Emily Kandel has dedicated her professional life to creating a strong, safe and secure Israel through her work with AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Outside of the office, Kandel’s Jewish heritage and identity also shape her community involvement.
About three years ago, Kandel left New Jersey to return to her hometown of Columbus with her husband and three children. For Kandel, this move was an opportunity to re-evaluate her involvement with the Jewish community, and to think thoughtfully and intentionally about where she would dedicate her spare time.
“I think I care about a broad spectrum of things for the Jewish community. Professionally, I know that JewishColumbus contributes to making sure that Israel has the resources that it needs,” Kandel says. “But, I also care passionately about Jewish education for our kids. While my kids don’t go to day school, they do go to religious school. JewishColumbus impacts that with the grants that they give to help with education, both for the day school and the religious school model.”
Kandel says that her involvement with JewishColumbus also creates opportunities to enrich the lives of her children through programs like One Happy Camper, which provides funding for a child to attend camp.
“Last year, my kids both went to sleep away camp at Camp Judaea in North Carolina. They were eligible to apply for One Happy Camper, which they both received,” Kandel says. “That really gave me a moment to realize that this is such an incredible thing that our community does for each other — to allow these kids to be able to have that time at summer camp, which is so critical. I think it’s such an important part of their Jewish identity.”
JewishColumbus proved to be an organization that creates a meaningful, substantive impact across Kandel’s diverse interests within the Columbus Jewish community. Today, she acts as the co-chair of Women’s Philanthropy, alongside Jane Bodner.
“I’m also involved with the Kollel. [JewishColumbus] gave a large contribution to the Women’s Conference for the past two years, which is hosted by the Kollel. It’s such an incredible program,” Kandel says. “It brings together women from across the community, regardless of their religious affiliation, and JewishColumbus plays an integral role in financially supporting that program. There are so many different interests [within the Jewish community], and JewishColumbus is something that brings them all together.”
Through her leadership roles and career path, Kandel is privy to a unique perspective on the Jewish community as a whole, which is one of the reasons she advocates for contributions to JewishColumbus.
“Your dollars are so impactful. No matter what level you’re giving at, you are able to make an impact on somebody’s Jewish identity, somebody’s Jewish life. The value of that is insurmountable,” Kandel says. “There’s tremendous need in our community. I don’t think people realize it. But the need is neverending, and we really saw that through this pandemic. JewishColumbus was able to mobilize so quickly to raise those needed dollars — no other organization could do that in the same timely fashion as JewishColumbus.”
Join community leaders like Kandel by donating to our annual campaign. Your contribution — no matter the scale — represents your pride in Columbus’ Jewish community. When you give to JewishColumbus, every dollar makes a difference.