Spotlight on Anita Givner: March of the Living Committee Chair

Posted on 07/28/2023 @ 06:00 AM

Tags: Teen Education & Engagement, March of the Living, CAJE Spotlight

Anita, tell us about your background and education.
I had the privilege of attending the (RASG) Hebrew Academy from kindergarten to 12th grade, where my Jewish roots were nurtured and strengthened. After high school, I embarked on a life-changing gap year in Israel, immersing myself in our rich heritage followed by attending Yeshiva University, Stern College. This experience deepened my connection to Judaism and laid the foundation for my journey in Jewish education.
How did you get involved with CAJE and Miami’s March of the Living?
My journey with CAJE and Miami’s Leo Martin March of the Living began after joining the MOTL committee under the leadership of Morrie Siegel. As I delved deeper into the program and its mission, my oldest child was about to participate in the March and I eagerly joined as a staff member to support their experience. I took on the role of logistics coordinator for the 2014 March and then participated again as a staff member in 2023. This initial engagement opened doors to further involvement with CAJE and its initiatives.
My dedication and passion for Jewish education and preserving our heritage led me to take on leadership roles at CAJE and my commitment is intertwined with my husband, Joey Givner’s dedication to the organization as well as my children’s involvement with the March
Together, we share a deep commitment to day school education, and we actively participate in our local synagogue, fostering a vibrant community. We support CAJE through our time and donations, striving to lead by example and instill the values we hold dear.
My engagement with CAJE draws upon my past experiences, where I was actively involved in NCSY (the teen youth movement), igniting my passion for community engagement and Jewish education.
Why and how did you become the Chair of Miami’s March of the Living at CAJE?
I was driven to take on the role of Chair, because I wholeheartedly believe in the March of the Living's mission and vision.
The opportunity to accompany teenagers to Poland and Israel and ensure they perpetuate the legacy of the Jewish community deeply resonates with me.
My dedication to fostering Jewish continuity and educating the next generation aligns perfectly with the goals of MOTL. By imparting social and emotional education about historical events, we can provide valuable insights and lessons for generations to come.
Tell us more about your experience going on the March of the Living.
The March of the Living had a profound impact on me. Stepping foot on those historical grounds was surreal— it wasn't just a story; it was real and tangible.
Touching the barbed wire, standing where unimaginable events occurred, left an indelible mark on my heart.
The March of the Living holds immense importance, as it imparts essential teachings to teens before college. Empowering them with this knowledge ensures a strong Jewish continuity, preserving our heritage for generations to come.
Beyond education, the March creates a powerful brand in participants' minds, instilling core values and a deep appreciation for Israel's strength and resilience.
What are your goals as Chair and why is the March of the Living important to our community?
As Miami's March of the Living Chair, my primary goal is to establish a permanent endowment for financial stability, offering enriching experiences to more students. I aim to modernize our approach to better connect with today's teenagers and forge lasting connections.
Throughout my involvement with CAJE, I've been inspired by the dedicated professionals and lay leaders who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Their passion and commitment to preserving Jewish history are truly admirable.
The March of the Living serves as an immersive experience, instilling a profound understanding of our past. It stands as a culmination of students' learning journeys, impacting their lives in remarkable ways, even for those facing financial challenges in accessing comprehensive Jewish education.
I call on readers to recognize and appreciate the tremendous efforts of those involved in the March of the Living.
Together, let us continue to preserve our heritage, embrace our responsibilities, and cherish the power and strength of Israel in shaping our identity.

Applications for the 2024 Leo Martin March of the Living
will open in just a few weeks.
Click Here to find out more.