Sepharade Women's Campaign Chair, 2009-2010
1. How did you get involved in the Federation CJA – and why?
Before getting involved with the Federation CJA, my husband and I were donors. As an Israeli, my priority was to make donations to Tzaal and to help with buying ambulances. When I went to the Mécènes event, I had the chance to meet some wonderful people. After that night, I went to the Federation building and began volunteering. That’s when everything clicked. I understood that a Jew in need is a Jew in need, whether he lives in Israel, Montreal or somewhere else. Since then, I’ve dedicated a large part of my time to volunteering.
2. What is the fondest memory you have today of your time working with the Federation CJA?
My time at the Federation CJA was one of inner blossoming and enrichment. I met so many inspiring people! I made so many friends and I learned as much about my community as I did about myself. My fondest and most touching memory, however, is when I joined the mission sent to Israel during operation “Protective Edge.” Helping out on the ground when Israel is in a state of war and doing good through acts of generosity, love and brotherhood are memories that will forever remain a part of me.
3. Do you remember a moment or an event in particular that deeply impacted you?
I remember many key moments. I was so moved during my visit to the JEM Workshop, truly touched when I served hot meals at the Café and particularly overwhelmed with emotion when my children and I delivered food baskets for the holidays. Those people with their heads down, their eyes haunted with despair, deeply impacted me.
4. What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to follow in your footsteps in the field of philanthropy?
First and foremost, allow yourself to be inspired by the causes close to your heart. Then get involved! If you want to volunteer for the Federation CJA, go visit the Federation building to understand all the work and help that its agencies provide to our community. Keep in mind that you can be a donor regardless of your financial status. It’s just as possible to offer your time and expertise. Lastly, I’ll add that by volunteering, not only will you understand the value of the word “giving,” but it will give you the rewarding and lifelong feeling of having been useful and having done something exceptional.
5. What legacy would you like to pass on?
The legacy I would like to pass on is the value of unity. Helping your neighbour and caring for the collective Jewish family helps us see beyond our own needs. It is important that our traditions are continued. Of course, there are immense challenges, but by uniting ourselves and helping out others, we can perform miracles.
Get involved and in return you will reap the pride of having accomplished something great.