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.”