Laura Fields installed as Jewish Federation Woman’s Philanthropy Board Chair

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Jordan Palmer

This past week, St. Louis native Laura Fields was installed as the Chair of the Women’s Philanthropy Board of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

“The Women’s Philanthropy board provides opportunities for women to connect with each other while learning about supporting the needs of the Jewish community in St. Louis, Israel and around the world,” said Fields who will coordinate with the WP team and Vice-Chairs to set goals and vision for Women’s Philanthropy.

“I will work with the WP team to set agendas for board meetings, as well as oversee, communicate and provide support to board members.”

Women’s Philanthropy is designed to be a force for change. Engaging women of all ages and backgrounds to enhance Jewish life through special events like L’Chaim!, annual community service projects, education, and leadership opportunities.

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Fields’ journey to Women’s Philanthropy and the Jewish Federation started 9 years ago when she attended what has become the “Taste of our Jewish Community” class.

“I was introduced to the amazing work the Federation does both here locally and in Israel and was motivated to become involved in volunteering.  As fate would have it, one of the development associates was taking maternity leave and I was asked to take her place.”Fields continued her involvement with WP, but with a young family, obligations became challenging.”As my kids got older, and one sport became 3 along with other activities,  I needed to stop working for Women’s Philanthropy to focus on my family.  But I knew I could continue to volunteer, and I have cherished it,” said Fields.

Over the past 6 years, she has been the vice-chair of Community Service, followed by vice-chair of  Education, and now board chair. For Fields, the most rewarding part of her new position will be working with the other women on the board and in the community.

“And, I think the most challenging will be to lead in a world where the pandemic is still causing a challenge for people to meet in groups,” said Fields. “So much of the work we do is through face-to-face interactions and events. I hope to find creative ways to engage people, and inspire them to give their time as well as donate financially to continue the work needed to help so many others in need.”

Fields’ husband Ryan is the Chief of Surgical Oncology at the Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University School of Medicine.  They’ve been married for 15 years and have two children. Gabe is an 8th grader at Ladue Middle School, and Sarah is in 5th grade at Ladue Fifth Grade Center.  The family belongs to Temple Israel where Gabe became a Bar Mitzvah last April and is still continuing his Jewish journey through Sunday school.  Sarah is attending Sunday and Hebrew School.  She will become a Bat Mitzvah in 2024.