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Q&A with Rimma Zelfand
October 8, 2014
Q&A with Rimma Zelfand

What book are you reading right now?
Rimma ZelfandI read a few books at a time, actually. One I’m reading right now is Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Wendy Wilsker, our Senior VP of Development, recommended it to me. It explains why some ideas are forgotten quickly while others stick around and withstand the test of time. As I’m reading it, I’m trying to be aware of takeaway lessons for JF&CS.

I’m also listening to Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá in my car. I just started it, but so far it’s talking about creation and the evolution of the human species – how do people take power and use it? How do things happen in a society? It’s very interesting.

Have you attended any interesting events in Greater Boston recently?
I attended a Boston Pops fundraiser concert that we were invited to by Citizen’s Bank. The event raised over one million dollars for inner-city children, and we had incredible first row balcony seats. In fact, from our seats you could look over and see the person playing the piano – I was so surprised to see that, instead of sheet music, he was using an iPad to read his music! It felt so modern and innovative. When I spoke at Simmons College a few weeks later, I decided to try it out, and I brought all my notes on an iPad instead of printed out on sheets of paper. It worked fabulously.

What JF&CS program, initiative, or event are you particularly excited about?
The 150th Gala Celebration at the MFA next March, of course! It’s going to be fabulous.

Do you have a client or supporter story you’d like to share?
A couple of months ago, I received a check for $700 in the mail along with a letter written in Russian. It was from a couple, two Holocaust survivors, who had run into some tough times. Three different JF&CS programs helped keep them afloat while we helped them get their SSI reinstated. In the letter, they thanked us for helping them and apologized that they could not donate more to the agency so we could help others in need. It warms my heart that people who have very little want to give back to the agency after we get them back on their feet.

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