Heroes Campaign: Spotlight on Jane Davis and family
Jane Davis moved to Cherry Hill from Deal, NJ as a newlywed about 60 years ago. Since then, she, along with her family, have been dedicated supporters of the community and especially the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, offering time, energy, and resources to helping those in need. During this critical time, Davis herself has demonstrated her commitment to this community even while living in her current home in Boca Raton, Florida, with a series of gifts to the JCC Camps at Medford, Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS), and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).
Part of what keeps Davis’ connection to South Jersey strong is the memories that she, her children, and her grandchildren have made as part of the community. “I was always doing something as a volunteer, almost since the time I moved here,” she recalled. “I really enjoyed it. My kids and grandkids went to JCC Camps at Medford as youngsters, and they were always happy there. I went to see my granddaughter at camp when she was young, and it was like time in a capsule, nothing had changed.”
Since 1996, Davis and her late husband, Roger, along with their son, Mitchell Davis and daughter, Patricia Lahn, have made a series of gifts to the camp, helping to build the camp’s Nature Center, the Camp Aaron pavilion and sports complex, and the Davis Welcome Center. “The Davis family sees camp as a place that definitely changes lives in South Jersey,” said Brian Adler, JCC assistant director.
Last year, Davis was struck by the need she saw in the community as the result of the COVID pandemic. “It was an upsetting time for me as an older person, seeing life being so abnormal, seeing the sadness of people not having food, waiting in lines for vaccinations,” she said. “Times are different, needs are more important. How could I sit on the fence and not do something? I decided to just get into it full force.” The Davis and Lahn family’s gifts were directed to support JCRC’s Esther Raab Holocaust Museum & Goodwin Education Center and BookMates interfaith literacy programs; JFCS’ Project SARAH, food pantries, meals-on-wheels programs; and the JCC Camps at Medford and JCC Chai Campaign. “I couldn’t think of not supporting [them],” Davis said. “The community has supported us, and I feel we need to support the community.”
Through her years of volunteering, Davis has had a closeup view of the kind of assistance the Jewish Federation system offers to all facets of the community. “I’ve been on various boards, and I wanted to make other people aware of what the community has. We offer so many opportunities for everybody,” she said. This was why she wanted to support as many agencies as she could. “If you need help, there’s help to be had. I wanted to help these agencies make progress.”
Davis continues to give because of the example it sets for her grandchildren: “I hope what I do will make an impression on them.” She also hopes it will inspire those who are able to do the same.
The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey is grateful to Jane Davis and her family for their generous gift to the Heroes Campaign. To learn more about the Heroes Campaign, please contact David Snyder, chief advancement & community relations officer, at email@example.com
By REA BOCHNER Jewish Federation Marketing Dept.