Faces of Federation

An Interview with Founder and CEO of Fangirl Sports Network Tracy Sandler

The National Young Leadership Cabinet (NYLC) is the premier leadership and philanthropic program within the Jewish Federations of North America and throughout the Jewish world. Its nearly 300 members in the U.S. and Canada are deeply committed to shaping a bright future for Jewish people around the world. Over the course of the five-year program, participants from all different backgrounds and cities come together at leadership retreats and conferences. They meet spiritual and philanthropic leaders, find inspiration, and make meaningful connections that help them on their journey to becoming stronger, more effective leaders.

 We recently interviewed Tracy Sandler about her experience as a Los Angeles Chairperson for NYLC thus far.

What defines Jewish culture or tradition for you?

 I see Jewish culture and tradition as the memories created with my friends and family — Shabbat with my Nana and Papa, reading to my niece’s class when she was Shabbat Ema, Seder led by my Papa and now my Dad, and being in Israel with my Wexner class.

You know you’re from/live in L.A. when….

You count Acai as a food group and talk about the best crystal shops.

What inspired you to get involved in NYLC?

It’s important to me that Los Angeles has a robust Jewish community among people in their mid-20s and beyond. NYLC is an opportunity for young Jews to get involved not only in Federation, but also in the community as a whole and to do so with like-minded individuals. This is a big city, and it’s easy for someone who is new to L.A. to feel lost or not quite sure how to connect. NYLC can help with that.

Why is this Jewish community important? Why should others get involved?

Living in Los Angeles, it’s easy to forget that Jews make up a very small part of the population around the world. We, as a community, need to make sure that we are staying engaged and involved in a meaningful way.

What meaningful Jewish tradition or ritual do you practice and want to still be doing 10 years from now?

Shabbat and Seder are probably my most favorite traditions. I’d like to be better about hosting Shabbat and bringing people together for it.

Did you have a Bat Mitzvah? What did it look like?

I did! It was a beautiful evening that incorporated many of my interests. I remember that the centerpieces were beautifully arranged fruits and vegetables that were donated after the party.

The world could use a little more…

Patience, understanding, and sparkle.

What’s your favorite place in L.A., and why?

The Hollywood Bowl. It is such a beautiful setting and basically represents summer in L.A. to me.

Three things you always carry with you?

Lip gloss, phone (with pictures of my nieces, nephews, and dogs readily available), and a protein bar. L.A. traffic can lead to some hangry moments, and I like to avoid those.

Tracy Sandler is the Founder and CEO of Fangirl Sports Network (FGSN), a network of women providing fans with knowledgeable, passionate, and humorous insight into their favorite professional teams. Tracy began as 49ers Fangirl in 2015, bringing fans the latest news and behind-the-scenes action for her beloved San Francisco team. This led to her becoming a member of the 49ers’ press corps, where she reports live from the field and the locker room, attends press conferences, and covers community outreach events. 

 In just two short years, Tracy has expanded FGSN to cover all eight NFL teams across the AFC and NFC West and 15 NBA teams. Tracy is now at the helm of an incredible group of women who are making their voices and intellect heard through their weekly news updates, game commentary, and lifestyle tidbits. This fall, FGSN will have 32 NFL Fangirls covering the league and will launch a merchandising line.

 Tracy was a sportswriter during her collegiate years at The University of Michigan, and reignited that passion when she launched her blog, The Trials and Tribulations of My Love/Hate Relationship with the San Francisco 49ers, during the 2014 NFL season. After receiving an abundance of enthusiasm and positive feedback, Tracy decided to turn her passion into her career. 

 Tracy resides in Los Angeles, where she is the Los Angeles Chairperson for NYLC, sits on the board of Beauty Bus, is a member of the Milken Institute’s Young Leaders Circle, and is on the Brentwood School Alumni Steering Committee.

For more information about NYLC, email Alexi at ABiener@JewishLA.org or visit www.yaJewishLA.org/NYLC.