Gigi Amar

Sepharade Women's Campaign Chair, 1995-1996

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

I've always wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to my family, particularly their constant support until we could stand on our own two feet. My parents are very thankful for Federation CJA, and I felt extremely honoured when I was asked to become President of the Sepharade Campaign. Since I had always wanted to pay it forward, I happily accepted.

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

Federation CJA embodies the values of collective Jewish responsibility. It takes care of the most vulnerable and defends our common interests. Thanks to Federation CJA, I discovered a world I had never experienced before. During our early morning meetings, I was struck by the number of people present who wanted to share their intelligence, knowledge and professional skills with the community. I saw CEOs of big companies who, in addition to giving their money, also donated their time, in an effort to see the community evolve, year after year. That really impressed me.

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

In addition to being interesting, I always felt that events brought a genuine sense of enthusiasm thanks to their exceptional hand-picked keynote speakers, including Elie Wiesel, Simone Weil and Barbara Walters. I found Elie Wiesel's lecture to be particularly moving.

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

I would tell any young woman looking to get involved that volunteering it is a rich and rewarding experience and a true gift in itself. You will receive much more than you give.

5. What is your legacy?

The strength of the Jewish community lies in its unity. As stated in the Pirkei Avot, as Jews, we are responsible for one another. Is there any more beautiful life lesson?

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