We sat down with Alexandra Simes, one of our co-chairs for the 2019 JF&CS Benefit, to learn more about her and her connection to JF&CS.

Tell us about your involvement with JF&CS.

My involvement with JF&CS began years ago when I volunteered at Family Table as part of a Combined Jewish Philanthropies committee I was on. I found it a meaningful and rewarding experience, and my older kids, who were elementary-school age at the time, found it eye-opening. They were very proud that they could help make a difference.

About four years ago, I joined the Advisory Committee for the Center for Basic Needs Assistance, and I have learned about the amazing work that JF&CS is doing to help people in emergency situations and during difficult periods in their lives when they need help paying their rent, paying an electric bill or obtaining groceries. The Center for Basic Needs Assistance jumps into action to help create a plan for these families to get through these rough patches with dignity and provides the resources needed to help alleviate some of their stress.

Tell us about your family.

Our family consists of me; my husband, Jody; our daughter, Jenna, who is a junior at Gann Academy; our son Daniel, who is a freshman at Gann; and our youngest son Jack, who is a fifth-grader at The Rashi School.

What is your favorite JF&CS memory?

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My favorite JF&CS memory is when my three children and I were delivering groceries for Family Table in Brighton. We dropped off the bags to an elderly Russian woman who was very appreciative. We said our goodbyes and then went on our way. A few seconds later, the door to the woman’s apartment opened, and she yelled out to us to come back. She handed my youngest, who was about 7 at the time, an orange as a gesture of thanks. My son held on to that orange for the rest of the day, so proud and so touched by the woman’s gift. He couldn’t believe that she would give up her own food as a way to thank us. He was glowing with pride!

Recommend a book.

A book that I recently read that I loved was Michelle Obama’s new memoir, “Becoming.” In my opinion, Michelle Obama finds the perfect tone of self-reflection, humor and inspiration. After seeing the world and living in the White House for eight years and mingling with heads of state, she is incredibly down-to-earth and thoughtful. She writes so beautifully, with profound insight and from the heart.

What is your favorite travel destination?

My favorite destination to travel to is the Amalfi Coast, specifically Positano. There is nothing like the gorgeous blue water framed by the colorful Mediterranean homes built into the mountainside covered in bougainvillea. Such a magical place!

What are you most looking forward to about this year’s benefit?

I am looking forward to having the benefit at the Fairmont Copley Plaza for the first time and the new cocktail-style format of this year’s benefit. I think it will give guests the opportunity to socialize more freely with their friends, as well as enjoy a really well-orchestrated, short program that highlights the amazing work of JF&CS.

Join Alexandra and many others at this year’s JF&CS Benefit on Wednesday, April 3, at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. Visit our benefit page to purchase tickets and learn more.

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