Lauren Bensussen (Dichter) grew up in Bellevue as a member of Temple De Hirsch Sinai. She held various leadership positions on the temple youth group board and relished the two weeks every summer she got to spend with Jewish friends at Camp Kalsman. Now, she is the Communications Manager for the University of Washington's Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.
While Lauren is the great granddaughter of two Sephardic families on her mom’s side, she also just recently married her husband Josh, who is part Sephardic too! From what Lauren knows, one set of her great grandparents lived on Rhodes in Greece for many generations (the Israel/Peha families), and the other set lived in Marmara, Turkey (the Levy/Eskenazi families). Lauren takes great pride in her Sephardic heritage, thanks to the memorable Ladino phrases that her grandma Naomi and “Papoo” Sam threw around so naturally—and of course the delicious food they cooked.
Having been a part of a K-12 Spanish Immersion Program, Lauren is fluent in Spanish and has therefore seized opportunities in Spanish-speaking countries abroad. In high school, she traveled to Costa Rica to volunteer with Mitzvah Corps, and in college at the UW, she studied abroad in San Sebastián/Donostia within the Basque Country/Gipuzkoa, off of Spain’s northeastern coast. Lauren hopes to keep her ancestors’ rich, resilient, and unique history alive. After all, “Todos los dedos de la mano no son unos.”