A woman whose last name may have incidentally defined her actions, Margaux Friend is someone on whom not only her congregants and colleagues can depend, but also women and children who have been victims of abuse and violence.
Margaux has spent the last decade advocating for victims of domestic violence, especially in the LGBTQ community. She is a member of Jewish Women International and supports the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network. Although not in her job description, she has brought that advocacy work to her role as Associate Executive Director at Lakeside Congregation, helping, for example, to institute gender-neutral bathrooms.
Additionally, Margaux is a friend and enthusiastic collaborator for fellow synagogue directors as a member of the Chicago Association of Synagogue Administrators and future Journal Editorial Board chair for the National Association of Temple Administrators.
Associate Executive Director of Lakeside Congregation
ON THE SIDE:
Laugh enthusiast, over-sharer, proud mom, book nerd, lifelong learner
Married to my best friend
A JEW WHO INSPIRES YOU:
Viktor Frankl. I read "Man's Search for Meaning" almost 20 years ago and it is a book that forever shaped my life. I have given copies to multiple friends throughout the years and still find his view on humanity incredibly humbling and inspiring.
HOW YOU JEW IN CHICAGO:
My family is very into Passover and for decades we have what I dub as “Our Big Fat Jewish Seder.” Between 40 and 60 people of all faiths come together and focus on current societal issues and oppression still occurring throughout the world. As we go through the story of our exodus from Egypt, we try and figure out how we can leave from our own Seder and go into the world with the tools to make it a better place.
IF TIME AND MONEY WERE LIMITLESS, I WOULD:
Start a shelter for LGBTQ victims of domestic violence and their children. Right now, Chicago only has 152 beds available for those who need to get on their feet and get away from their abusers permanently. Many of those places do not take males over the age of 12 and nearly half of LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence have been turned away from a shelter, usually because of their gender identity.