Today we cast a spotlight on two exceptional community professionals, Lauren Bloomberg and Mandy Weiss, who this month begin a unique partnership to lead our Holocaust Resource Center, a program powered by the Buffalo Jewish Federation. Lauren will serve as Director of HRC Engagement and Mandy will assume the role of Director of HRC Operations.
Lauren and Mandy, both mothers of two school-age children, moved to Buffalo when their husbands’ careers brought them to Western New York. Lauren is from Toronto and received a Bachelor of Education and a Certificate in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from York University. She spent her junior year abroad studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. When her children began elementary school, Lauren joined the team at Temple Beth Zion’s PALS early childhood program.
Mandy is a Chicago native and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Certificate in Judaic Studies. She then went on to earn a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland, after which she spent a year in Israel at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies. After moving to Buffalo nearly 8 years ago, Mandy began working at the Federation overseeing PJ Library and has since played a variety of roles including her most recent work as the inaugural professional for the Life and Legacy initiative.
Both women are excited to work with each other to build on the success of Elizabeth Schram, who left her position as HRC director last month to begin graduate studies in Social Work at UB. “I am most excited to work in partnership with Lauren and our Buffalo Jewish Federation colleagues to collaborate in using our shared expertise and resources to drive the Holocaust Resource Center into the future. I’m especially eager to help the HRC continue promoting social justice and civic responsibility to shape our world for future generations.” Lauren shared that she is particularly excited about developing and collaborating with schools and organizations to implement programs and educational opportunities to teach the Holocaust. “I’m also looking forward to establishing a descendant’s group for our 3Gs and working with the JCC and JFS to provide additional services and programs for our survivors.”
Both HRC leaders are grateful that they relocated to Buffalo and feel such a part of Jewish Buffalo. “I love that Buffalo’s small Jewish community has a shared goal of inclusion and creates programs that are engaging and further the love of Judaism,” noted Lauren. “And of course, I love that the whole community has a common love for the Bills!” For Mandy, the feeling is mutual: “I love a lot of things about Jewish Buffalo, but mainly the people and the sense of warmth and belonging I have felt since moving here. Despite neither my husband nor I being from Buffalo, everyone here has always made us feel very welcome and, even more so, that we are an important part of the community.”