- Meet Our Leaders
Her Path to the JFCS Presidency
Growing up in Ukraine when it was part of the USSR meant that Luba Troyanovsky grew up surrounded by rampant antisemitism. Because her great-grandfather was a rabbi, she grew up observing Jewish holidays and traditions—not so common among Soviet Jews at that time—but always secretly within the family and never publicly.
When Luba arrived in San Francisco as part of the vast emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union in the 1970s, she and her family had to build a new life. Comparing themselves to “blind kittens,” Luba warmly recalls that JFCS staff helped them acclimate to their new home in every way—from locating housing to finding a doctor to opening a checking account.
Luba went on to build a successful business and family life in the U.S. When a group of fellow Russian emigres began to plan the first of what was to become the hugely popular, annual Emigre Community Gala in 2001, Luba reconnected with JFCS in a new capacity. She has been involved ever since—serving in many key leadership positions and creating the Sam Budovsky Memorial Endowment Fund to provide college scholarships in loving tribute of her late husband.
Luba says, “It is very special, coming from an antisemitic environment where philanthropy isn’t part of the culture, to being part of a strong, thriving Jewish community, and to play a role in involving thousands of Russian-speaking Jews in that community as well.”
As newly elected JFCS’ President of the Board of Directors, Luba is especially passionate about JFCS’ expansion of services for children and youth, and about involving so many young professionals in JFCS’ work.
“Being a part of JFCS’ leadership feels like somewhat of a homecoming for me,” Luba says. “It has allowed me to celebrate my culture, to remember and bear witness to our shared past, and to further the dreams of immigrants like me. I am grateful to be surrounded by inspiring people who make this organization an example to all.”