Skip to content

Honoree Biographies

David Kurzmann was a freshman student at the Frankel Jewish Academy when it opened in 2000. A graduate of Hillel Day School, David welcomed the opportunity to continue his Jewish education at FJA and the added excitement of pioneering a new Jewish community institution.

Following graduation in 2004, David attended the University of Michigan where he majored in Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies and Political Science.

David began his career as part of the founding professional team of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, IL. Seeking professional growth, in 2011, David moved to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Midwest Office in Chicago where he served as Assistant Regional Director until 2015.

In the summer of 2015, David returned home to Detroit to lead the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). Within a year, he seized an opportunity to combine forces with the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The outcome – JCRC/AJC – united the local community outreach work of JCRC with the global advocacy resources of AJC. 

David’s service to the Jewish people brought him to the Jewish Federation in 2019 where he is currently Senior Director of Community Affairs. David serves as liaison to Jewish Community Security, Inc (JCSI) and has numerous additional responsibilities in the areas of board governance, government relations, crisis management, and fundraising.

David is a graduate of the Mandel Executive Leadership Program and FBI Citizens Academy. He is a board member of Camp Ramah in Canada and previously served on the boards of the Interfaith Leadership Council and New Detroit.

David and his wife Kate live in West Bloomfield with their three young children – Sari (6), Micah (4) and Rafi (2).

Pat Anderson earned an associate degree in computer science from Lewis College of Business. Before FJA, she worked in purchasing for 16 years at Chrysler Corporation. Pat first came to FJA doing janitorial work for a year and a half. In November 2006, her role shifted to receptionist and was there throughout the rest of her time at FJA.

For over 16 years, Pat was the voice of FJA and the first friendly face you encountered upon entering the school. Hundreds of students and parents can picture calling the school and hearing her greeting “Shalom, Frankel Jewish Academy, Pat speaking.”

During her time at FJA, Pat became an integral part of the community. Students knew they could stop at her desk throughout the day for a smile, laugh, or bandaid. An alumni visit to the school wasn’t complete without catching up with Pat at the front desk.

As an avid bowler herself, Pat was the bowling coach for several years, which only strengthened her relationships with FJA students.

In February 2023, Pat retired from FJA. When asked what she misses most, she said “enjoying a full day, watching the sunrise, and the ‘good mornings’ from the students.” 

Pat said “from day one, it felt like I had been there for years. It was a real personal place to work. I loved the closeness of the school and family feel.”

Pat has left a lasting legacy on the school. The FJA community is stronger and brighter having had Pat at the front desk for over 16 years.

Pat lives in Southfield. She has a son named Stephen and four granddaughters. In her retirement, she plans to enjoy the luxury of sleeping in a little later in the mornings.