We truly appreciate our volunteers and we want you to know how wonderful they are so we plan to feature some of them in the weeks to come.
Our first featured volunteer is Louise Moskowitz, who delivers our JBox kosher meals to individuals and families in the East Valley and also helps with our JBox kosher food pantry.
How long have you lived in the East Valley and where did you move here from?
I’ve lived in the East Valley – first Tempe, then Chandler – for about 30 years. I was born and raised in New York City and I tell people I go home each year to renew my accent. Although, I haven’t been able to do so for the past two years.
What is your connection to the East Valley JCC and how long have you been a volunteer at the J?
I started with the EVJCC in 1994 when they were located in a former elementary school in Tempe and the executive director was Ilene Blau. My daughter was six months old and attended their child care center. I’ve been volunteering off and on since then including being on the Governing Board.
What made you decide to start volunteering?
I have been volunteering most of my life. It was a passion my mother had and she instilled that passion in me. I was taught that being a Jew came with the responsibility of giving back; you act, not just talk. You’re obligated to give back to your community to make it a better place for everyone.
I volunteered in New York City with Mobilization for Youth as a tutor, for Muscular Dystrophy answering phones in the background, for Camp Hatikvah at the Educational Alliance as a camp counselor.
And then in Arizona, I continued my volunteering with the City on Chandler’s Commissions and Committees, a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) volunteer, a crisis counselor with the Phoenix Police Department, review films for the Jewish Film Festival, sit on my HOA board, I could go on but I won’t.
What’s your favorite part of volunteering?
My favorite part of volunteering is meeting new people; whether they’re a fellow volunteer or the person I’m helping. I get great satisfaction, a warm feeling, a sense of accomplishment when I know I’ve done something to help someone’s life be easier or better.
What is your favorite activity to do in the East Valley?
Although volunteering is an integral part of my life and whatever I’m doing at a point in time, it’s my favorite activity. However, I also enjoy meeting up with friends, family, colleagues for breakfast or lunch or to go to a movie; which is getting easier lately.
Who inspires you?
My mother. She was a widow at 39 with four kids and she persevered until she was almost 92 when she passed in 2014. She lived her whole life in New York City’s lower east side. Her determination to raise a family on her own, to make sure her kids got what they needed, that they were educated; her tenacity to do what’s right, to speak up for the truth. I find myself having a similar personality; do the best you can to get the job done, don’t lie/cheat/steal, give when you have an abundance. My tenacity has gotten me in trouble many times but I wouldn’t change it.
What’s the next place on your travel bucket list?
There are two places on my travel bucket list – first Israel and then Eastern Europe. I want to travel and walk where my ancestors did.
What’s the last book you read and/or what is the last movie you watched?
The last movie I saw with friends was the “new” West Side Story.” It had bad reviews and was about two and a half hours long. It was wonderful; it brought back memories of seeing the original version and of my days growing up in New York City.
What’s a fun fact about you that many people don’t know?
Not many people know that I was a “first class” volunteer Aguste Clown for the APS Volunteer Clown Troupe; I’m WeeZee. Our first class was in October 1989; hence, I’m first class!