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March is Women’s History Month and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to highlight a woman who has shaped, inspired, and led our Federation community, Beth Weiller Arogeti, the Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. We asked her to share with us her journey, advice, and wisdom.

Rooted in a familial connection to the Atlanta Jewish community since the mid-1860s, Beth, a fifth-generation Atlantan, grew up at The Temple and was involved in community service through organizations like the Councilettes.  We asked her the following questions for Women’s History Month.

What inspired you to volunteer as Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and how has your journey led you to that position? 

The Atlanta Jewish community has been here for me and my family since the mid-1860s. As a fifth-generation Atlantan, my journey mirrors that of others who have held the role of Board Chair, albeit with some unique aspects. Growing up in Atlanta, my family attended The Temple, where I was confirmed in 1970 from the Sunday School and became a part of the Temple Youth Group, marking my initiation into community service. As a teenager, I joined Councilettes, the junior division of the National Council of Jewish Women, laying the foundation for years of volunteering in the community.

Since my early teens, the Federation has been a priority for my family. I had an exceptional role model in my mother, Margaret Strauss Weiller, who worked for the Women’s Division (now Women’s Philanthropy). Following in her footsteps, I’ve volunteered in various roles within the Federation organization, serving as President, Chair of Women’s Philanthropy, and Chair and Vice-Chair of our Community Campaign.

Can you share a significant achievement or project that you are particularly proud of during your time as a Federation community member? 

As a Jewish woman, I believe that the simple act of one Jew asking another Jew to help a third makes you a leader. This philosophy has attracted many wonderful people to our organization, turning them into leaders and stakeholders. The difference between being a leader or staying on the sidelines often lies in the act of asking.

Who are some women that have influenced or inspired you in your Federation journey, and how have they impacted your approach to leadership? 

My mother, Margaret Strauss Weiller, remains the most influential woman in my lifetime, leading by example. Her friends, Marilyn Shubin and Lois Blonder, along with my friend, Viki Freeman, have served as role models and mentors, guiding and supporting me in my community endeavors. Additionally, the five women who preceded me as Board Chairs—Betty Ann Jacobson, Carol Cooper, Linda Selig, Lisa Galanti, and Lori Kagen Schwarz—have also been significant role models.

Has anything else inspired you on your leadership journey? 

Seeing my children, Michelle and Ian Stribling, Jonathan and Sarah, involved in our Jewish community each in their own way is inspiration for me to continue trying to make this community the best that it can be for generations to come.  Now with the recent addition of 3 grandchildren being raised here in Atlanta, I feel more driven to work harder so all young people can have a wonderful upbringing in this wonderful city.  Also, I recently discovered fascinating information about my great-grandfather, Joseph Hirsch, on my mother’s side.  He came from Gimbheim, Germany, a small town between Frankfurt A/M and Darmstadt, and served as the first President of the Hebrew Orphans’ Home in 1914. This revelation reinforced my sense of destiny in being a leader in this community.

As a successful woman, what advice do you have for other women aspiring to leadership roles within the Jewish Federation or similar organizations? 

My advice for those aspiring to leadership roles is to take advantage of all the opportunities the community offers. Be curious, ask questions, and find something that excites you. The journey is more enjoyable when shared with a friend.

Beth Arogeti’s leadership journey is a testament to her enduring commitment to our community, her strong familial legacy, and her love for Jewish life. From her roots in the Atlanta Jewish community to pivotal roles within Federation, Beth exemplifies the power of leadership grounded in a passion for service and a deep understanding of community needs. We hope that this narrative encourages the future generation of female leaders, especially during Women’s History Month, when we reflect on the contributions of women in the past and present.

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