FIBA – Volunteering With Passion
Israel is in Lauren Prager’s soul. A self-described Zionist, when Lauren talks about Israel, you can feel the passion exuding out of her. From her first trip to Israel at age 15 Lauren was connected. Several trips back to Israel followed, including extended stays with the American High School in Israel (AMHSI) program and the Nativ College Leadership Program. With each trip back, Lauren’s connection with Israel, the culture and the people grew stronger. Most importantly, Lauren’s goal of connecting Israel to the people in the United States took hold.
In college at the University of Maryland, Lauren created her own major of Middle Eastern Studies. She delved into the language, cultures, and politics of Israel and its neighbors and right out of college found herself as a registered lobbyist for Hadassah in Washington D.C. She was moved to see how powerful — and important — it was for people of all ages to get involved civically and to share their personal stories, especially about their support for Israel. After a couple of years with Hadassah, Lauren was recruited by The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to work in Leadership Development. Lauren traveled across the country to identify and engage Jews and non-Jews alike to educate them about the importance of the connection to Israel and teach them about civic involvement. After four years with AIPAC in Washington D.C., Lauren moved to Philadelphia where she eventually became the local AIPAC Director, continuing her important work to strengthen the pro-Israel community.
Which brings us to Lauren’s connection to FIBA. About a year ago, Lauren reached out to FIBA. She heard of the organization and felt an immediate connection to us and our goals and wanted to help. Lauren is now using her professional experiences and personal passion to volunteer her time with FIBA. Her strong background in public speaking and communications is the foundation for work with the FIBA team to help the visiting entrepreneurs navigate the cultural and practical differences between business in Israel and the U.S. She is also using her experience as a volunteer coordinator to chair the FIBA Welcome Committee, which will help ensure the entrepreneurs have a smooth transition to Tampa, build personal relationships with individuals in our community, and experience the fantastic qualities that life – and business – in Tampa can offer.
Like all of the people that are working to make FIBA a success, Lauren embodies that entrepreneurial spirit, as well as our theme of the year….connection. We are so lucky to have Lauren’s passion on our side.