PROVIDENCE – If you think the chief development officer at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island looks familiar, you would be right.
Sara Masri has had a close connection to the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center since she came to Rhode Island in 2001 to work at the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island as director of planning and allocations.
After that job, she spent several years at Jewish Family Service (now Jewish Collaborative Services).
In between, she’s worked for Meeting Street School, Care New England and the Make A Wish Foundation.
Masri knows the importance of fundraising for a nonprofit like the Alliance. And her career has gradually built, step by step, to returning to the building at the corner of Elmgrove and Sessions.
“My training was in Jewish communal work,” Masri said in a recent interview, adding that she wanted to get back to it.
“What an opportunity this is to raise the funds to help our community be stronger!” she said.
Masri enjoys getting out and meeting people and hearing their stories. And that’s key to philanthropy for an agency like the Alliance, which serves the greater Rhode Island community.
“We have to maintain and strengthen the relationship with our stalwart donors while attracting new donors,” she said. “You want people to give a gift that’s meaningful to them. You want them to know that no matter what the amount, the gift matters.”
“When you hear people’s stories, it resonates,” Masri said. “It helps to understand people … what’s important to them.”
Here’s Masri’s story: The 45-year-old Long Island, New York, native lives in Providence and has two children, a daughter who is 14 and starting high school, and a son who is 10 and starting fifth grade. Her mother now lives in the area and volunteers at JCS.
The family enjoys participating in community activities, and Masri says she wants to make sure the community is strengthened for them – and all families in the area.
“Getting younger people to see the value of the Alliance and the work we do will translate into deeper involvement in the community,” she said.
FRAN OSTENDORF(firstname.lastname@example.org) is the editor of Jewish Rhode Island.