Kelsey Saragnese

Kelsey Saragnese has dedicated her career to helping people understand how to support and empower survivors of interpersonal, domestic and sexual violence. She attended University of Missouri and worked in a resource center that sought to shift the campus culture around issues of violence and justice. After graduation, she relocated to Kansas City, Missouri. It was there that a moment of serendipity led her to learning of Avodah.

Kelsey and a friend were exploring merchants’ booths at a craft fair, discussing Hanukkah. As they debated whether that day was the start of Hanukkah or not, a stranger overhead them and chimed in. It was Avodah’s Kansas City Director, Amy Ravis Furey. A conversation sparked and Amy introduced both Kelsey and her friend to Avodah’s fellowship program. Kelsey applied and participated as a Fellow that following year. 

“Avodah was an exciting and eye-opening experience. I had not really grown up in an area with a big Jewish community and had never been involved in a formal Jewish community. Avodah was a wonderful way to explore my Jewish identity and combine that with anti-oppression work, which I found motivating and inspiring.”

Kelsey has been fortunate to carry on her passion for anti-violence and social justice work into her career. She now does education and prevention at a rape crisis center. 

“I have a wonderful, satisfying life with many people I love and care for. I try to make the world a safer and more just place.”