Organization president of the former Jess Schwartz high school and having served on the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix board. I blame it on Les Wexner she says of her community involvement. He founded the Wexner Heritage Program which aims to develop Jewish leadership and she participated in a Phoenix cohort of the program back in the mid-1990s. He said Go forth and do good. Its kind of hard when someone has provided you with basically a free adult Jewish education to say No. I dont think Im going to do anything with this. But thats only part of it because in order to qualify for the program she had to be in some kind of leadership or leadership potential role. I do come from people who would say Whats good for the Jewish people and Thats all very well and good but stop complaining she says. Complaining was never something that was encouraged or tolerated. ... Responsibility is the watchword of Judaism and that was denitely inculcated in us. Her mother was a rst-grade teacher and her father was a social worker when she was growing up in West Orange BEST OF JEWISH PHOENIX 2016BEST OF JEWISH PHOENIX 2016 by salvatore caputo photo by ken brown photography Schaffert New Jersey where they went to a Conservadox shul. When theres something that needs to get done I cant sit around and say No. Really I cant do that. So I have in a couple three instances stepped up she says self- deprecatingly. My mom died in May and I feel like I have to rededicate myself to the things that are most important. When she was ill my mantra for her was If it gives you joy do it. And I dont think that necessarily means being self- indulgent. ... I share a love of music so Ive continued with the choir at Solel and when Ive been fortunate enough to sub for Todd Herzog Solels cantorial soloist or step in and share the bimah with Todd when the rabbis have not been around that gives me joy. Its something I can do that many other people cant do and its important for us to know our strengths and to say Can my strengths provide something to the community What brought her to the Valley Love. I came here for love she says. I met my husband Michael in law school and he wanted to live here and I thought Well Ive got to try this and see if it works. So Ive brought three Jews in. My husband became Jewish and we had two sons increased the team. As a lawyer shes been in public service through her career. I started out with the Attorney Generals Oce and Ive been with the State Supreme Court for 21-plus years. At the court she acts like a legal triage nurse looking at petitions to analyze and summarize them and to make recommendations on whether the court should hear each particular case. Why is all of her work so public spirited If you have a gift then its a good idea to gure out how you can share it she says. So my husband says Go o and do your pillar-of-the-community thing. Hes very funny. schaffert judy.indd 41 12516 759 AM