A specific end date has not been set, but Yad Ezra has set up a search committee for a replacement.
After 28 years, Lea Luger has decided to retire from Yad Ezra as executive director.
Yad Ezra has convened a search committee for a replacement with no definitive date for Luger’s departure, although she plans to leave some time in this calendar year.
“It has been an amazing, wonderful and humbling experience,” Luger said. “I’m so thrilled to have been able to be part of this incredible organization that not just helps people by giving them food, but does it in a way that treats people with dignity and respect.”
“It’s time,” Luger continued. “My grandmother always said to me ‘Leave them while they still want you,’ and I hold true to that. It’s time for someone else to take over the reins and move it forward and in different directions. Change is good.”
For Luger, her passion for the organization has not changed at all, and she will still be involved with the organization to the extent she’s wanted and needed.
Luger, who began in the role in 1993, is most proud of highlights in her tenure including: initiating the Lunch Assistance Program, creating the Giving Gardens program in effort to be more than a Band-Aid against hunger, helping establish a kosher food pantry in Warsaw that benefits Righteous Gentiles who saved lives during WWII, and adapting when serving clients during the pandemic — producing home deliveries to 300 families a week.
“We never dropped the ball,” Luger said. “We have families who have been with us since we opened our doors in 1990, and there was never a day where we didn’t have food to give out. I’m so proud of the fact that regardless of what was going on in the world, we kept our doors open and were able to continue feeding people.”
“I am constantly amazed and humbled by the members of the community who have really partnered with us — this has been a group effort,” Luger reflected.
“I may be the executive director, but believe me, this is a huge effort on the part of a lot of people. I have met incredible people and I am so proud of our community and what we’ve been able to do to make sure those who are vulnerable don’t feel forgotten.”