"I was raised in a family where both my mother and father were always involved in volunteering in addition to working and family. In 1993, I was asked join a retreat of something called the National Young Leadership Council (NYLC) Cabinet.
I walked into that retreat not knowing anyone or anything. And I was completely and totally blown away by the level of commitment—Jewishly—of the people in the room. They were excited to give of their money and their time. They were excited to be Jewish. They were excited to come together in this space. They were so energetic and so enthusiastic that I was completely and totally bitten by the bug of Jewish philanthropy.
I remember calling my mother to tell her two things: I wanted to stay an extra day, because it was so cool—and secondly: that I had never seen so many Lion of Judah Pins in any place at any time. A Lion of Judah was a woman who donated at least $5,000 yearly. I was inspired. As my 'gift to go' – I immediately went to five.
I met some of my close friends—who serve with me on The Jewish Agency Board of Governors now—through the NYL."
- Julie Wise-Oreck, Member of the Board of Governors, Donor