Double Chai in the Chi
Lisa Tarshis Portrait
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Lisa Tarshis

Giving here, giving there -- Lisa Tarshis is practically the Jewish young adult version of Shel Silverstein's "Giving Tree" (minus all the sad stuff in that book…). Maybe that's why she works at Giving Tree Associates, consulting with non-profits -- including many Jewish orgs -- on a daily basis about how they can grow, raise funds and increase their impact on the community. 

But, like the Giving Tree, her altruistic efforts don't stop with her day job. Tarshis is a force in the community when it comes to engaging young adults. She serves as co-chair of the JCC Chicago/Camp Chi alumni committee, where she's planned and run events, and was recently named campaign vice-chair of JUF's Young Leadership Division. Beyond fundraising, in 2010 she spearheaded the organization of monthly social volunteer events for Jewish young adults through JCorps in Chicago.

Let's just hope Tarshis doesn't make like a tree and leave Chicago anytime soon.



Primary gig:

Senior Associate Consultant at Giving Tree Associates

On the side:

Badger sports fan, foodie, philanthropist, traveler, spending time with those important to me

Relationship status:

Happily married to my wonderful husband, Alex

How do you give back?

In my work life, I give back by teaching nonprofits how to raise money so that they can continue to grow and serve the community. I also love connecting people and mentoring those who want to get more involved in the philanthropic world both personally and professionally. I’m constantly thinking about who I can introduce and making those introductions.

How do you Jew in Chicago?

Regularly eat, talk about food and plan for the next meal with my friends. Eating is Jew-ing, right? Play Jewish geography on a daily basis. More formally, I work with Jewish organizations on a daily basis and hold leadership positions on the YLD board and the Camp Chi Alumni Committee.

Me in 10 years:

Vibrant and inclusive with a healthy balance between Judaism as a cultural and spiritual experience. As a Jewish community, I believe we’re at a crossroads. About 50 percent of Jews are entering into interfaith marriages. We have a unique opportunity to accept those marriages and help interfaith families feel a part of the community. If we can continue to expand these efforts, we will create a more understanding and inclusive community.