Director of Lifelong Learning and Programming/Chalon L'atid Director - Helen Richard
Helen was born and raised in Israel and came to the United States in 1988. Helen moved to Texas in 2002 and resides in Montgomery and quickly became a treasured member of our community. She has two sons, Travis & Troy, who are students in our CBSW Religious School.
Helen has 24 years of experience in the Jewish communal service in Israel, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Las Vegas. Her skills include programming, fundraising, budget management, and volunteer recruitment.
She is known for her strong interpersonal skills and has worked closely with peers, lay leaders, committees, and community.
Helen's professional accomplishments include: raising over $1.4 million for the Jewish Federation’s 2001-02 campaign, managing a budget of $1.2 million, organizing community-wide events for over 2000 attendees, designing and implementing leadership training programs, supervising children’s department of one of the JCC’s flagship centers, directing one of the largest overnight Jewish summer camps in the nation, and administering a basketball school of over 900 children.
"The greatest influences in my life are my grandfather and my father. My grandfather was known as “The Great Rabbi” of Cairo, Egypt during the 1930s through the 1940s. He helped smuggle Jews to Palestine before Israel became a state. Upon ensuring that everyone who wanted to leave Egypt had been delivered safely, my grandfather relocated too. He and my father built a synagogue in their new home town, Herzliya, where my grandfather served as the head Rabbi and my father served as the Cantor. Along with the help of my father, my grandfather continues his work by building a new Jewish community in a new land. Together they lived their faith and commitment to Judaism in everyday life. They continue to be my heroes. As a result, my mission in life is to educate people of all ages to understand our tradition, religion and motivate them to experience Israel. “Am Yisrael Chai” (The Jewish People Live!!!)
One of the most influential experiences in my life occurred in Los Angeles. I was the JCC camp director and chaperoning a field trip to a museum. The camp bus was involved in a serious accident on the main freeway. Several children were rushed to the hospital. The freeway was closed to all traffic. As I waited with the children who were still at the scene, I saw the shock of the situation begin to set in on their faces. I organized the children and kept them focused by singing and dancing Israeli style to keep them distracted. Although this was a very serious situation, it was important to help the children work through their shock. This was an opportunity to help the children focus their energy in a positive way. It is my belief that “when you save one life it is as if you saved the entire world” (Talmud, Sanhedrin 37A.)
Our congregations have many interfaith families – it is wonderful to see that mixed marriage families who raise children choose to send them to our schools. Our challenge is to keep them engage beyond their formal religious training. “All the world is a very narrow bridge and the most important thing is not to fear at all” (Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.) My major personal goal is the importance for members of the CBSW community to be given a strong, solid education so that they are able to answer any question they are asked about Judaism and to be proud of who they are."
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