(DENVER)—Colorado’s Jewish communities will have a changemaker in their corner when it comes to the national and global work of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Beginning last month, longtime JEWISHcolorado board member Cintra Pollack steps up to a new role as a trustee on the national board of the JFNA.
“I want to make sure people in our community have a chance to be part of things,” she said. “And unless we are involved at JFNA, we don’t get to participate fully” in the opportunities afforded by the larger organization.
Pollack just completed nine years on the board of JEWISHcolorado, and she replaces Jackie Sprinces Wong as Colorado’s voice at the national level. For her part, Wong is wrapping up simultaneous terms on both the JFNA Board of Trustees and the JEWISHcolorado Board of Directors.
Many of Pollack’s colleagues on the JFNA board are people with whom she served on National Young Leadership Cabinet. “It’s really exciting to rejoin my counterparts in other cities and regions who are as passionate and as interested in the Jewish world as I am,” said Pollack. She also serves on the board of the Jewish Funders Network.
Pollack’s impact as a changemaker is not new; she began capturing people’s attention when she was a student at Davidson College, just 25 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina. At Davidson, Pollack majored in English, with a concentration in Asian studies. She was president of the Union Board, a writer for the Davidsonian, editor of Libertas magazine, and a member of the Council on Campus and Religious Life. Her list of accomplishments is long. But what is not catalogued on that list is the story behind an editorial that she wrote for the Davidsonian, challenging the more than 150-year-old, steeped-in-tradition school’s requirement that its president be Presbyterian and its trustees be Christian.
Said Pollack, “I wrote an editorial for the school paper saying that I thought that the rule was anachronistic.” Even at 18, she said she felt that what Davidson was saying to her was that she could never become a trustee of the school. At the time, Pollack was one of only a dozen or so Jews enrolled at Davidson, along with 400 Presbyterians, and her editorial was picked up by the local newspaper, the Charlotte Observer.
Fast forward three years, and Pollack graduated cum laude in 1999, having earned the Charles E. Lloyd Writing Award. She was also a Cornwell Scholar and a Watson Prize finalist. But there’s one other accolade of which Pollack is justifiably proud: she ultimately became the first Jewish alumna to be named a trustee of Davidson College.
Now, Pollack serves as a member of Davidson’s Investment, College and Community Relations, and Student Recruiting, Enrollment, and Scholarships Committees. Her honors and degrees include being a Wexner Heritage Fellow. At the University of Washington, where she pursued an MBA, she received a WRF Gates Fellowship and a Dempsey merit scholarship. She has been honored with a Young Leadership Award by JEWISHcolorado and has received honors from the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society.
Today, Pollack is a manager at Race Street Management, a family investment company. In addition to managing investments, she is the secretary-treasurer of the Singer Family Foundation and is responsible for both the grant-making process and investing the corpus. She formerly served as vice president at Aviva, Inc., a family-owned oil and gas exploration company. Prior to these positions, she worked as an equity analyst at Granite Point Capital and at Amazon.com. She has also advised children’s writing and literacy nonprofit 826 National’s Digital Project, and she has served on the boards of SVP Boston and the Shunpike Arts Collective.
“We are grateful for the service of these talented leaders who are addressing some of the most urgent issues facing our national and global Jewish communities,” said Rabbi Jay Strear, President and CEO of JEWISHcolorado. “The Colorado Jewish community is very fortunate to have Cintra representing them and working on their behalf.”