Maryse Ohayon

Sepharade Women's Campaign Chair, 1990-1991

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

I got involved in the Federation CJA through the Combined Jewish Appeal Campaign – Sepharade Section. I had been recruited to do a few cards and the following year, someone suggested I become President of the women’s section, which I accepted. Over the course of that year, I went on an amazing trip to Israel as part of Operation Salomon, which underscored the arrival of Ethiopians in the Holy Land.

So I was participating in two Campaigns at the same time.

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

One of my greatest memories is the arrival of the first Ethiopians, most of them dressed in white and barefoot and who, exiting the airplane, knelt down to kiss the Israeli ground they were treading upon for the first time.

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

The other very fond memory that I have is of unveiling the Campaign’s figures, the objectives for which had been achieved by a large amount.

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

Volunteering and philanthropy are donations of yourself, donations of your time, energy and experience.
If you intend to get involved in this field, choose something you feel will be a joy to work at every day and do it with all your heart. Create your own objectives and try to achieve them. It will be a much greater reward for you.

5) What legacy would you like to pass on?

I’ve never volunteered, taken part in philanthropy in order to leave an impact, a legacy. I got into this field simply because I wanted to give, to share what I had received. The pleasure that it’s brought me is reward enough.

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