SPOTLIGHT ON: Robyn Fener
Meet Robyn Fener! After Robyn’s recent trip to Israel with the JWI and JWRP, Robyn made a career change so that she could more actively support Israel. Robyn is now working with StandWithUs, an Israel advocacy and education organization fighting anti-semitism worldwide. Robyn is also the Executive Director of the Shane Foundation, wife and mother of two. Robyn is making changes at home as well, to inspire and be a role model to her family.
How has your involvement with JWI impacted you and your family’s Jewish connection?
I feel so fortunate to have had the Israel experience that I did with all those wonderful women. In Israel, I was so inspired and I knew when I returned to the states I would focus my efforts on finding a career supporting Israel. I also came home inspired to make Shabbat more meaningful for my family. And part of what I do now makes Shabbat fun for us all and also enhances our connection to Israel. I ask Israel-related trivia questions over dinner and we all learn and share so much about Israel! (I pass out chocolate coins for right answers so that helps too!)
How has your experience with the JWI helped you to see your leadership potential and/or want to take more responsibility for the Jewish people?
I knew I had something to offer before this trip. But the notion of “It takes a woman” really stayed with me and continues to motivate me to be responsible for the changes I hope to see in my family and in my community.
What of type of leadership role have you undertaken with your new Job at Stand With US and how is it meaningful for you?
I am working on marketing and communication efforts for StandWithUs. SWU provides Israel education for people of all ages and fights anti-Semitism worldwide. Nothing could be more important. I always tell my kids what I’m doing at work and I show them the materials I’m working on. I’ve even requested their input on a youth program. They need to see that fighting for Israel is valuable to me and this is how I spend my time.
What message do you have for women who are hesitant about stepping up into leadership roles?
It can feel intimidating to step up and try something new or try to convince people they should listen to you. It was scary for me to have a boss again and have to answer to someone else after many years. But I’m proud of myself for trying. And if it doesn’t work out, what’s the worst that will have happened?
I’ve heard it said that if you are very lucky, life is long and you can have more than one career. For women we are always doing more than one job at a time. We’re naturally good at it I think.