Sarah Maniaci – Family Forever
Sarah Maniaci, Associate Director of Rachel’s Table, stepped down from her role as valued member of RT staff for nearly 10 years for new adventures in mid-December this year. Rachel’s Table, and the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts was graced to have her dedication, graciousness, intelligence, and ability to put everyone and everything at ease as she worked diligently with detail on the daily goings-on at Rachel’s Table.
Sarah’s motivation for working at Rachel’s Table matches why RT was founded. Making sure people have enough food, especially children, was why she felt called to join the team. When moving to western MA from Louisville, Kentucky, she met amazing folks from the RT community and learned of the wonderful work RT did every day to reduce food waste and alleviate hunger.
Sarah was first hired as a writer. But her background in meeting and event planning, and her great eye for detail helped RT in so many ways that her role grew with RT’s needs. In the past, Sarah had planned meetings and professional development conferences for several hundred judges for the California Judges Association, and when living in D.C., Sarah wrote letters to constituents for various politicians on Capital Hill. Sarah also volunteered in Louisville for the JCC on the film and membership committees. Her love of film led her to join a wonderful local film discussion group, and her work with membership was invaluable to RT in her daily interaction with our 200+ volunteers.
One of the programs that meant a lot to Sarah was RT’s Essen-tials program, one of RT’s purchase programs which helps those who keep kosher and are also food insecure receive wonderful food at important times throughout the year. Keeping kosher is more than a choice; it is an identity and those who maintain the laws of kashrut need to eat certain foods that can be costly to purchase. Sarah remembers how hard it was to purchase for this program until the Jewish Endowment Foundation stepped in and supplied grant funding to support the program in part. In gratitude to Sarah, RT is asking for donations to this program in her honor.
What Sarah has admired most about Rachel’s Table is its nimbleness. We are big enough to make a large impact in 3 counties in western MA and upper CT, but we are a lean enough team to move quickly and nimbly. Sarah and I, Jodi, remember our many mornings up early to work to make sure food got to people as we pivoted quickly during the early stages of the pandemic.
Sarah will always be a member of the Rachel’s Table family. Our Board, volunteers and staff wish her the best and know that this is not goodbye but until we meet again.