Today, we are pleased to cast a spotlight on the newest member of the professional team at Jewish Family Services of Western New York, Kara Kane. Kara recently began her new post as Executive Assistant to Dr. Molly S. Carr, JFS CEO, after serving on the administrative staff of Temple Beth Zion. “There is so much happening at JFS and I’m thrilled to be part of it,” she reflected. “The mission at JFS inspires me and I can’t wait for what the future holds.”
Kara holds a B.S. in business administration from SUNY Brockport with a concentration in marketing and communications. Her Jewish journey began when she was 9 years old: “That’s when we moved out to Long Island from Queens and when I had to begin to go to religious school after regular school,” she recalls. “Though my parents were not practicing Jews, I still had a Bat Mitzvah and went to Jewish summer camp until I was a Senior in college.”
Like so many young adults however, Kara lost her way from synagogue life during her twenties. “Then my mom got sick with cancer,” she shared. “And it wasn’t until after she passed away and I moved to Buffalo that I found my spiritual connection to Judaism again.”
When Kara got married and started to raise her family, she wanted them to have a deeper Jewish connection and ultimately found a home at Temple Beth Zion: “My children all began their education at TBZ and I that’s when began to become involved with synagogue life. I made some friends, and even more importantly, so did my kids. Given that we live in South Buffalo this was very significant.”
Overtime as Kara became more connected, she also started working at Beth Zion with Susan Schwartz, the Temple’s then Director of Life Long Learning. Now a Director of Jewish Experience at the Center for Jewish Engagement and Learning, Susan remembered Kara as a wonderful team player. “Kara would do anything that was asked of her. But what I loved most about her, was that she was so caring and could relate to the families, especially the parents,” she added.
“TBZ gave me a sense of spiritual awareness both on the job and as a member of the congregation,” Kara concluded. “My children participated in Youth group and in Hebrew High and have all been B’nai Mitzvah. As someone who is in an interfaith marriage, I would like to think I raised good kids who believe in the Jewish way of life as much as I do.”