We sat down with Aron Ain and Dena Boronkay Rashes to talk about their roles as Co-chairs of CJP’s 2015 Annual Campaign, and what community and philanthropy mean to them.
You both have impressive track records of community involvement. Why do you do this work?
Dena: I am committed to this work not only because I want a better Jewish future for my children, I work to ensure that there will be a vibrant Jewish future for my children’s children to inherit.
Aron: A vibrant and inclusive Greater Boston Jewish community is important to me. So I choose to contribute to make this happen. And in a life full of competing demands, spending time supporting CJP and the Jewish community helps me find a rewarding balance. And perhaps best of all, it serves as a way to teach and influence my children, my family and my friends to get involved.
What area of CJP’s work is especially meaningful to you?
Aron: I love everything that CJP does, so I’ve done a little of everything. Helping Jews in Greater Boston and in other parts of the world is important to me. I enjoyed serving as co-chair for CJP’s Commission on Jewish Continuity and as a co-chair of the Acharai Leadership Program. CJP touches so many areas allowing me a variety of meaningful opportunities to keep it interesting and fun.
Dena: Part of the magic is our community’s focus on educating people, and not just in a typical academic classroom setting. I’ve had so many opportunities as a part of this organization to witness people’s eyes being opened. CJP educates people about what it means to be a caring community and to give back locally and around the world. Educating people about the beauty of community, the importance of tzedakah (charity) and the tremendous impact we can have when we work together is very, very powerful.
Which programs or services that CJP supports have touched you or your family?
Dena: I participated in Me’ah, the adult learning program funded by CJP, and I’m an alum of CJP’s Acharai leadership program. I have three children who are currently students at the Rashi School and one proud alum; a child who received services from Gateways: Access to Jewish Education and one who is a Gateways teen volunteer; and as an officer of my congregation I am very involved in the life of our shul – I am intimately aware of the valuable role CJP has played in changing the shape and the face of Jewish education and synagogue life in Boston. All of the institutions I mentioned have provided valuable educational and spiritual experiences for my family and are beneficiaries of CJP.
Aron: My daughter has benefited from CJP’s young adult leadership programs. My wife participated in Me’ah, which led her on a journey to get her master’s in Jewish studies from Hebrew College, which led her to be Chairman of the Board at Hebrew College. Jewish day schools had a meaningful impact on our children’s lives. And my life has been wonderfully enhanced by my involvement in Jewish Family Service of Metrowest. And of course the many programs to support Israel. CJP has something for everyone.
Overall, what do you hope you will achieve as Co-chairs of this year’s Campaign?
Aron: I am confident that Dena and I will work wonderfully as a team. We are energized to reach out and connect with the community, CJP and its supporters to help continue the year-after-year momentum. And to share this energy and excitement with the volunteers and staff who make CJP successful each year. It is an honor to have been passed the torch for this year’s campaign, and we are ready to make it happen and reach our goals.
Dena: I think at its core, the Annual Campaign is all about people. If we reach out and connect more people to CJP, and have them understand our core mission, it will be a tremendous success. We have a tremendous message to share. If people are willing to be educated and enlightened by what CJP has to offer, then I think the Campaign will be a success.
Read more about Aron Ain and Dena Boronkay Rashes
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