Jewish Federation offers a tribute to longtime volunteer Terri Bignell of La Jolla

Terri Bignell has been involved in nearly every aspect of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County for the past 30 years. She was the director of the Associate Women’s Division, 1986-2002, and went on to become a volunteer leader and then president of the Women’s Division, 2007-2009.

Terri Bignell

Bignell has been a Lion of Judah since 2002, and has chaired numerous organization activities and events. She is currently a member of the Jewish Federation’s board of directors.

She has also been a member of the Hillel board, a member of the inaugural Endowment Leadership Institute of the Jewish Community Foundation, and recently coordinated Congregation Beth Israel’s 150th anniversary project.

The Federation has named her the 2013 San Diego recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award, which recognizes a woman who has set a high standard for philanthropy and volunteerism

in her community. She and other award winners will be honored in September at the International Lion of Judah Conference in New York City.

Bignell is the mother of a daughter, Leah.


What brought you to La Jolla?

I arrived in 1986 having been hired by the United Jewish Federation to head up the Women’s Division at their newly established North County office. I lived in a new area, which was known as North City West and now known as Carmel Valley. When I made the move to La Jolla, I knew I had found my paradise.

What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
I’d like to see additional innovative, farm-fresh restaurants; small music venues and shopping boutiques; less vacant storefronts; and improved access into the Village.

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by people who are able to see the big picture and articulate a vision for change, and I’m motivated by those who are generous with their time and resources.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
Those who know me well know how much enjoyment I get from having people at my dinner table. Here’s who I think would make a great eclectic mix:
Billy Crystal, for his humor
Ina Garten, she has always makes me look good
Rabbi David Wolpe, for his contemporary Jewish wisdom
James Taylor, great music is an important ingredient
Robert Redford, just because
Donna Karan, for her fashion sense
My daughter and sister, to share in the fun!

What are you currently reading?
“Gone Girl” by Gillean Flynn.

What do you most dislike?
Time going by much too quickly!

What is your most-prized possession?
My home.

What do you do for fun?
Where to start! Daily exercise of some sort (love Pilates), lunch with my girlfriends, playing in the kitchen, gardening and traveling.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?
Nike says it best … “Just Do It.”

What would be your dream vacation?
One month exploring Italy.

Related posts:

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  2. Dr. Eric Topol touts individualized medicine for 21st century patients
  3. Erin Preuss brings her marketing skills to her job with UCSD development
  4. Service and courage make Dick ‘Moon’ Mullen a community hero
  5. Cindy Greatrex leads the charge to make The Gem its own city

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Posted by Staff on May 1, 2013. Filed under 10 Questions, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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