ADL Regional Board Member Shelley Krovitz is a retired attorney who is passionate about advocating for women and embodies the values of ADL.
How did you first become involved in ADL? How are you involved now?
Over the years I have volunteered for and led many organizations in the community. ADL has always been there working hard on its mission. With the alarming increase in anti-Semitic incidents, public intolerance and hate speech, I decided that it was time for me to get involved. In June 2018, I was fortunate to become a member of the Board of Directors.
What do you do in your professional life?
My first career was in special education working in both public and private schools. Thanks to changes in the law barring gender-based discrimination, the doors began to open for women in professions like law. With three young children and a very supportive husband, I earned a law degree with honors from the University of Denver. My practice was limited to commercial real estate and commercial mediation. I am now retired. As someone who understands some of the professional barriers women often face, many of my volunteer activities have centered on promoting the advancement of women in the law and through improving economic opportunities for Colorado women and their families.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn’t give a career much thought. When I was growing up women were not encouraged to dream big or work outside the home. There were “acceptable” roles and jobs for women. Thanks to the ground-breaking leadership of female role models, I started to understand that maybe there was more that women could do.
Where were you born? From where do your ancestors hail?
I am a Denver native. My ancestors hailed from England and Eastern Europe.
What’s your favorite holiday?
Passover is one favorite holiday because of its many layers of meaning and because it offers people an opportunity to create their own traditions to ask age-old questions, tell the Exodus story and eat special foods. It is an optimistic time because, after all, spring is budding.
What are you reading?
One of the most meaningful books I read a few years ago that stays at the top of my list is Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. It is a beautifully written book by a leading surgeon, Harvard medical professor and author about what growing old means in the 21st century. It provides a guide of how to make the last years of life meaningful.
What’s a special place you have visited?
Each place has been beautiful in its way. Many places in Israel seem to trigger serious thinking beyond appreciating the physical beauty.
What’s one thing every person should know or experience?
Keep learning—from other people, from experiences, from activities, from classes, from nature—the list is endless.
What teacher or class stands out to you the most in your education and why?
One of the special courses of study I treated myself to was the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School program, which featured extraordinary classes in Jewish education taught at an adult level. That experience comes to mind now because the program was run by Sue Parker Gerson, now Senior Associate Director for ADL’s Mountain States Region. Sue was also one of the teachers. The Melton trip to Israel was a unique experience for many reasons. Our group included Melton students from a number of countries and among other things, we studied text in the places the texts referenced. It is a pleasure to work with Sue again.
What are you passionate about personally? What can’t you stop talking about?
“Nothing in life just happens. It isn’t enough to believe in something. You have to have the stamina to meet obstacles and overcome them.” This quote by Golda Meir is one of my favorites and a guiding principle for all I undertake. I am passionate about my family. I am passionate about the advancement of women. I am passionate about volunteering for organizations with goals I share—and there continue to be many of these.
Tell me a story that immediately pops into your mind that was a defining or significant moment for you.
Probably the most defining and significant moments in my life have been my marriage and the birth of my three children, followed closely by the birth of my six grandchildren. Each of these moments has its own story.
Why do you choose to make a financial investment in ADL?
ADL stands out as THE organization in the forefront of the fight against anti-Semitism, hate and bigotry. ADL is a strong voice for civil rights and religious freedom. ADL excels in training and working with law enforcement, students, teachers and public figures.
Complete this sentence: For me, ADL is …
…where I want to help.