Board Meeting: Meet JSPAN Board Member Ilana Goldfus

Author: 
Edward Hoffman

- What do you do for a living?

I’m a fund-raiser for the Greene Street Friends School, a Quaker educational institution in Germantown.  I work in the development office and I do all their communications and some of their social media.  I help with day-to-day fund-raising responsibilities and events.  It’s a very cool school – I highly recommend it.

- And it has nothing to do with the Green Street you live on, right?

Actually, they are affiliated with the Green Street Monthly Meeting, which started at Fourth and Green.

- Very interesting; I had no idea.  Moving on to other religious issues, what is your Jewish background?

I was born Jewish.  I grew up in a Conservative synagogue.  The biggest part of my Jewish identity was going to Jewish overnight summer camp, at Habonim Dror Camp Galil, in Bucks County.  I started when I was 11 years old, and I just thought it was fun; I liked all the other kids there and the activities, and as I got older I saw it was part of a bigger picture and that it was actually the most Jewish thing that I did.  I met my husband there, and after I was graduated from college and moved back to Philadelphia I worked there for a couple of years as the Assistant Director.

- Were you a bat mitzvah?

I was – at Adath Israel Congregation in Lawrenceville.  I grew up in New Jersey, and didn’t learn to pump gas until I was 21.

- Are there particular progressive causes that interest you?

Yes.  For me the number one issue is women’s rights and reproductive freedom.  I was very involved in college with a pro-choice group, and my first job was interning at the Clara Bell Duvall Project, which is the reproductive freedoms arm of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.  I care in general about inequality and what is happening now with racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.  I have a very diverse family racially and that’s important to me that they are all humans and I love them very much and feel they should be treated as such.  I also work at a school that’s very diverse – with almost half students of color and a little more than half white students.  I see that it can work; people can all be together and respect each other and learn from and grow with each other, and we can all benefit from that.

-When you are not thinking about JSPAN, what are your other interests?

I love living in the city.  We do a lot around town.  We are big fans of the Art Museum where we are members.  I have a husband, a puppy, and a baby on the way, so I am keeping busy with all of those.

- Congratulations.

Thank you.