Ski team in high school in Weston, Conn. Crew at Union College in Schenectady. “I was never the best,” Robyn Polansky says. “I’m always a team player.”
Today, a New Yorker for a decade, Polansky works as a wealth management adviser at Bessemer Trust, and is a hands-on volunteer worker for several Jewish and civic causes, foremost among them Friends of the Israel Defense Force (FIDF), the New York-based organization that supports a wide variety of activities for Israeli soldiers.
A BBYO leader in high school who spent her gap year before college on a Young Judaea educational program in Israel and went with the March of the Living to Poland and Israel, she “got bit by the Israel bug again” after joining a FIDF mission to Israel in 2005. “What better way to support Israel than by supporting Israel’s soldiers?” she decided upon her return.
“I pestered [the organization] for months to get involved,” Polansky says. Convinced of her sincerity, FIDF put her to work. Planning events. Raising “countless dollars — with a team” of volunteers. Now she serves as secretary. “I worked my way up,” she says. Polansky has returned to Israel on two more FIDF missions, visiting soldiers on army bases and offering moral support.
She’s also a member of the Council of Young Jewish Presidents, and a volunteer for Dor Chadash, the Jewish Children’s Museum, Bottomless Closet (which gives disadvantaged women self-sufficiency skills) and WITH (Women in Transition Helping and Healing, which helps women who suffered a loss on 9/11).
“First and foremost, I’m Aunt Robyn” to a niece and two nephews in Hoboken, she says.
Polansky has not participated in organized team sports activities since leaving college.
Does she miss that?
No, she says. “I get that from my Jewish community work. Helping people, that’s what I love to do.”
Overseas studies: Polansky spent a college year abroad, living with a family in Osaka, Japan, as a junior … Runner: A dedicated jogger, she competed in the 2007 New York City Marathon, finishing in 5:34 and helping Team Continuum raise $5,000 for families of cancer patients.