Roots Run Deep

By Abbie S. Fink

The Cabots impact the North Valley one volunteer opportunity at a time

Since moving to the Valley of the Sun almost 40 years ago, Howard and Vicki Cabot have been committed to making the local Jewish community bloom and grow.

Married for 50 years, the Cabots moved to Arizona from New Jersey in 1981, where they have raised four children, Heather, Melissa, Courtney and Tyler and are now the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.

“From the very beginning of our time here in Phoenix, we have been part of a welcoming community and an extended family of friends that has really made this city our home,” Vicki says.

“Our participation in a variety of community organizations and activities has provided endless satisfaction and a sense that we are, indeed, building upon a solid foundation from those who have

come before us. Our hope is our children and grandchildren have learned by example and that we continue as a family to see the community continue to flourish for generations to come.”

Vicki’s involvement in the community began at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center and at Beth El Congregation soon after the family arrived here. As her kids grew older, she took on

leadership roles with Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, serving as its Women’s Department campaign chairwoman and then president, and then co-chairing the federation’s general campaign with Howard later serving as its president.

Additional board service has included many of the federation’s constituent agencies, including VOSJCC, Hillel at ASU and Kivel Campus of Care and most recently, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, whose commitment to healthy individuals and families throughout the Phoenix metropolitan community particularly resonates.

She and her husband are co-chairing JFCS’ annual Brighter Tomorrow Luncheon on Friday, January 17, at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale and featuring keynote speaker Dr. Michael Crow, ASU president.

Last year’s sold-out event netted nearly $370,000. Table sponsorships and individual tickets for this year’s Brighter Tomorrow Luncheon are available at jfcsaz.org.

Vicki’s leadership has extended to a variety of civic organizations including Phoenix Sister Cities Commission, where she served on the board as a founding member and chairwoman of the Ramat Gan Committee, the Madison and Phoenix Union District public schools, where she served in a variety of volunteer capacities, the Arizona State University Foundation and ASU’s Jewish Studies Center.

Vicki serves on the boards of the Jewish Community Relations Council and Arizona Jewish Historical Society. She and her husband are also active supporters of AIPAC and Jewish National Fund.

Howard is a partner in the international law fi rm, Perkins Coie LLP, where he is widely recognized as a leading courtroom lawyer in complex and sophisticated litigation and is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He teaches trial advocacy, evidence and professionalism as an adjunct professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law and lectures at ASU and at his alma mater, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

“I had great mentors as I was coming up through law school and as a young associate at the firm,” Howard says. “They were not only excellent attorneys but demonstrated a commitment to giving back to the community that really resonated with me.”

Much like his wife, Howard has given of his time to a variety of Jewish organizations throughout the Valley including the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Community Foundation and the Jewish Federation, where he is incoming board chairman.

Howard’s reach has spread beyond the Jewish community to public schools, libraries and Valley arts organizations.

Howard has served on the boards and executive committees of the Herberger Th eater Center, Phoenix Symphony and the Phoenix Library Foundation.

He and Vicki are co-recipients of the Jewish National Fund “Tree of Life” Award. Howard is a recipient of the prestigious American Jewish Committee Judge Learned Hand Award; Vicki has been recognized by the Phoenix Jewish Federation with its Golda Meir Award, its Medal of Honor and its national Wilson- Kipnis Award for Continuing Community Service.

Committed to learning and growing, the couple are Wexner Heritage Foundation Scholars. The Wexner Heritage Program is a two-year Jewish study experience with an additional focus on leadership. They have studied together in Israel and Eastern Europe, have done volunteer work with Russian children in the former Soviet Union and have traveled widely, frequently to Israel, leading interfaith missions.

Vicki has more than 30 years’ experience as a journalist and has served as an adjunct professor of religion at Glendale Community College and is a popular lecturer at ASU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Center. She earned her PhD in philosophy from ASU in 2018 and holds master’s degrees in religion and mass communications from ASU.

“Howard and I have a great respect for Michael Crow and all that he has done for Arizona State University and the greater Phoenix community,” Vicki says. “When we were asked to co-chair the Brighter Tomorrow Luncheon with Michael as the keynote speaker, we knew it was a perfect blending of our commitment to not only the Jewish community but the larger Phoenix community as well.”

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