Longtime Dunwoody resident Judy Glassman has been named to the executive committee of the National Jewish Committee on Girl Scouting, which works in cooperation with Girl Scouts of the USA. The appointment is a culmination of Glassman’s dedication to Girl Scouting as a troop leader and unit director in metro Atlanta’s Jewish community for nearly 24 years, and to Girl Scouting in general for close to 30 years, including 12 years as a volunteer trainer.
Glassman was a Girl Scout herself in elementary school in her home town of Anderson, S.C. When her daughter, Jennifer, now 33, was in first grade, Glassman enrolled her in a school troop. Looking for a Scout program in the Jewish community, Glassman transferred her daughter to a new program at the Jewish Community Center in Dunwoody and became a co-leader of the troop. When her daughter aged out of the program, Glassman started a new JCC troop, remaining as a leader until 12 years ago when she became a trainer. Three years ago, she became co-director of Girl Scouts of Atlanta’s Haverim (friends, in Hebrew) Service Unit. In that role, Glassman encourages the formation of troops in metro Atlanta’s Jewish day schools and synagogues, and steps in as a temporary co-leader to help fledgling troops.
Volunteering with Girl Scouts was a complement to Glassman’s vocation as a kindergarten and first grade teacher for more than 30 years before retiring a few years ago.
“I love kids. I can’t see my life without children in it,” Glassman said. “I love seeing them grow and learn and get a sense of pride in themselves.”
She knows firsthand how Girl Scouting fosters growth and self-confidence. “My daughter was shy and she loved to learn. Scouts gave her what she needed to come out of her shell, to talk people,” Glassman said. Like daughter like mother, Glassman also gained confidence through her Girl Scout roles. “I learned that I’m not shy anymore. I can speak to groups,” she said.
Her communicating skill was one of the reasons Glassman was asked to join the National Jewish Committee on Girl Scouting by Adele Wasko of Bronxville, N.Y., the committee’s field chairman.
“I was impressed with her sincerity and ability to work with people, as well as her knowledge of Judaism and Girl Scouting,” Wasko said.
Tenequa Wildy, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s training support coordinator, also admires the way Glassman communicates with troop leaders in training. “She’s very patient and her voice is calming and soothing,” Wildy said. “She makes sure volunteers know what their roles are.”
Wildy said Glassman is an “amazing person” and is “proud of her new accomplishment.”
Glassman’s partner in Girl Scouting since she enrolled her daughter in the JCC troop is Sheila Mills of Toco Hills. They were co-troop leaders and now are co-directors of the Haverim service unit. “I can always depend on her,” Mills said. “She’s such a complete person. She finishes everything she starts. She does everything the Girl Scout way and she does it with a smile.”
Glassman is a recipient of the Ora (light, in Hebrew) Award, the highest honor for adults in the Jewish Girl Scout movement, given in recognition of outstanding service to youth through both the religious institution and Girl Scouting. She has helped Jewish Girl Scouts attain the Gold Award, Girl Scouting’s highest award for excellence and leadership, and wants people to realize that award is just as significant as the Boy Scouts’ Eagle rank.
“I want to see people realizing that Girls Scouts is as important as Boy Scouts,” Glassman said.
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