Fabienne Marelli

Sepharade Women's Campaign Chair, 1983-1984

1) How did you get involved in the Federation CJA – and why?

In 1983, I had just returned from Israel with a desire to get involved with the Federation CJA and Bob Abitbol contacted me. He convinced me to join him and participate in the Sepharade Campaign.
I wanted to get engaged in volunteering and build ties with Ashkenazim. I wanted to get to know them better so that other Sephardim would be inspired to do the same.

2) What is the fondest memory you have today of your time working with the Federation CJA?

My first fundraising meeting.

3) Do you remember a moment or an event in particular that deeply impacted you?

A women’s meeting at Ms. Elofer’s house!

It was such a joy to see these smiling women eager to share stories with each other. As I was talking to them about my parents, who were of the same generation, and learning about their new life full of surprises, one woman brought her hand to her blouse before handing me a banknote. Moved, I exclaimed, “Today, I can see my mother making the same gesture.”

They all did the same thing and I returned home with more than I could have expected.

4) What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to follow in your footsteps in the field of philanthropy?

It doesn’t matter when, you must learn to give in all areas.

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