Chairwoman of the Jewish National Fund-USA’s Women for Israel division in the Capital Region (Albany), Lauren Iselin was recently written up in the Jewish National Fund’s B’Yachad magazine.
The article entitled, “Building an Empowered Community of Women Lauren Iselin channels her passion for Israel into action,” by Cami Fussey, reports Iselin’s channeling her energy into positive community work.
Iselin’s focus for the last several years, according to Fussey, has been building a JNF group of local women philanthropists, which now numbers 25.
She and her husband Harold, in memory of her late son David, have also established a scholarship fund for the Jewish National Fund-USA affiliate Green Horizons, a program offering outdoor leadership education to Israeli children in grades 5-12.
Sara Hefez, JNF’s eecutive director, New England and the Capital District, described Iselin’s dedication, “Lauren is kind, caring, and most of all she’s impactful…She never hesitates to say “yes” and to go above and beyond. When Lauren says “join me,” people understand that she really means it.”
The complete B’Yachad story follows.
Building an Empowered Community of Women
Lauren Iselin channels her passion for Israel into action
By CAMI FUSSEY
The Hebrew word kehillah describes a community of like-minded people coming together for a common purpose. As Chair of Jewish National Fund-USA’s Women for Israel division in the Capital Region (Albany, New York), Lauren Iselin devotes her passion and energy to building a kehillah of women philanthropists committed to the success of the land and people of Israel.
Iselin has long been a leader in the Jewish community, where she and her husband Harold raised their three boys with the importance of their Jewish identity. In March of 2018, the Iselins lost their son David suddenly due to an undiagnosed heart condition. Lauren looked to Jewish National Fund-USA’s Women for Israel as a way to channel her sorrow into positive community work. Lauren began to organize local Jewish women into a chapter of Women for Israel. As the term of endearment, “Smallbany” suggests, Albany’s Jewish community is small but tightknit. Lauren has helped mobilize the Jewish community into action.
Through community building and education, Lauren has renewed her purpose. “I have always felt this affinity for Israel and wanting to support it – feeling like that was my responsibility,” she stated. Sara Hefez, JNF’s Executive Director, New England & the Capital District, described her dedication, “Lauren is kind, caring, and most of all she’s impactful. She single-handedly grew the WFI steering committee from 0 to 12 last year, and now 25. She never hesitates to say “yes” and to go above and beyond. When Lauren says “join me,” people understand that she really means it.”
Lauren prioritizes personal engagement and involvement with those she meets. “She really believes in the power of friendship,” said Emily Pfeffer, Senior Campaign Executive, New England & the Capital District. “Lauren inspires others around her. She offers genuine love and support to our WFI community, and we are so much stronger for it.”
Those who work with her all agree, Lauren successfully forms common bonds and meaningful connections, showing people what they stand to gain from an association with Women for Israel – among them friendship, education, and personal growth as an individual and as a Jewish woman. While fundraising is essential to the organization, Lauren’s primary personal mission is community building locally and in Israel.
In memory of David, who loved the outdoors and held a place in his heart for those in need, Lauren channeled her personal giving into a scholarship fund for Jewish National Fund-USA affiliate Green Horizons, a program offering outdoor leadership education to Israeli children in grades 5-12. With this gift and others, David’s memory and spirit of generosity continue to have an impact on the Jewish community through the steadfast dedication and leadership of his family.
To learn more or get involved please contact Emily Pfeffer at Epfeffer@jnf.org or at (617)423-0999 x812.