May 5, 2022
By Lauren Stanley, Vice President of Philanthropy/Board Chair-Elect
Year after year, I immerse myself in the JFSA Annual Campaign. Having seen first-hand how the dollars we raise make a difference, I proudly speak of my experiences. This year, I set out to revitalize the purpose behind my passion and traveling to Israel always ignites that passion. Participating in a JFNA Heart to Heart Mission with old friends and other women whom I now consider new friends just takes it over the top.
It is always meaningful to see our dollars at work in the many beneficiary agencies throughout Israel. In the current global climate, it was profoundly emotional to meet and hear firsthand the traumatic journey experienced by a Ukrainian woman and her children as they made Aliyah, leaving behind her husband, parents, and grandfather. The tireless efforts of JAFI (the Jewish Agency for Israel) are currently rescuing and resettling those at risk in both Ukraine and Russia. It is because of the funds we provide that these women and children can be safely resettled in Israel.
We did everything from visiting a boarding school for at-risk girls to meeting and speaking with Israeli women who are Lions of Judah, and all of this reaffirms my personal mission to do my part. I’m inspired to perform acts of Tikkun Olam.
At the conclusion of this quick five-day mission, I reflected upon my experience. Although there were abundant opportunities to have what our mission chairwoman referred to as bullseye moments, a single encounter left an indelible impression. I learned that two lovely women participating in our mission were the beneficiaries of a Federation Legacy Gift. A woman just like me had the foresight to endow a gift that annually sends two women to Israel. Her passion will live on in perpetuity. Her act of generosity inspired me and renewed my sense of purpose around women’s philanthropy and as a Lion of Judah. Mission accomplished.