New Leadership. A Strong Community Voice in Austin.
Good leadership begins with good community service.
Fifteen years of non-stop community service. That’s what I am about. My name is Neal Katz, and I am running as an Independent for Texas State House in District 6 (East Texas.)
Every day, I am uplifted by the amazing work ethic of East Texans. I have been honored to interact with so many of my neighbors who make this community a great place to live. From the medical centers to the
excellent schools – from the small businesses to the large companies – from the non-profit servants to the oil and gas workers – and from the faith community to the civic leadership. We are truly blessed.
I want to represent the best of East Texas in our State House. I believe it is time to take pause and look beyond party – to ask ourselves what excellent representation would look like. For those who know me, I am a tireless servant for our community, and I want to continue that service in Austin.
I am asking you to join me on a ground-breaking journey – to upset the political stalemate that keeps our State from moving forward. We need to send good leadership to Austin to keep our taxes low, to spur private economic growth, to champion and finance our public schools, to grow our infrastructure, to be a voice of compassion for all our citizens, and to remain focused on the job at hand – to be a proud and effective voice for East Texas!
Please join me on my campaign by making a donation, signing up to volunteer, sharing a video testimonial, and most importantly – by voting for me in November 2018.
2017 Leadership Tyler
Distinguished Alumni Award Video
Watch the video below to see the kind of leadership I will bring to Austin.
I grew up in Virginia Beach, VA. My father is a jeweler and has run his own small jewelry business for nearly 50 years. He is a Navy Veteran who served in Vietnam, and his belief in the power of small business and a strong work ethic has been a great influence on me.
My mother was a nurse for 35 years – and she worked in the same hospital where she was born! Most of her nursing career was in Labor and Delivery, but she was also a private childbirth educator for many years. Her compassion as a nurse combined with her medical expertise was always a source of inspiration to me. In her retirement, she is an active volunteer in her community – proving that the loving heart never rests.
I am a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA with a degree in political science. I continued my graduate studies there in counseling before heading off to Israel to begin my five-year training to become a rabbi. After finishing seminary in Cincinnati, OH, I moved to Tyler, TX to serve as the rabbi at Congregation Beth El. And, I have never left.
I have an amazing wife, Jennifer, and three wonderful children, Micah, Lila, and Rebecca – all of whom are proud students in Tyler public schools.
During my 15 years in Tyler, I have been honored to serve with local and state-wide non-profits and civic boards. On those boards, I have worked with Republicans and Democrats and everyone in between – because when it comes to serving our community, I know East Texas is at its best when we work together.
Below is a list of my service:
- Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce – current Board Member
- Tyler Area Partnership for Education - Leadership Team member and Middle School Liaison
- Philosophical Society of Texas - Life Member, inducted in 2013
- City of Tyler Parks and Recreation Board - former Board member
- City of Tyler Arts Coalition Leadership team - current advisor
- Hospice of East Texas - former Board chair
- Hospice of East Texas Foundation - current Board member
- Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas - founding Board Member and former Board chair
- Discovery Science Place - Former Board member, Gala Committee member, and 2017 Gala Honoree
- Tyler Ministerial Alliance - Former chair
- Leadership Tyler - graduate of Class 19 and current panelist for LT's Diversity Day
- Art of Peace - co-founder and current committee member
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration - former event organizer
- Texas Peace Summit - co-founder and organizer
- Texas Freedom Network - current Board Member
- P.A.T.H. (People Attempting to Help) - former Board member and Board chair
- UT Health Northeast - former member of Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Ethics Committee
I have also been honored to teach full courses at both UT Tyler and Tyler Junior College over the years. And I am an active speaker to many local schools, churches, and civic groups. In addition to all this, I am a performing musician.
In 2005, I was the recipient of the prestigious T.B. Butler Award for "Most Outstanding Citizen in Tyler 2004" by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. I shared this award with my friend, Anwar Khalifa. In 2012, I was honored again by the Tyler Chamber of Commerce with the W.C. Windsor Award for Outstanding Community Service by a citizen under the age of 40. (Proud to be only one of three recipients to ever win both awards.) In 2008, I received the Martin Luther King award for Non-Violent Social Change at the MLK, Jr. Day Celebration in Tyler.
Like I said at the top, I believe good leadership begins with good community service. That is where I have dedicated my time for the past 15 years – witnessing the greatness of our community – and hearing what makes us work. I am asking for the chance to share that voice in Austin.