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Board Member Spotlight: Kathi Mangel

“My biggest achievement is sharing my Jewish life with my new grandson and doing what I do at Hillel.”

Growing up in a secular household, Kathi felt there was a huge part of herself missing, but it was not until after she got engaged and converted into Judaism that she felt “things fall into place."

It was the the richness of Jewish life that she realized she had been missing. And so, through networking, Kathi was invited to a community meeting by another board member at Hillel 818. Kathi immediately knew Hillel 818 was a special place working to provide a community for Jewish students int he San Fernando Valley. While she had not been involved with Hillel as a college student, Kathi felt eager to get involved with Hillel 818.

For the past 4 years Kathi has helped lead Hillel 818 as its Board Chair. Prior to taking on this responsibility, she served as a board member for 6 years. When the Board Chair position became available, Kathi jumped at the opportunity. With her experience living in the San Fernando Valley and being a part of other Jewish organizations, she felt that she could help add board members that would help the process of growing Hillel in the community. Kathi’s focus as a board chair is facilitating what is best for the organization. A big part of her job is helping with the new building, getting it renovated and opened up, as well as working on the budget. She is proud of seeing how Hillel 818 has grown and developed through these past years, especially the quality and expertise of the board members.

"We have board members across the spectrum of professions and involvement in the Jewish community and experience. Most of all, the new building is a great achievement."

Kathi wants students to know that if they would like to start their Jewish journey and may not have access to that, Hillel is a great place to begin. She believes that sharing all about Hillel 818 is crucial, as many in the Valley do not know the types of opportunities and services it provides. Hillel welcomes everyone and helps each student find their Jewish journey, without judgment. Kathi enjoys her position, and feels joy to be a part of sharing Judaism in the San Fernando Valley. Furthermore, it is gratifying and fulfilling for her to see the work that is done by everyone involved in the organization. During the pandemic, it has been especially gratifying to see just how much a difference Hillel 818 makes in the community.

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