ELEM Youth Ambassador Emily Huang created this fund to honor her best friend, Isabella Saeedy, who passed away after a long battle with cancer.

The memorial started with $4000 from “Emily’s Campaign,” which she generated from her $500 Jewish Lives Unessay contest prize and donation match from the Leon D. Black Foundation. The campaign converted to Isabella’s Memorial Fund after Isabella passed away on 7/12/2022.

Along with the Youth Ambassadors Team, Emily hopes to create a permanent place for Isabella in a community she deeply cares about and help raise money for youth in Israel in a broader community.

As we celebrate ELEM’s 40th anniversary, we are humbled that Isabella Saeedy's family and friends chose to honor her memory by supporting our life-saving work.

Anyone lucky enough to have met Isabella could instantly tell that she was enthusiastic, caring, genuine, and at times chaotic. She made friends easily and often, sharing her passion for music, film, surfing, science, nature, and anything else that caught her attention. To know Isabella was to laugh with her, to learn with her, and to occasionally get into spontaneous conversations about the “true” meaning of life. The only thing greater than the sorrow we feel in her absence is the gratitude we feel for the memories and experiences Isabella helped us create. 

Isabella was only 17 years old when she passed away, but her mindset was far beyond her years. Without warning, cancer forced its way into Isabella’s life in fifth grade. But while it stayed for several years, Isabella never gave it power. In fact, she approached obstacles in her life with adaptability, open-mindedness, and optimism. When surgery impaired her right hand, and the doctors told her she would never be able to surf again, Isabella had other plans in mind. Instead, she adapted, learning how to surf with only one hand. Junior year, she joined the swim team and unsurprisingly became one of the fastest beginner swimmers. 

Isabella was an advocate for social justice. She created an illustrated story about domestic violence to raise awareness of the various forms that domestic abuse can come in. While many others facing the same circumstances would crumble from its challenges, Isabella found power through uplifting others with empathy. She found power in positivity, spreading her energy and affection in her high school community as a student leader and committed scientist ready to uncover the cure for cancer. She found power in her passions, discovering parts of her identity that, together, revealed her “true” meaning of life.

We hope to commemorate Isabella’s legacy as a devoted and caring member of her own community in this memorial fund, which will help support communities of other young people in Israel. Her everlasting smile, love, and spirit will always be with us in our hearts, and her impact forever honored in this memorial.

Funds raised through the memorial fund:

2023 – TBA

2022 – $11,795