Service, Leadership and Legacy
My love for JCC Chicago began when I was a child, but not in the way most children become involved. For me, it was through my mother and grandmother.
My grandmother was a member of the original board of the Women’s Auxiliary and part of the talented group of women who created and published Thoughts for Food, the first in a series of five cookbooks. My mother then became a member of the Auxiliary following in her mom’s footsteps, she eventually became president of the Auxiliary and created the concept of what is now “Summer of Smiles,” our signature fundraising effort to support families who want a JCC camp experience but cannot afford the cost. Summer of Smiles is now the cornerstone of the Women’s Auxiliary’s work. She also instituted the publishing of the cookbook, Thoughts for Buffets.
When I was a child, I grew up with the J as my mom took me to many of her Auxiliary functions. My mom went on to become president of the Board of Directors (back then it was called the Men’s Board). And just like my mother did, I followed her inspiring footsteps to become a Women’s Auxiliary member, then president and, eventually, president of the JCC Chicago Board of Directors myself. Being on boards, supporting the community and witnessing impact has always been very rewarding for me. Working with both staff and lay leaders at the JCC is informative and educational, plus I’ve made some wonderful friends. I find that I get more than I give while participating on both JCC boards.
I guess it’s safe to say the JCC is in my blood. Today, two of the JCC’s nine day camps bear the name of our family – “Z” Frank Apachi Day Camp after my dad, Zollie Frank, and Elaine Frank Apachi Day Camp after my mom – and the playground at the Bernard Weinger JCC is named in my honor. It gives me such joy to know current and future generations have the ability to enjoy the J and all that this wonderful organization offers. For me, the personal satisfaction of being so deeply connected to the organization is rooted in the years of work I have committed, even more so than by monetary donations. I’m so proud to carry on my family’s tradition of volunteering and service.