This week, meet Chaviva Fisher! Chaviva grew up in Queens, and after her family made Aliyah, she lived in Israel for 6 years, attending college there as well. She then attended Baruch for graduate school, where she received an MBA in finance and an MS in accounting. Chaviva is now married living in Teaneck, and working at the CJF.

Before coming to the CJf, Chaviva worked at YUSSR, the Yeshiva and University Students for the Spiritual Revival of Former Soviet Jewry, for three years; three of the best years she specifically noted. The program essentially took college-aged students to the former Soviet Union and ran holiday programs and summer camps there for the Jewish community. Most of the programs were targeted to the younger and elderly generation. Having gone to the former USSR seven times, mostly for holiday programs, usually Pesach and Sukkot, she noted that an average program took 30-40 YU students to help those communities in need. For example, students would have to collect supplies in advance, ask people to donate, and make whatever arrangements necessary to spend Pesach overseas; not always an easy task. The basic idea was to create a positive holiday experience for the community, usually made up of people with zero Jewish education, and no connection to any religion at all. They would make sedarim for the community, tell stories, sing songs, and try to develop a connection with the children. In addition, they taught in schools, did cemetery restoration, and worked with other organizations that were beginning to get their feet wet in Soviet Jewry. Chaviva notes that though these programs were a lot of fun and were an opportunity to interact very closely to people, they also gave students an exposure to a very physically and spiritually impoverished lifestyle.

After working at YUSSR, Ms. Fisher joined the CJF and has been working here for ten years. At the CJF, Chaviva works mostly on the financial and operations parts of the business. She helps develop budgets and monitor them, does a lot of HR work, and a lot of reporting. Though this work began for her with the CJF, she now also works on this for REITS, Student life, admissions, and the Israel office.

Chaviva’s background is in business, and she notes that this has always been her strength. However, she also has a passion for impacting the Jewish community, so her work at the CJF is the perfect combination for the two. She noted that her favorite part about working for the CJF is that she loves the work she does, and appreciates being able to be involved in important activities for the Jewish community; the work of the CJF resonates with her on personal level and that makes her work very fulfilling on day to day basis.

 

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