The Washington State Jewish Historical Society will hold its annual meeting on the 17th of this month at Temple De Hirsch Sinai with a new executive director its helm.
Lisa Kranseler was the force behind 'From Synagogues to Cinemas,' the exhibit about Seattle architect B. Marcus Priteca presented by the society last May. (A smaller version will be on display at the meeting.) That exhibit grew out of an assignment Kranseler completed to receive a certificate in museum studies from the University of Washington in June. Her efforts won her the Gus Norwood Volunteer Scholarship Award from the Washington State Museum Association.
A Bellevue resident since 1995, Kranseler learned about the historical society while she was at the UW.
'I was researching mission statements,' she explained, for an assignment to create an imaginary museum based on a significant object. 'My object was a Jewish star that belonged to my grandmother. I started 'Googling' Jewish museums'and came across the historical society. I immediately contacted them.'
This is a career change for Kranseler, a CPA. With a degree from the Wharton School, she had only worked in business ' specifically tax accounting.
'I enjoyed what I did,' says Lisa. 'I was strong in math, but I was never able to use my creative side.'
Once in the program she found her business background enhanced her school work. 'I was able to understand'the legal aspects of running museums and non-profits.'
She was working on the Priteca exhibit at the same time her son Andrew was preparing for his Bar Mitzvah at Temple B'nai Torah in Bellevue. Her family (husband, Kenny, son Daniel and daughter Julie) 'tolerated months of not eating at the kitchen table, and moving massive amounts of research, pictures and photos, around the house,' she says.
Growing up outside of New York City, Lisa enjoyed going to museums as a child. Her new job brings her full circle, as the society hopes to develop a Jewish museum in Seattle, hopefully in cooperation with other local organizations. The dream has been bolstered by a generous gift from Herbert Lipman, who will be honored at the meeting.
'The time is right,' says Kranseler, pointing out that Portland and Vancouver, B.C., have Jewish museums.
She credits society co-presidents Doris Stiefel and Eugene Normand, for their support and vision.
'Doris is such a supportive leader and she and Eugene have done so much for the society. There's a lot to do,' she adds. 'And a lot we want to do.'
Earlier this summer the Northwest Development Officers Association recognized Janet Boguch with its professional achievement award. Janet's company, Non-Profit Works, helps charitable organizations improve their philanthropic efforts.
Boguch says she sees her work as 'tikkun olam ' repair of the world. The anchor that is always in me is my Jewish background. It's so much a part of me.' She and her husband belong to Temple Beth Am.
A Seattle native, Janet is aware of the importance of these 'anchors' that keep life steady despite a busy work and volunteer life. They include husband Kelby Fletcher and daughter Kalen, who just went off to college, as well as reading, hiking and art.
'Having my dad still around,' is important, too. (Janet's parents are Phil and Laurie Boguch of Mercer Island). 'He's been a mentor to me probably without even knowing it.'
Boguch began professional life as a painter and still maintains a studio.
'I do mixed media paintings. I started exhibiting very young and was really blessed' with shows at the Smithsonian and the San Francisco Museum of Art, she says.
After living, working and going to school around the country, Janet returned to Seattle with a career change in mind. Setting her sights on education, she landed a job at Cornish College of the Arts where she, her sister and her great-aunt had all studied.
She worked first as the registrar and then development director and taught design (she has a Master's in Design from the University of California'Berkeley) while earning a degree in public administration from the UW. She was then recruited as an associate in a fundraising firm. After Kalen's birth, she decided to do broader organizational development work involving strategic planning and leadership development. A consulting opportunity arose in 1988 with Food Lifeline, a food distribution warehouse, and her company grew from there.
Despite her professional involvement with charities, and teaching at the UW and Seattle University, she has found time to volunteer for Jewish Family Service, the Jewish Federation, Washington Women's Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, among others. One of her favorite organizations is Girls on the Run, an after-school program that provides skills through sports to elementary aged girls who aren't innately athletic ' 'like I was in elementary school,' says Janet.
'I think it's important that the younger generation realize or understand that philanthropy is incredibly important,' says Boguch. 'It's not just about achieving success, but giving back. The needs are increasing' for populations served by the charitable community and so is the need for donors and volunteers. 'We need people to make sure organizations don't close.'