Chai in the Hub 2016 Winners: Leeza Negelev

Name: Leeza Negelev 
Occupation: Associate Director of Education
Organization/Employer: Mayyim Hayyim 

Describe your career in one sentence. 
Mining Jewish tradition for what it can teach us about bringing thoughtfulness and compassion into our relationships with each other and the world around us.

What was your favorite way to give back this year? 
I was raised, in part, by loving grandparents, great-grandparents and great aunts. I'm lucky that I still have many of them in my life, here in Boston. They came to the U.S. as refugees from the Soviet Union, and have had to navigate an unfamiliar language and culture for many years, all while supporting a younger generation. Now that I'm an adult, I enjoy doing whatever I can to make their lives go well. Being an elder can be a very challenging and isolating experience, and we are lucky to live in Boston where there are many services for Jewish elders. I also try to help by translating, organizing legal, medical and financial matters, and most important of all, spending quality time together.

What other organizations, boards, charities, etc. are you a part of? 

  • Member of the Nehar Shalom community in Jamaica Plain
  • Part of a peer-to-peer counseling community that is committed ending all oppressions; i.e. racism, sexism, class oppression, etc.

Just a few of my fun facts are… 

  • I love to host shabbat meals where we eat a lot of food and sing together.
  • As a young person I experienced: secular Russian-speaking Jewish parents, Chabadnik grandparents, a Modern Orthodox yeshiva, and the Brookline Public school system.
  • The last award I won was an Oreo stacking contest at a supermarket in Florida. I won an Oreo shaped digital watch.


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