Staff Spotlight: Ella Israeli

Published Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Get to know Ella Israeli, the new city director of Big Easy BBYO

Describe yourself in three words. 
Hard-working. Passionate. Curious

How long have you been with the JCC?
Three months. I worked at our summer camp in June and July as the Israeli Fun Specialist, and I started my current role one month ago. 

Describe what you do at the JCC.
I am our Big Easy BBYO City Director. BBYO, which stands for B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, is an international Jewish youth movement. I oversee our Big Easy chapter, which is one of the main teen offerings at the JCC. 

What do you love most about your job?
I love working with and getting to know our teens, especially getting to see them together and knowing how important BBYO is to them. The best part is that I get to help facilitate their development and their Jewish journeys. 

If you could swap places with one other person at the JCC for a day, who would you pick and why?
Good question...honestly, I wish I could have been a camper at the JCC! 

Where did you grow up?
Long Island, New York 

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
I originally studied film in college. Through that, I was given the opportunity to be a student speaker at the RFK Center for Human Rights annual gala, where I got to introduce one of their honorees - Robert De Niro!  

Where do you like to take out-of-town visitors?
Bacchanal and Audubon Park. 

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Some type of yellow. 

What tops your bucket list?
Living in a place where I have easy access to mountains, skiing, and hiking! 

What are you currently reading?
“Education of an Idealist” by Samantha Power

Dogs or cats?
Obviously dogs! 

What is a cause/charity you are passionate about and why?
Outside of work, I do a lot of volunteering with the Sunrise Movement, a national youth-led movement that is addressing the climate crisis. I’m passionate about climate work because it is incredibly pressing, is connected to all other justice issues, and because I want a livable future for my generation and for generations to come.   

My phone is filled with pictures of:
My dog, nature, and friends. 

Who is your dream dinner guest and why?
My great grandfather who I never met. I’ve heard incredible stories about his life as a Holocaust survivor and would love the opportunity to get to talk to him in person. 

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