Amy Bober-Schenerman is the Federation’s Campaign Associate. In her role, she supports the Federation’s campaign efforts, coordinates campaign events, and works with the FEDWomen Division.
What is your favorite part about your role at the Federation?
I like working with the community—educating people about what the Federation does and learning about their interests and ways we can work together to achieve their goals for the community.
When did you first start fundraising?
The first time I fundraised was actually when I was in elementary school—it was the day after the start of the Yom Kippur War. Like many people, I had been in synagogue that Yom Kippur and learned about the war during services. The following day, I had Hebrew school and that’s all we talked about in class. At home after school, I took a piece of paper, colored it to look like at Israeli flag, and wrapped it around a Pringles can to create a homemade tzedakah box. I then went around door to door collecting money for Israel, and everybody donated something, which I then submitted to my Hebrew school. That was my first time fundraising for a Jewish cause.
I worked for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, an organization that I feel passionate about because my mother passed away from ovarian cancer. Before that, I co-chaired fundraising at Beth Israel, my synagogue in Owings Mills, for six years.
What inspires your work in fundraising?
Growing up, I saw Jewish fundraising in my house because my mother was very active in Hadassah. I remember how significant it was for her and our family when she chaired the Baltimore chapter of Hadassah’s annual donor luncheon. She organized the seating arrangements—this was before computers—laying out file cards with people’s names all across our living room floor.
I remember answering the home phone “Hadassah” because so often the incoming calls were for my Mom about the organization. I remember this so clearly because this was the reason my parents finally agreed to give me my own phone line.
What makes you excited to work for the Jewish Federation?
I am passionate about the Federation because I think it’s amazing how the Jewish community supports itself and looks out for one another. I’ve always been proud of everything the Federation does, especially when I saw the resettlement of refugees from the former USSR. I appreciate that the Federation has always supported programs for those in need—both locally and abroad.
This is the second Federation I have worked for. The first was the Syracuse Jewish Federation. I enjoy working for a Federation in a smaller, more personal community I’m now working with the Pom Lion Chai Tea and the Red Tent Club committees, and it doesn’t feel like just a job—I’ve also made new friends. People are warm and inviting and have strong ties to the local community. I feel like the Federation is the anchor for the community.
What makes Federation stand out from other organizations?
There are a lot of worthy causes out there, but the one near and dear to my heart is the Federation because it supports the local community and Jews everywhere. I like to know that the seniors sitting in Odessa don’t have to feel isolated—that there’s a Jewish community around. The Federation is an organization that has been working for our community for decades and has built the framework and the capacity to have far-reaching impact.
What is the most important Jewish value that you bring to your work?
Chesed—loving kindness. We are meant to offer sustenance to one another through empathy and our assistance of both service and finances.
What is your favorite Jewish holiday?
Sukkot. There’s so much symbolism in the holiday—it’s colorful, it’s joyous, and because it’s a week long, my family can celebrate with so many relatives. We also invite Jewish and non-Jewish friends to join us in our sukkah. I also like to cook, so I enjoy a week of cooking a variety of recipes for guests.
What do you like to do for fun?
I’ve been in the same book club for 18 years—that’s one of my favorite activities. I like to swim and I love to travel. I’ve been many places, including Israel, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
You can reach Amy at ABober@JewishHowardCounty.org or 410-730-4976 x 103.