Women's Campaign Chair, 1991-1992
How did you get involved with Federation CJA - and why?
I first started giving at the age of 30. I took a job expressly to make my payments. I felt it was very important that I give back. I had my own home and thought that if I could afford that, then I could afford to give, and must. I gave $50 a year in 1976.
Then I moved to Hampstead and felt that if I could afford to live in such a nice neighborhood that I could afford to give a dollar a day. I became a Lion in 1988.
Can you recall a particular moment or event that impacted you profoundly?
Fact-finding mission to Israel in 1991. I witnessed a 90-year-old man from the Soviet Union being carried off of the plane in Tel Aviv and thought to myself with pride, “Israel really does take everybody.”
Additionally, I recall watching the trains pull into Budapest from the Soviet Union; people with bird cages and sacks. Speaking Yiddish and Russian. We flew with them to Israel. I was living Jewish history.
What advice would you give to the young women following in your philanthropic footsteps?
Deeply important to make your own gift. Women are the teachers of the household and educate the men and children. We must give in order to truly feel a part of the greater community, even if it’s only 5 dollars a month, as I did when I was 30. It’s not the amount; it’s the intention and declaration of values.
What is your legacy?
I know that I taught my granddaughters well. I taught them that it is important to be a part of your community and to honour who you are. I hope they will grow up to truly understand that when you are involved and giving, you receive more than you offer.
* I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the passionate dedication of Beverlee Ashmele and her dedication to the lay leadership who were fortunate enough to work with her. The sense of community we created will never leave me.
During my Chairship we had the most new Lion-level pledges ever to that date.