Board Spotlight: Danielle Simon & Rachael Kallick

Danielle Simon and Rachael Kallick are co-chairs of the Jewish Family Service LA Young Leaders group, which is a group of community-minded individuals between the ages of 21-40 who are committed to furthering our mission to create a kinder, more compassionate LA through volunteerism, philanthropy efforts, social events, and more. As co-chairs of the JFS Young Leaders Group, they also are members of the JFS Board of Directors. Danielle is the Head of Credit and Capital Markets at Real Estate Investment firm, and Rachael is an Account Director at a Marketing Agency.

How long have you been with JFS Young Leaders and what/who encouraged you to join?

Danielle: I joined the Young Leaders Executive Committee in late 2017. I had recently moved to LA and was looking for an organization to join that I could both feel passionate about supporting and through which I could meet people with similar interests and values. My then boyfriend (now husband) suggested that JFS might be a great fit – and he was right!

Rachael: I’ve been involved with JFS Young Leaders for about 5 years now. I wanted to get involved with an organization and give back in a meaningful way. JFS Young Leaders are group of people who really want to do something and make a difference for the people of LA.

What have you enjoyed most about being a part of JFS Young Leaders and the Board?

Danielle: The more I learn about the seemingly infinite array of critical services JFS provides, the more passionate and determined I am to do whatever I can to support the agency. Through Young Leaders, I was able to start learning about JFS piece by piece, while still contributing in a meaningful way through Tools for School, where we provide school supplies to underserved children. As a member of the Board, it is both exciting and educational to get an inside look into the heroic efforts it takes to plan, fund, and execute JFS’s programming. It is also inspiring to meet and learn from so many people who are so passionate about giving back to our community, and who give both the time and resources necessary to make the agency as successful as it is.

Rachael: Through JFS Young Leaders, I’ve really enjoyed how we’ve been able to get to know all the different things the agency does. I find that every single month I’m discovering something that agency is doing or about a program that I didn’t even know existed. With the Board, I’m enjoying being part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup, getting to understand the inner workings of the agency, and seeing the whole effect the work has on the clients.

What has been your favorite accomplishment as a Young Leader / Board Member?

Danielle: As a co-chair of the JFS Young Leaders, I feel very proud of the way our group was able to navigate the challenges of Covid while still finding new ways to contribute to the agency’s efforts. Tools for School is still a meaningful part of what our group does, but we have also found new ways to support other programs through online fundraisers and Zoom events. Each of our executive committee members is most interested in a different program area and group of clients, and we are thrilled that we can leverage everyone’s enthusiasm to support multiple program areas throughout the year.

Rachael: I truly enjoyed working on the JFS rebranding and redesign of the website. It was fun to be part of that project and see it come to life. We did a workshop for the website which was so fun because it was the first time I got to meet a roomful of people who work at JFS. It was a really cool experience to navigate that project with the JFS team. It was the first agency wide project I got involved with and every person I met was so awesome at their job and works so hard to make an impact.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

Danielle: I got married twice… to the same person. We got married in a small ceremony on our original date during Covid, and then celebrated again this summer when more of our friends and family could travel to be with us.

Rachael: I had a sourdough starter for the first year and a half of the pandemic named Michelle Dough-bama.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time/What are your hobbies?

Danielle: I love to be outdoors as much as possible. My favorite days are spent running, hiking, or walking around LA (with a pit stop at the farmers market if it’s a Sunday). I also love to cook, read, travel, and entertain. I have also enjoyed both watching and playing sports since I was a kid, though these days I do a lot more watching from my couch than I do playing.

Rachael: My family and I love to spend time outdoors. I also love to cook, bake, and ride my Peloton.

To learn more about the JFS Young Leaders, please click here.