Women's Campaign Chair, 1989-1990
I was always involved in communal activities and as my family grew, I started taking on some leadership roles. I was Co-Chair of Young Leadership of Israel Bonds when I was approached to be more actively involved in Federation CJA. I gladly accepted, as Federation CJA represented all the values which were important to me. Thus began my long journey with this organization. I grew up in it and loved every minute of my involvement.
My fondest memories are about the people who I worked with, both lay and professional. All of us shared the same passion about what we were doing. No task was too menial and we all worked together tirelessly to achieve success. Montreal is a very special and unique Jewish community, and Federation CJA is an integral part of it. I live in Israel now but I still feel connected to the Montreal community. To this day, my closest friends are those whom I met during that period in my life.
There were so many special moments, special events, wonderful missions , some of which I led. Etched in my mind is our visit to the former Soviet Union, spending time with refuseniks, marching on their behalf in Washington and then greeting those refuseniks in Israel. I remember how excited we were to bring the Ethiopians to Israel, and meeting them as they landed. There were many such moments. Incredible memories!!
During my leadership years, we developed programs that are still in place today: Night of 100 Dinners and Choices events were conceived by me, and together with my wonderful friend and professional, Beverlee Ashmele, we made it happen. After I finished my term as Chair of the Women's Campaign, I took on the role of Chair of HRD for Federation CJA. It was under my baton that we took the very first ever community Mission, immediately after the Gulf War. The idea caught on, and all other North American Federations followed our lead. We had 150 people on that Mission and I understand that this coming year there will be 1000+ participants from Montreal alone... So, I am very proud of my small legacy and my contribution to Federation CJA.
My advice to any young woman seeking leadership is to be passionate about what she does, follow her heart and give it her all. The rewards she gets back will be many.