Second Women’s Division Speaker Series features
Amy Fish, Author & Ombudsperson
On June 3rd, 2020, Amy Fish headlined the second Israel Bonds Women’s Division ‘Speaking of Life’ Speaker Series.
Mrs. Fish, the Chief Complaints Officer and Ombudsperson at Concordia University in Montreal, is also the author of the book, I WANTED FRIES WITH THAT: How to Ask for What You Want and Get You Need.
“In these heartbreaking and challenging times, our speaker’s message today is so timely,” said Brenlee Gurvey Gales, Chair of Women’s Division Toronto, who opened the event.
Raquel Benzacar Savatti, CEO of Israel Bonds in Canada, greeted the participants and shared a story about a Holocaust survivor who visited the Israel Bonds offices several years ago to purchase a bond. “When he asked who the payment should be made out to, I replied, ‘Directly to the State of Israel.’ He stopped and put his pen down and I saw that he was in tears. When I asked him if he was OK, he said, ‘Had there been a State of Israel in 1938 instead of 1948, I would still have my family. I will always support the State of Israel.’
“Jews in the Diaspora need to know that our ultimate security is linked to a strong State of Israel. And the State must know that it has a fully engaged Diaspora. Buying an Israel Bond is a lot more than a financial investment,” Mrs. Benzacar Savatti added.
Mrs. Amy Fish briefly related how she became the Ombudsman of Concordia University, and then went on to share what inspired her to become a writer and advocate for self-advocacy.
“Speaking up for yourself works. Many people are afraid to do it. If you stay quiet, nothing is ever going to change. You have to at least try and speak up for yourself”.
On the power of persistence, Mrs. Fish said, “If you can’t go in the front door, go in back door. If you can't through the back door, go in the side door… climb over, go through the roof. You may not get what you want on the first try. It might take a few tries.”
When asked “How do I say no to requests without hurting anyone’s feelings?”, she replied, “In a situation where you want something and the other person wants something else, there’s going to be a winner and there’s going to be a loser. I’m giving you permission to put yourself first. Get yourself in the mindset of, ‘I have to prioritize myself here, and I’m going to have to say no.’”
Mrs. Fish also reminded guests about the need for empathy and sensitivity, most notably during these times:
“One helpful tool we have is putting ourselves in other people’s shoes.”
To see more about Amy Fish, visit amyfishwrites.com
Special thanks to all members of the Israel Bonds Women’s Division for organizing this first ‘Speaking of Life’ event, and to Laura Orzy, Chair of Israel Bonds Women’s Division International, for joining us from Israel.