Our Stories

Volunteer Spotlight: Laurie Brumberg

March 26, 2015 by Sharon Samber (Community)

The Brumberg family.JPDS-NC’s strength is due, in part, to the dedication of a cadre of talented and energetic parent volunteers. To learn first-hand about what motivates and inspires our volunteers, read the interview with parent Laurie Brumberg.

What is your volunteer role?

Laurie: I chaired Birthday Lunch and Box Lunch for two years, introduced Zelda’s chocolates and Israeli Harvest Olive Oil, coordinated Birthday Books, helped launch Chesed at JPDS-NC, and helped with past Purim Balls. This year I co-chaired the Purim Ball with a fabulous team of volunteers.

Why volunteer at JPDS-NC?

There are many ways to volunteer, and I think it can be fun, social, and creative. Fundamentally though, I think we all send our kids here not just for the education, but for the connection to community – and JPDS is a special one. In one way or another, we each contribute to that community and we remain connected yet dynamic because new people come every year with new ideas, talent, and energy.

What have you gotten out of it?

I’ve come to know people differently by working with them and have made a lot of friends. Everything I do as a volunteer feels like a celebration of our school, and a way to give back and keep it going.

Favorite or most memorable moment?

After seven years, my son still runs to give me a hug when he sees me at school. And I must say, I like to quietly shake things up – it’s enormously satisfying to make even a small change, like substituting carrots for Oreos at lunch.

How has it impacted your family?

Apart from sometimes delaying dinner… volunteering opens the door to many teachable moments. I can encourage my son to be involved, to give back, to make a difference – but the best way for him to learn is to see his parents doing just that.

Tell us a little about your family.

My husband Dan, son Gabriel (5th Grade) and I live in Petworth, five minutes from school. Dan teaches Middle East politics at Georgetown. My background is in human rights advocacy and organizational management. I work now as a freelance editor.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

During the 1999 Kosovo crisis I spent time in Albania visiting refugee camps. At one all-but-forgotten camp, I was struck by the presence of a newborn baby and the overall lack of services, including medical care. I later tracked down three Argentinean doctors I knew to be at my hotel and returned with them to the camp. The doctors set up a care line, and examined every person there. It was one of those small things that made a huge difference and I’ll never forget it.

Volunteers play an important role in the life of our school. If you are interested in volunteering your time and talents, please contact the Advancement Office.