Margaret Anne Goldsmith will be honored by the National Conference of Community and Justice at its North Alabama Brotherhood and Sisterhood Awards Dinner on August 10.
Also being honored are Helen McAlpine, president of J.F. Drake Technical College; Frank Franz, president of the University of Alabama at Huntsville; and former Huntsville Mayor Steve Hettinger.
Goldsmith is the first member of the Jewish community to be recognized at the Huntsville dinner since Malcolm Lindy in 1998. Rabbi Steven Jacobs was honored in 1995.
A native of Huntsville, Goldsmith graduated from Newcomb College at Tulane University, then worked as an independent contractor in the real estate field. From New Orleans, she also assisted the management of her family’s investment business, I. Schiffman & Co.
In 1995, she returned to Huntsville to become president of the company, and to transition from the company’s rural property holdings to residential and commercial development.
Her family history dates back to the 1850s in Huntsville, and she said her concept of philanthropy came from her ancestors. They built the Goldsmith Schiffman Field, led the group that founded Huntsville Hospital, worked to build Temple B’nai Sholom, and provided leadership in bringing Redstone Arsenal to Huntsville.
Goldsmith has a passion for historical objects and works to place them in strategic locations in the community. Some items have been the Southern Railway locomotive bell at the Depot Museum, Russel Erskin Hotel artifacts at the Huntsville Historic Foundation, returning the Little Lion to Big Spring Park, and a major collection of family manuscripts to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
She established two funds at the Birmingham Jewish Foundation. One will benefit the Huntsville Jewish community, while the other will benefit emergency needs in the international Jewish community.
In 2003, she donated 300 acres to the city of Huntsville for the Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary.
Goldmith is past president of the Jewish Federation of North Alabama. She has served on numerous boards, including the Huntsville Symphony, International Service Council, Interfaith Mission Service, Monte Sano Civic Association, Depot Visioning Committee, and the Huntsville Historic Foundation.
She has received preservation awards from the Huntsville Historic Foundation, the D.A.R. Conservation Award, and was a member of Leadership Huntsville.
She also chaired the centennial celebration for Huntsville’s Temple B’nai Sholom and chaired a 1987 drive to preserve the congregation’s stained glass windows. In New Orleans, she was on the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Family Services, Community Relations Committee, and the Greater New Orleans Jewish Endowment Foundation.
The dinner will be at the North Hall at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville. A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., with dinner and a program at 7:00 p.m.