For Karmi Monsher, being Jewish in Los Angeles is an integral part of who she is, saying, “I’ve grown up in LA and Judaism has been the most important thread in my life; that has always influenced everything that I do. My involvement, my kids, my volunteer work, in my professional work I’ve done have always had a Jewish connection… It’s in my soul and that’s who I am and I relate to all things Jewish. I relate to the community, I relate to supporting the Los Angeles community, it’s very natural for me.”
These ties influenced her personal and professional decisions throughout her life are whatt lead to her being asked to join the Hillel 818 Board and becoming the new Board Chair for Hillel 818 Board of Directors.
While Karmi is an alumna of CSUN, it was her connections to two individuals that brought her to join the Hillel 818 community, telling us, “Kathi Mangel, our previous board chair, and I have been friends for a few years and I knew David Katz, the previous director, because I’m very involved with the Federation… This was why I learned so much about Hillel 818. So after I was done with several leadership roles that I had, Kathi and David invited me to be on the board and even though I did go to CSUN, for so many years I didn’t really have a connection where I’d say ‘it’s my alma mater, I must support it.’ I just was more interested in supporting the Jewish community of the future with students in the Valley.”
For Karmi, bringing about the future of the Jewish community in the Valley starts with those who are already involved and taking the next step with them, specifically with the Hillel 818 Board of Directors. She told us, “I’m proud to say that we and the professionals we’re working with are working to get every board member to have a portfolio. It’s a very talented board; they’re from very different places in the community and are people who have great strengths. For so long though, it has been an informational board… I’m very excited that this year every board member has a responsibility. It’s a change, but now board members have more of a stake in the organization.”
Karmi coming on as our new Board Chair is not the thing she is most excited to see happening at Hillel 818 this year. When we asked her what she was looking forward to this year, she gave an answer that so many have been saying: “Moving into that new building!”