Meredith Chandler, our new Associate Vice President of Development and Director of Women's Philanthropy, shared these remarks at Living with Intention 2018.
It’s a pleasure to stand before you and share my Federation story. I am a Greater Hartford native - my father grew up in the North End on Irving Street and my mother grew up in West Hartford, one block from where I live now. Even before I was born, the Federation was a part of my life because my parents met at the age of 12 at a Jewish dance held in the old Federation building. I was raised, along with my 2 sisters, in West Hartford and today I am raising my 3 kids there.
I am an attorney by trade, but I chose to stay at home for a number of years. When it came time to return to my career, it was important to me to connect the two parts of my life - to feel that I am not just supporting my family but also supporting the community where my children are growing up. The opportunity at the Federation has provided me just that.
Only now do I fully appreciate how much the Federation has supported my life, and now my children’s lives:
- All 3 of my children either attended, or are currently attending, the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Early Childhood Center at the Mandell JCC.
- My children’s Hebrew school teachers have received professional development through the Commission on Jewish Education and Leadership.
- My teenage son is enrolled in JTConnect programs.
- My children have grown up receiving PJ Library books, which are funded by some incredible women of impact: our Federation’s Lions of Judah. PJ Library is especially important to my family because half of my children’s relatives are not Jewish and many of their Jewish relatives – including my mother - have passed away.
- My relatives’ gravesites at places like Tower Avenue are preserved and protected through the Association of Jewish Cemeteries, part of our Federation.
These are just a few examples of how the Federation has supported, and continues to support, my family. And that is why it is an honor to work on behalf of this organization that truly connects our local Jewish community.
The very best part of my job is helping to connect us as women and deepen the impact we can all achieve together. I look forward to getting to know each of you better as my journey continues!