Jane Edelstein’s life seems like the synopsis of a movie. She graduates college and moves to New York City – and has a great career and life in publishing.
So why is she so involved in The Jewish Pavilion?
“I was close to my mother, who passed away in 2014, and was looking for a way to honor her memory,” she says. “I attended the grief workshop they sponsored, and thought it was an excellent program.”
Today, Jane is the incoming chair of The Jewish Pavilion’s board, having volunteered in a wide range of roles, including serving as the organization’s Intergenerational Program Director.
She’s obviously a fan of the organization’s mission to enrich the lives of seniors, but being on the board is also a great way to remain connected socially to the local Jewish community.
“I would tell anyone to become involved with the Jewish Pavilion for the seniors, but to get extra-involved for the way it makes them feel about themselves,” she says.
Jane moved to Central Florida in 2008 for a position in marketing at the Orange County Convention Bureau (now Visit Orlando), but for most of her career, she was a trailblazer in an industry that had just started growing – the meetings and convention business.
The publishing company she worked for in New York City was at the forefront of that industry. Indeed, Meeting News was among the first trade publications in that field. Today, there are dozens of websites and magazines devoted to that industry.
But, looking back with her, you can hear the most pride in her voice when she talks about her trips to Israel and her daughter.
She’s been to Israel three times, just recently returning.
“Each trip was very different and each was extremely significant in its own way,” she says. “For many years, I considered myself a secular person, but Israel has become an important part of my life.
“I went to Israel and was surprised by my feelings of connection,” Jane adds. “I hope others might follow that example, too.”
And her daughter Sara is having her first baby in July – Jane’s first grandchild.
Of course, that brings back the thoughts of her mother and how she would be proud of Jane for embracing The Jewish Pavilion and the people she meets in the organization.
“My mother often said that she never met anyone she didn’t like,” Jane says. “I try to live like her and be interested in people. When my mom asked about you, she was very interested. It wasn’t just a social nicety.”
Jane concludes: “She was a fun-loving person who was dedicated to Judaism and The Jewish Pavilion is a very social way to remain connected to my Judaism.”