Donor - Eileen Lewis

Eileen Lewis

In the late 1980s, Eileen J. Lewis was a banker attending a Federation leadership development program for young professionals, which concluded with an orientation about constituent agencies. JFLA was among the groups participating in a volunteer fair where Eileen learned about JFLA and how to get involved. Eileen's interest was piqued, since her career was focused on commercial lending.  She hoped her skills in lending processes and data analysis would benefit the Agency.

In her 35 years on the Board, Eileen has seen JFLA’s portfolio expand to include larger business loans, infertility treatments, and broader housing programs, including Women and Children in Crisis, and College Students with insecure housing. She is pleased that she has been able to contribute to JFLA’s achieving its high level of financial accountability and transparency. She observed that she has worked along with so many Board members whose diverse careers and outlooks all unite behind JFLA’s goal to assist those whose needs are urgent. They may not qualify through normal financial channels.

Since retirement, Eileen has expanded her volunteer activities to include 826LA’s children’s literacy programs, AARP’s Tax Preparation Services, and ChaiVillageLA, a synagogue based village for older adults. Since 2018, Eileen has volunteered weekly as a Kitchen Aide at the Downtown Women's Center, which provides 180 meals three times a day to unaccompanied women. She sees firsthand how easy it is for these women to fall off the edge. "The women are generally middle-aged and previously led typical lives - they raised families, went to work, took care of infirm relatives. But the domino effect often catches up with them. If a woman can’t repair her car or get needed medical care, then she may not be able to get to work. Then she can’t pay rent. And then she’s unhoused." Moved and inspired by these women and wanting to honor her parents, Eileen created the Robert and Ethel Lewis Emergency Housing Fund to help people stabilize their lives. Eileen feels strongly that food and housing are basic human rights and through this loan fund, JFLA can help to repair our local community, one loan at a time.

JFLA is truly grateful for Eileen's years of service, leadership, friendship, and generosity. Through her work and the new loan fund, she will continue to touch many within the JFLA community.

JFLA Assistant