Meet the Schusterman Fellows: Danielle Abraham


Over the course of 18 months, 24 outstanding Jewish professionals will engage in a customized professional development journey as part of the Schusterman Fellowship. The Fellows come from across the U.S., Europe, Israel and Australia, and they work inside and outside of the Jewish sector. As part of this blog series, we'll be bringing you short interviews with each of the Fellows in which they'll share a bit about themselves and their vision for the future. 

Meet Danielle Abraham below!

Danielle Abraham is exploring what it means to be a Jewish social entrepreneur in the field of international development and impact investing. With one hat, Danielle is the Co-Chair of the ID2 Conference and Network, promoting entrepreneurship for development and connecting Israeli exerptise and the Jewish world to developing country needs.

Wearing her second hat, she is a Director at Impact Investing Israel, working to support the development of the impact investment sector in Israel. Prior to this, Danielle was a senior policy advisor in MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Danielle made aliyah from London, where she worked for the Strategy and International Directorate of the UK Home Office. Danielle holds a BA and MA from the University of Oxford and lives in Tel Aviv with her husband. She loves to play music, cook and eat, travel and meet new people.

1. If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?

The ability to be a genie and grant professional wishes. That is to say, I would love to be able to have the resources, time and capacity to help the social entrepreneurs in our networks with whatever they are working on. Whether it is connecting them to the right people or the right opportunities, whatever it takes to help them advance their work and to create further impact.

2. "Leadership" is a popular term these days, used in a variety of contexts. Tell us, what does leadership mean to you?

To me, leadership means a number of things and can manifest in a great number of ways. Leadership demands numerous qualities and the ability to adapt to different situations and the needs of the people you lead. Leadership is about being a visionary, whether it is about articulating a personal vision or translating the vision of a community and inspiring and empowering others to realize where they want to be.

3. How does your Jewish identity affect your leadership?

My Jewish identity affects my leadership in a profound way. Jewish ideas, values and our many stories of Jewish leaders, both historical and more current, are never far away and constantly inform my perception of leadership. Additionally, my Jewish identity always forces the issue of leading the Jewish community to the frontlines, whether that is in a small communal setting or on a larger national or global scale.

4. What are you most excited to gain from the Fellowship? What are you most looking forward to learning?

Wow there are so many things I am excited to gain from the Fellowship, such as new friends, new experiences, new lessons—it's difficult to choose. I am very much looking forward to learning about key leadership skills and more about Jewish leadership values, Jewish history and knowledge.

If I had to go with one aspect in particular, I think it would have to be connected to finding my place as a Jewish leader in Israel. I really want to understand what being a Jewish leader in Israel means as opposed to the Diaspora.

5. If you were given a surprise day off, how would you spend it?

First, I would convince my husband that he aslo deserves a surprise day off. Then, being that we live in Israel, I would assume it's a sunny day and I would allow myself to catch up on some sleep before getting up to a breakfast feast... smoothies, pancakes, etc. We would then pack a bag, a bbq and set off for a tiyul (or trip) somewhere beautiful. On my return I would plan to have dinner with all my family and then go out with friends in the evening to see live music and drink cocktails.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.