Values Added

Georgette Kennebrae

Associate Financial Advisor
What do you love doing outside of work?

I find joy and peace in, and on, the water. I lived in Saudi Arabia for a number of years as a child. It’s scorching hot there, and swimming was one of the few activities one could do to cool off. So, I swam competitively and did a lot of scuba diving. I’ve retained that love of water my entire life and recently fell in love with sailing. It is delightful and liberating to harness the wind to get from point A to point B, without harming the environment, taking in the gorgeous vistas in our world, and gaining new skills.

I love to travel, and am passionate about learning new languages, dances, and board games specific to the local culture and region. The games, dance steps, and memories become the souvenirs that I bring home with me.

I also cherish talking to my three adult children and planning a rendez-vous with them wherever I may be in the world.

Why did you decide to become a financial advisor?

I love journeying with people, standing beside them as they move through the joys and challenges in life. The reality of money is a constant companion as we move on our life paths, in subtle and profound ways. Money is a part of all of our lives but many of us are uncomfortable speaking about, grappling with, or utilizing it. This is true for individuals, romantic partnerships, multigenerational families, organizations, communities, and societies. Helping people better understand both their relationship to money, and providing tools to best use theirs mindfully in their lives, is what brought me to financial advising.

What’s one of your favorite things that you’ve helped a client or other person change in their life, financial, or otherwise?

One of my favorite quotes is: “We have two lives; the second begins when we realize we only have one.” – Confucius

While we may not know what life after death holds, what we do know is that this is the one life we have now. That understanding is a core awareness I hold dearly. It allows me to make courageous choices that I might not otherwise feel able to make, particularly in light of research that so clearly affirms most people don’t regret the things they do, rather the things they don’t do.

This awareness is foundational in both my rabbinic and my finance work. I love encouraging people who feel stuck or uncertain to think creatively – understanding they have been given this gift of a life. I’ve had quite an adventurous life and it doesn’t always look conventional. This often opens the door to beautiful conversations in which people are able to articulate that little dream they’ve always had but were afraid to share and pursue. They often just need that little extra support – both the caring emotional support and the financial awareness that they do have the ability to embrace that lifelong dream and take that first step toward it. Two people have now immigrated to countries which have pulled on their heartstrings and souls because they realize that the life they longed for was in reach, they just had to let go of fear and rethink the role and use of finances. Receiving photos of them from beautiful new places is a snapshot into a life well lived. This growing awareness, courage, and implementation of their dreams is one of my favorite aspects of my work.

What experiences do you bring to your work with clients?

Financial planning is personal and its impact is far-reaching: individually, locally, and globally.
Therefore, I think about financial advising and planning as legacy work: what is the impact we want to make and the legacy we want to create? By understanding and articulating that vision for our lives, we are able to then create a path forward. Listening deeply to the words people are speaking, and the words they are not saying, is vital. My ability to listen, and my years of experience sitting with people at all stages of their lives, both in times of health and life threatening illness, allow me to support people as they think through and carve out their sense of legacy making. For one dear friend, it was thinking through the continued impact she could make with her young child after being diagnosed with terminal cancer at age 30. While her life was short, she made it meaningful. For a colleague, it was devoting her retirement years to helping expand an end of life planning awareness program in her community. Through her tenacity and commitment, that program has expanded to multiple communities throughout her city, helping people think through their own sense of legacy making. Once one has a vision, the finances can be worked out to create both the life they want to lead and the impact they want to have – in life and beyond.

How do you love making a difference in your community?

Wherever I go, I am passionate about co-creating healthier, more vibrant, and just environments through social activism, pastoral care, and increased educational awareness. In my work, and with my presence, I help encourage people to see and embrace a fuller diversity of communities. Whether raising awareness and inclusion of Jews of Color in the United States and abroad, advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ people, teaching financial literacy workshops to people who have never had the chance to learn, or facilitating life cycle events, such as weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs for people, I love carving out places at the table for anyone who wants to feast there.

BA in History – University of Oklahoma Joint MA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Women and Gender Studies – Brandeis University Master of Hebrew Letters and Title of Rabbi – Reconstructionist Rabbinical College