CELEBRATING THE LION PIN
CELEBRATING THE LION PIN
NATIONAL WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY
Our Vision Inspired and guided by our tradition of tzedakah (righteousness/charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), the National Womenâ€™s Philanthropy of The Jewish Federations of North America is dedicated to the continuity, connectivity and thriving future of our North American communities, Israel and the Jewish People. The National Womenâ€™s Philanthropy Board is dedicated to ensuring that women who assume positions of responsibility in their communities have the knowledge and confidence to lead, are appropriately trained and have been given the tools to hone their individual abilities and maximize their potential for success. We exist to serve the goals and mission of the Federation movement and to strengthen the influence of women as philanthropists and decision-makers. We seek to provide significant opportunities for all women to affirm their Jewish identity and spirituality, to be proactive in evolving issues of concern to contemporary Jewish women, to engage new cadres of participants and leaders in our communities and to inspire other Jewish women by our example. We believe that the future of the Jewish community depends upon the strength of these endeavors, and we pledge ourselves to the fulfillment of this vision.
LION JUDAH OF
NATIONAL WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY SUMMER 2013
4 FROM THE CHAIR by Ann Pava 6 FROM THE IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR by Gail Norry 7 FROM THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN CHAIR by Linda A. Hurwitz 8 FROM THE PAST NATIONAL CAMPAIGN CHAIR by Susan Stern 9 FROM THE LION OF JUDAH MAGAZINE CHAIR by Patti Neumann
NATIONAL WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY Ann Pava Chair
10 Three illustrious lions make their mark Arlene Kaufman, Judy Silverman and Miriam Efroymson are driven by vision and conviction.
13 LOJE HONOR ROLL
Gail Norry Immediate Past Chair Patti Neumann Chair, Lion of Judah Magazine Kim Fish Managing Director, Philanthropic Resources Alison Margulies Garber Associate Director, National Women’s Philanthropy Stacy Walter Katz Associate Director, Philanthropic Resources Elizabeth Mondragon-Groff Administrative Assistant Cynthia Mann Editor Claire Levy Designer
Produced by the Jewish Federations of North America Strategic Marketing & Communications Department in cooperation with National Women’s Philanthropy
14 WHEN VALOR RUNS IN THE FAMILY Three women are recognized for their leadership at the same time in different places—and they explain how their common family values have played a role. 16 WEARING IT WITH PRIDE The Lion Pin is a powerful symbol of caring and a personal statement. 20 INTERNATIONAL LION OF JUDAH CONFERENCE: in the spotlight... 24 ON THE NATIONAL SCENE: JFNA INITIATIVES 26 FROM DENS across north america... HEAR OUR LIONS ROAR! 51 THE LAST WORD by Kimberlee Fish
On Women, Philanthropy and a Lost Lion it is a pleasure to write my first column for the Lion of Judah magazine but I confess that I do so in a state of panic. I have lost my Lion pin. I wore this pin on a chain with a good clasp nearly every day since becoming a Lion 15 years ago, and I placed it in the same spot every night when I took it off. Since losing the pin two months ago, I have begun every day with the same ritual: I check my jewelry box, my drawers, my sweaters and scarves, my pocketbooks and make-up case. I also check under the bed and under the dresser, willing it to miraculously appear. Curiously, I’ve not yet been able to bring myself to purchase a new one. Of course, it is replaceable, so I have had to ask myself why not just order another? It is because we have a history, my pin and I. When my husband asked me what I would like for my 40th birthday, I quickly replied, “I’d like to become a Lion.” He didn’t say anything at first because, unlike any other gift I could have asked for, becoming a Lion of Judah is not a one-time gift. It is an annual $5,000 commitment to my Jewish Federation. At that time we had three children under the age of 9. We were facing what seemed like a lifetime of day school and college tuitions. And yet, we took the plunge and I got my beautiful pin. Having made such a significant investment, I threw myself into Jewish Federation work. Every day I learned more about our work and was constantly inspired. In September 2001, I traveled to Israel on a solidarity mission with 500 American Jews. Israel was in the throes of the second Intifada and we went to show our support. While we were there, however, the unthinkable happened back home—9/11. From the moment the heinous attacks began, it seemed that the entire state of Israel spun into action to offer us love and support. It was then that I understood that our work with Federation wasn’t just about what “we do” for Israel. It was about what we, as Jews, do for each other. We are family. I was so moved by this experience, I became a Ruby Lion and I think of this relationship every time I look at the red stone. I was president of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts when the second Lebanon War broke out. Although our executive and campaign directors were in Israel on a JFNA mission, our Federation staff and lay leadership pulled together an emergency meeting within two days. And, within one hour of that meeting, our little Jewish community
(with a $1.7 million Annual Campaign at the time) raised an unprecedented $1 million to aid our Israeli brethren. So touched was I by the generosity and swift action of our entire community, I became a Sapphire Lion of Judah.
‘Each stone reflects a special moment in my life and tells a piece of my Jewish story.’
In 2007, I had the honor of being appointed to the National Women’s Philanthropy Board. That same year, my daughter Devorah celebrated her Bat Mitzvah. As I listened to her chant her Haftorah and deliver her D’var Torah, I silently thanked our community for providing my children with a wonderful Jewish day school. The confident, proud and knowledgeable young Jewish woman before me was not only a product of her family, but also of her school, her community and her people. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude, I became an Emerald Lion.
I now understand that from the minute I put on my Lion pin, my life was never the same. Each stone reflects a special moment in my life and tells a piece of my Jewish story. That is why I haven’t been able to bear to admit my pin was gone for good. I didn’t know that losing my pin would take me on this spiritual journey. But it has. I have ordered a new pin that is due to arrive just as I take on my new role as chair of National Women’s Philanthropy. I’m looking forward to the new experiences that await me (and my new pin). I don’t advocate that anyone actually lose her pin, but I would suggest that you pretend it is gone, just for a moment. Think about your Jewish journey since becoming a Lion. I know you will be amazed at where you began and where you are today. Enjoy the journey. I thank you all for your generosity and partnership. I look forward to traveling with you for the next two years.
FROM THE IMMEDIATE
for me, the lion of judah pin has always been a symbol of dor l’dor, generation to generation. I remember when my mother, Joan Shuster, became a Lion on her first mission to Israel. I think that was when I began to aspire to become a Lion myself. Seeing her proudly wear her pin motivated me to be a generous donor in my own right. It was the power of feeling connected to a community, knowing that women who wear this pin make a tremendous difference in helping Jews all over the world. My mother-in-law, Sharon Norry, was the first Lion of Judah in Rochester, N.Y. Sharon was always a trailblazer. She inspired many others to follow her lead. I remember attending a Lion lunch at her home in Rochester when I was visiting with my now 23-year-old daughter, Dahlia, who was only a baby at the time. I recall thinking that I not only wanted to become a Lion, but I wanted to inspire my daughter to become one as well. It became very clear to me that wearing that pin wasn’t just about joining a sisterhood, but it was about taking responsibility for the future of the Jewish people. If we don’t support the Jewish community in a meaningful way, our children will not have a strong Jewish world in which to raise their children. Just as my mother taught me about ahavat Yisrael, love for Israel, I, too, needed to pass that value on to my children. I think the most amazing part of being a Lion is learning about the impact we have on other people’s lives. I first met Hadas when she shared her story during the 2008 International Lion of Judah Conference in Israel. She told us how her family walked across the Sudan in order to be airlifted to Israel during Operation Solomon when she was only 8 years old. They faced many challenges acculturating into Israeli society, but Hadas ultimately became the first Ethiopian woman doctor. I recently saw her when I was in Israel on the Heart to Heart mission. Today, she is the proud mother of two beautiful sabras and serves as a physician in the Israeli Air Force. To me, that is what my Lion pin symbolizes: the next generation. We lost my mother-in-law when she was far too young. Fortunately, however, she had endowed her pin, so her community continues to reap the benefits of her generosity. Today, I am blessed to wear her pin; every time I put it on, I am reminded of the impact she made. It also means I now own two pins, one to pass on to each of my daughters.
FROM THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN
when accepting a new leadership role, I always run right out and purchase a new notebook. I fill the first few pages with goals, ways to accomplish these goals, quotes, new and promising initiatives, and worthwhile programs to continue and possibly tweak. Additionally, my first order of business is calling and meeting with mentors, past and present professionals and lay leadership involved in this position, and my “bosses.” I take notes on their words of wisdom for future reference. On the first page of the black spiral notebook that will accompany me throughout my term as JFNA National Campaign chair, I have written questions for myself that would serve any campaign chair and anyone else honored to acquire a leadership portfolio: What can we be? Or more specifically, what can we do for our community? What are my goals, objectives and measurable outcomes? Whom am I targeting to bring into the fold? What are my strategic plans? What are my priorities, proactive processes and performed products? What will be different because I took this role? How will my community remember me?
As I take on the privilege of serving our people as the JFNA’s next National Campaign chair, I will proudly wear my endowed Lion of Judah pin every day. I will use the lessons learned and the strides made as a member of National Women’s Philanthropy as the springboard for diving into this role with purpose, passion and clear goals. NWP used careful planning, measurable goals and purposeful results to implement our Heart to Heart Missions to Israel, our talented T.E.C.H. Team, and our growing International Lion of Judah Conference, just to name a few. In the same way, I hope to attract and engage targeted groups to increase strategically their investment in our Federations. My personal goals will sound familiar to all Lions: to educate, motivate and communicate the power and passion of the collective; to implement the right process and product through the right people; to raise close to $1 billion over the next two years, and to increase the donor base by 15 percent. Having the chance to assume a critical leadership role is a gift, an honor and also a responsibility. Once you commit to serve the Jewish people through your leadership, you must make an impact on our collective journey, be instrumental in our future and transform many lives, including your own. Make the most of your obligation, which comes with limitless opportunities, rewards and mitzvahs. I am so proud to be the new National Campaign chair of JFNA, as I have been proud to take on each leadership role I have been honored to hold. And as in the past, my Lion of Judah pin affixed above my heart will be my permanent reminder of our collective devotion, determination and destiny.
Linda A. Hurwitz
FROM The PAST National Campaign
serving as the national campaign chair for JFNA has afforded me a view of Jewish life around the world. I have met Jewish leaders across North America and visited recipients of our services in every corner of the globe, from people we feed in five-story walkups to thousands of young Birthright participants visiting Israel for the very first time. I have comforted victims of the bombardments from Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense and witnessed my local Federation responding to the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Sandy. I have had the honor of meeting presidents, prime ministers and even the Pope. It has been a full and rewarding experience, enhanced by the knowledge that wherever I have gone, the sisterhood of the Lions of Judah was there, leading the way and sustaining Jewish life around the world. Nowhere is the power of this network more evident than when we gather at the International Lion of Judah Conference. In the fall of 1992, several of us decided to create a conference for and about Lions of Judah. In truth, we didn’t know if anyone would show up—but 1,100 women did. Looking out at last September’s ILOJC, at the 1,700 women who would pledge $27 million, was a profound reminder of the power of this gathering and all that Lions do to make the world a more caring place. One of my great joys has been sharing the Lion conference with my mother, Carrol Kahn, a Lion in Sarasota and Lansing. Although my mother was not able to join me last September, my daughter-in-law, Janna Stern, was. While I have had the joy of placing Lion pins on dozens of women, placing my pin on my daughter-inlaw when she became a Lion will always be a special memory. I was powerfully reminded yet again of the blessing of this work last summer. As I began to address the National Young Leadership Cabinet, I was overcome with emotion when I looked out into the audience to see my son and daughter-in-law. With a giant lump in my throat, I said to the assembled young leaders, “One day I wish for each of you to have the joy of standing where I stand and seeing your own children in the audience.You can do nothing better for your parents (other than grandchildren) than to take the mantle of leadership of our community.” While the role of National Campaign chair requires plenty of work and lots of travelling, it is truly a labor of love. And if by doing this sacred work, we touch someone’s life, it is a true mitzvah. The knowledge that we have also shaped our own children’s lives by doing this work is the unexpected blessing. It means this work we love so much will be left in the most capable hands. For these blessings and for the privilege of serving, I thank all of you, my sisters.
FROM THE LION OF JUDAH MAGAZINE
the most exciting fruits of my involvement in Jewish philanthropy are the access to knowledge and travel it provides, and the privilege of working side by side with like-minded ladies, mentors and world leaders to help pass on our shared legacy to the next generation. I became a Lion and then learned the importance of endowing my Lion gift for future generations. I got my mother involved and watched her rise toward leadership. All of these were big stepping stones in my own growth. Along the way, I have cultivated true friendships with intelligent, wellrounded, charitable women and this has been an honor. Our Federation Lions are like no other: we tackle issues and follow through for those in need worldwide. An especially memorable event in my philanthropic journey was the opportunity to interview one of the founders of the Lion of Judah pin, Norma Kipnis-Wilson. The Lion of Judah is perhaps the most successful development vehicle of all time. It is a symbol of the strength of today’s Jewish woman, a symbol of her caring about the organized Jewish world and a symbol of a significant financial commitment.
Norma Kipnis-Wilson, who founded the Lion of Judah concept in 1972 along with Toby Friedland, z”l, had foresight and perseverance at a time when getting a woman’s gift, so integral in today’s Federation fundraising world, was not an easy task. She had to fight her male counterparts to get noticed, not to mention to win the go-ahead to develop a woman’s gift.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Norma. I asked her what her campaign goal was at the beginning, and she said she had envisioned a million-dollar campaign. “But the big mystery,” she said, “was how to get there.” You can find out how she solved the mystery, and read more of my interview with Norma, on page 19. A highlight for everyone at the ILOJC in September 2012 was the presence of Norma herself. She looked fabulous as she commanded the stage at the closing plenary to pay tribute to the KWF honorees and celebrate the Lion of Judah’s 40th anniversary with all 1,700 Lions in attendance. Norma inspired all of us when she said, “Women who break with custom and advance bold new ideas are the individuals who change our roles in society. Women who challenge the conventions of gender are the ones who propel our empowerment.” Like so many Lions, I feel a deep connection to this woman of vision and commitment and feel privileged to call her a friend.
Three illustrious lions
Make Their Mark by
ARLENE KAUFMAN: INSPIRED BY PASSION FOR THE JEWISH FUTURE arlene kaufman remembers when her mother, Bertha, found the perfect dress to wear to Arlene’s wedding in 1963. Even though she could afford the $350 it cost, she initially balked, Arlene recalls. “Fashion was not important to my mother. She was uncomfortable spending money on a dress when she could have spent it on charity.” Being Jewish and giving to Jewish causes, especially the United Jewish Appeal and Israel Bonds, were the family’s top priorities. It was in the very air Arlene breathed growing up in her home in Washington, D.C. But she remembers when she, herself, got bitten by the bug. She was 17 and part of a special mission for Israel Bonds when the Jewish state was celebrating its Bat Mitzvah year. “When I stepped off the plane, something came over me that I’ve never forgotten. I felt like I was home.” Since then, Kaufman has held national and international leadership positions that have given her a chance to help shape the global Jewish story, from Soviet Jewry to Jewish continuity. She chaired the United Jewish Communities Israel and Overseas Pillar and served on the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel, a JFNA partner. She is currently on the executive board of the Federation of Palm Beach County, where she has served as president, and is the international cochair of Masa, a program that aims to inspire and transform young Jews by enabling them to spend six months to a year in Israel. For Arlene, the Jewish future is a passion. “Arlene believes that Israel is an essential component of Jewish identity,” says Vicki Agron, who has worked with Arlene for more than 30 years in her role as a development professional at UJA and UJC and beyond. “Arlene has taken personal and philanthropic responsibility for giving as many young people as possible the opportunity to experience Israel and develop their own relationship with all that Israel offers,” says Agron, who says she “adores” Arlene. 10 www.JewishFederations.org/nwp
Though her mother and father taught her tzedakah, Arlene credits another woman with being her role model for Jewish leadership.Vivian Rabinow was the professional head of the women’s division of Washington’s Federation, and it was she who spotted the promise and the passion in young Arlene. They traveled together in the mid-‘70s on a women’s mission to Bucharest, Kiev and Israel. Arlene remembers the drama and satisfaction of bringing Jewish ritual objects into Kiev, in spite of the oppressive presence of the KGB, to Soviet Jews who were starved for Yiddishkeit, which was largely forbidden. Equally powerful, though, was the memory of landing in Israel and being inspired by watching an American Jewish woman dedicate a day care center she had funded. “Vivian held my hand and told me, ‘you can do anything you want,’” Arlene remembers. “She became my mentor and showed me the way. I’d always been so proud to be Jewish. But, because of Vivian, I discovered I was a leader and I could make a difference.” Arlene was the chair of the women’s division of Federation in 1981, around the time that the Lion of Judah went national. But she soon relocated to Tennessee and moved into international campaign circles, getting involved with both the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Most memorably, under the leadership of Marvin Lender, she served on UJA’s Operation Exodus committee to free Soviet Jews, which began its
campaign in the late ‘80s. “Can you imagine what it was like to go there? It was the education of a lifetime!” she says. “It was overwhelming to think we were going to rescue a million Jews and secure the state of Israel. Because of the size of its population, Israel’s survival was iffy. The influx of Russians took the ‘if ’ off the table and guaranteed the future of the Jewish state!” Now Arlene chairs the Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship of JDC, on whose executive board she serves. This program awards $50,000 to a “thinker or doer” so he or she can live and work on individualized assignments in different locations and come away with a deep understanding of JDC’s work. Arlene, who was heavily involved in funding for Birthright programming, calls the 10-day Birthright experience “the appetizer” and the six-to-12-month Masa program, “the main course.” With Masa, she says, “You have a Jew for the rest of his or her life.” Arlene is a true believer. She stands fervently behind the model of the Federation system as “the best way” to practice Jewish philanthropy. “The experts vet all the needs of the community and come up with a formula to target the most pressing ones. There is no better way.” Her advice for other women aspiring to make their mark in philanthropy is to identify their passion, find an organization “that fits you” and work hard. The formula certainly has worked for her.
b Judy Silverman: Answering a Call to Action
judy silverman downplays any recognition she may draw for her philanthropic work, because she believes that her story of Jewish inspiration and involvement is not especially unique. Each Lion, she says, has a “defining moment” that determines her course. The “spark” that ignited Judy’s passion came in the winter of 1975 in Jacksonville, when she was pregnant with her younger son, Ari, who is now 38. She went to a Federation Women’s Division luncheon and heard a woman from the JDC Paris office. During her speaking tour, the Lebanon civil war had sent Jews fleeing Lebanon for Paris. The woman shared her struggle over whether to go back to Paris to help with the crisis or to continue her speaking tour to raise money for the work of JDC. “Listening to her made everything so tangible and immediate that I knew it was my responsibility to get involved,” said Judy. “I saw that the work wasn’t just about institutions. It was about human lives. It was real and it was urgent.” By 1977, she and her sister, Linda Gard, were co-chairing their Women’s Division Campaign in Jacksonville and she was still in her 20s. In 1986, Judy also became one of the first Lions in Jacksonville and was one of the first Lions there to endow her gift. Her life since has been about real and urgent work in and for the Jewish community and the privilege of seeing it firsthand www.JewishFederations.org/nwp 11
through the missions she has led or joined. In addition to her leadership with the Women’s Division in Jacksonville, she served on the board of her local Federation for many years and, with her husband Steve, who is currently the JFNA treasurer, chaired the General Assembly in 2010 and 2011. The executive director of Jacksonville’s Federation, Alan Margolies, sings Judy’s praises, though he emphasizes her work in partnership with her husband when he refers to her impact on the community. “I have been blessed by their support for Federation and their leadership role in the community,” he says. He credits the couple with giving Jacksonville national exposure through their chairmanship of two GAs, noting that the delegation from Jacksonville to New Orleans in 2010 numbered nearly 40 people who were inspired by the Silvermans to attend.
Miriam Efroymson Epitomizes Tzedakah miriam efroymson, a 2004 recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/ Friedland Award, “epitomizes tzedakah” in her community of Albuquerque, according to Sam Sokolove, executive director of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico. “She is not only a philanthropic pillar in our community, but her presence is felt in nearly all our institutions.” Indeed, Mimi’s resume of Jewish communal service reads like a Jewish directory. She has served on the boards of the Federation (from the ‘80s through today), the Jewish Community Center, Hadassah, the Jewish Community Endowment Foundation of New Mexico and the Solomon Schechter Day School of Albuquerque. Mimi is clearly driven and she is transparent about it. “I want a certain type of world for my grandchildren, so I have to work at it,” she says. She believes not just in teaching Jewish values but in teaching them by example, she says, and judging by her progeny, her formula works. Her son, Robert, has been president of the New Mexico Federation and now runs the New Mexico-Israel Business Exchange, which he started last year. His own son, Gus, is in Israel and set to join the Israel Defense Forces. Mimi is one of three sisters, each of whom has a grandchild living in Israel, notes son Robert. He says it reflects the family commitment to Jewish culture and heritage, exemplified by Mimi’s father, who taught his family Hebrew. As for Mimi’s daughter, Debra, she seems to have followed in her mother’s humanitarian footsteps; she is living in Sri Lanka for two years working on public health and sustainability. Robert says his mother was a role model. One of his clearest memories is of going to Super Sunday at Federation when he was 12. “It was just taken for granted that this was something we did,” he says. Summing up what Mimi taught him, he says, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
This past winter, Judy hosted 40 Lions in her home for lunch and a talk by the daughter of Irene Gud Opdike, z”l, a Righteous Gentile whose story Judy recounts with wonder and passion. As a young woman in Poland, Opdike risked her life to save Jews from the concentration camps and her daughter, Jeannie Smith, keeps her story of courage and heroism alive by continuing to share it. Gud Opdike’s life “was a perfect example of what one person can do and it resonated for the rest of us,” Judy says. “There is a ripple effect from one person’s actions.” In the face of the daunting global challenges and needs, Judy says she gains comfort from “being among such committed and passionate women” and knowing that “we have the ability to tackle the problems.”
Indeed, when asked about her strengths, Mimi talks about her willingness to solicit contributions. “I like to call people,” she says. When she speaks, it makes perfect sense that she is at ease inviting others to join her in practicing the convictions that are at her core. For Mimi, being a Lion is “special” for the community it offers. “A lot of people think I’m crazy because of the way I give,” she reflects. “But the Lions have shared values. It means being part of a sisterhood with people who understand where you’re coming from. When you’re on a mission to Israel with other Lions, you don’t have to explain your commitment.” Mimi’s message to other women is straightforward: “Create the world you want and be willing to work hard at it.”
To All the Women Who Have Created a Lion of Judah Endowment YOU HAVE OUTGROWN OUR PAGES! It’s true. Because so many of you have decided to leave a Jewish legacy for generations to come, there are now too many LOJEs to ﬁt in the Lion of Judah magazine. To remedy the “problem,” we have created a place on our website, where we can record and continually update the ever-expanding ranks of endowed Lions. Look for this web feature at www.jewishfederations.org/nwp And thank you for joining a cadre of exceptional women philanthropists whose acts of kindness and tzedakah will continue to make the world a better place.
Runs IN THE
The “dynamic triumvirate” of (L. to R.) Terri Bignell, Jane Roodman Weiss and Edie Roodman.
they live in three far-flung american cities.Yet sisters Edie Roodman and Jane Roodman Weiss, along with their second cousin, Terri Bignell, share the common bonds of family, profound commitment to their roles as Lions of Judah, and recognition for that commitment.
In what this dynamic triumvirate describes as an uncanny coincidence, each woman was a 2012 recipient of the KipnisWilson/Friedland Award, all chosen for their enduring impact as “women of valor” in their respective Jewish communities. Edie is a veteran Federation executive in her adoptive home
of Oklahoma City, while Jane is a lay leader in her family’s native St. Louis. Terri, meanwhile, has served as a Federation professional and now is a lay leader in San Diego. “It’s a beautiful coincidence, really, that we are all so involved,” explains Edie, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City. But what is most interesting, she notes, is that they took such different routes to reach their common destination.
Jane Roodman Weiss “For me, it began with a desire to give back,” says Jane, a veteran oncology nurse who transitioned into her current role as executive director of St. Louis-based Gateway of Hope, a non-profit that provides free breast cancer care. While her job allows Jane to practice tikkun olam daily, she has been just as committed to the volunteer roles she has taken on for her local Federation since 1991. She traces the roots of her involvement to childhood when, during a tumultuous period in her parents’ lives, her family received support from the Federation-funded Jewish Family and Children’s Services of St. Louis. “I tell the story all the time of how we were personally touched by the generosity of Federation and how, when I was in a place in my life where I could give back, I felt compelled to do that,” she says. Her early involvement in Federation’s Women’s Division had fringe benefits: “It became my Jewish education,” Jane explains, deepening her commitment to community, faith and Israel. “I finally understood what it meant to be a Jew,” she says, adding that her involvement led to her call to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at 40. Along the way, as she took on roles that included Lion of Judah campaign chair, she was particularly inspired by the mentorship of other women leaders. “Today, when younger women tell me I’m their mentor, I realize I had that experience of looking up to other women, too. But still, I am so humbled at the idea that anyone would think of me that way.”
Terri Bignell Terri’s personal metamorphosis began when she became a professional—the Associate Women’s Division director—at the Jewish Federation of Greater San Diego in 1986. “If I had taken a job anywhere else, this might not have happened quite this way,” says Terri, who was born in St. Louis, but moved to California as a young girl. Although she, like her cousins, was touched by the early commitment of her grandparents to Israel, her Federation work was pivotal. “I became so educated about the needs of the local, national and global Jewish world. When you realize you are a minority—and are passionate about that— you realize you must be part of the impetus for change and growth.” When she retired and became a lay leader, she soon was just as engaged. “Having the two perspectives, I think, has enhanced my ability to make a contribution and has given me a great deal of insight that I can share,” she offers. Beyond guiding a community, she’s also been inspired and motivated by the legacy that leadership can have within the
context of family. “I see the growing interest of my own daughter, Leah, and with my cousins Edie and Jane. What’s exciting is that we are all engaged in ways that have their own wonderful uniqueness. It shows you leadership can manifest itself in many different ways.”
Edie Roodman When she was 21, Edie received a Federation stipend to experience kibbutz life in Israel. She met her future husband at her first Shabbat dinner there.Yet the experience was transformative in other ways. “It was rare, then, for a girl my age to go to Israel, but it made me completely committed. I often say the Federation made a great investment with that stipend.” Edie’s Jewish community of 2,300 families makes up just a small fraction of Oklahoma City’s million residents. This means she must rely on her skills as an ambassador for all of the
I ‘ t’s a beautiful coincidence, really, that we are all so involved’ outreach she does. “To accomplish our many goals here, we must have strong partners,” Edie explains of the more than 150 community organizations with which she’s forged relationships. “And it’s given me an opportunity to shine a light on the good works Federations can do.” She is proud to have played a role in bringing four of Oklahoma’s governors to Israel. Edie found herself unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight in May when the first of the deadly tornadoes struck the Oklahoma City area and she found herself having to manage a deluge of inquiries, outreach and relief efforts. “It’s what keeps you going when you see such devastation around you,” she said. Noting that the Jewish community was spared serious harm, she said the help offered by the community, nonetheless, was overwhelming. “We rise up and help because it’s the right thing to do,” she said. “It’s the Jewish sense of responsibility. That is the driving force for me.” Within her Federation, she particularly relishes cultivating “reluctant leaders.” She explains. “You will sometimes work with people who don’t see themselves in that role, and I love to see what happens when you tell that person, ‘I’m here and I’ll have your back.’ It’s incredible what someone can accomplish just knowing they have your support.” Jane and Edie say they speak almost daily about the experiences that relate to their Federation work and philanthropic endeavors. They don’t see Terri often, but when they do, it is often at a Lion of Judah conference. “It’s amazing to me how we all started on this path differently, but ended up in the same place,” says Jane.
WEARING IT WITH Pride:
Lion Pin The
Baruch atah adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam, oter yisrael b’tifarah. “Praised are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who crowns Israel with glory.” —from the daily morning service
when a woman who is part of New Jersey’s Greater MetroWest Federation community makes the commitment to become a Lion of Judah, she often receives her symbolic 14-karat gold Lion pin in a private, poignant ceremony. This simple bracha, or prayer, is invoked, along with the traditional Shehecheyanu blessing, in which we thank God for enabling us to celebrate special occasions.
Bestowing these blessings is a tradition initiated by Leslie Dannin Rosenthal, a Lion for 12 years now, and the current chair of the Annual Campaign of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. She read about the ritual years ago and was inspired to adopt it for her community. “The Lion pin is a beautiful piece of jewelry, but to me it is so much more than a necklace, or watch or ring. It’s a symbol,” Leslie explains of the significance of the pin ceremony, which often takes place at an intimate lunch or breakfast. The emphasis is not on calling attention to the pin as a piece of jewelry, but on celebrating its meaning. “How women approach wearing the pin is very personal, and how they choose to wear it is a uniquely personal statement,” Leslie explains. “But when they do wear it, we want them to feel special because it signifies a very important commitment.” Leslie has made a personal tradition of reciting the same bracha every time she puts on her own Lion pin. “It reminds me of why I wear it,” she explains. As fine jewelry goes, the Lion of Judah pin may be the ultimate statement piece. It was conceived by Lion of Judah founders Norma Kipnis-Wilson and Toby Friedland, z”l, as a symbol of a commitment of $5,000 or more to Jewish Women’s Philanthropy. The pin is often described by its wearers as a “conversation piece” for its design featuring a distinctive gold Lion and sparkling gemstone accents signifying varying levels
of contributions. But typically the design is not what compels so many women to make the pin a proud and prominent accessory. “We all have different reasons and motivations for wearing the pin,” says Gail Norry, immediate past chair of National Women’s Philanthropy. “I’ve traveled all over the country and the world and I find wherever I go, wearing it makes people curious. It gets conversations started.” Gail often wears the Lion of Judah pin she inherited from her beloved mother-in-law, Sharon Norry, z”l, fastened to interesting chains her children have given her as gifts. (She deliberately loosened the loop on the back of her pin so it can easily hook on various chains in her jewelry box.) Her practice of pairing such sentimental chains with her philanthropic heirloom represents, for her, the Jewish legacy of her family. Still, what she celebrates most about her pin is how it engages others. The compliments of admirers “become an opportunity to discuss your commitment to the Federation and what it symbolizes,” Gail explains. “It is a chance to talk about your values and your desire to perpetuate the Jewish people for generations to come.” More than 30 years after its inception, the Lion of Judah pin is entering a new era. Its longtime craftsman recently retired and a new jeweler will take on the important task of creating the pin now held by 17,500 women around the globe. As Lion of Judah magazine reflects on the pin’s enduring significance as a symbol of philanthropy, Jewish generosity and tikkun olum (repairing the world), we collected several anecdotes from women on the experience of being pin holders. Here are a few stories that reflect on their experiences of wearing their Lion pins proudly and well.
“It inspires a meaningful conversation.” “An extraordinary sorority” “Some women are not comfortable wearing their pins and I respect that, but I do choose to wear mine,” explains Jane. “I wear it on a choker or long chain, different ways, and proudly. I feel like it inspires people and if they ask about it, it gives me a chance to have a really meaningful conversation about what it signifies. I often say if it inspires one person to become a Lion because I’ve chosen to wear it, it is worth it.”
- Jane Roodman Weiss, Jewish Federation of St. Louis
“I’m glad I sacrificed to do it.” “Becoming a Lion was a very special moment in my life and I am glad I sacrificed to do it,” says Miryam who, as a young, single professional living in Detroit, made a considered choice to cut out some significant household luxuries in order to attain Lion status. Inspired by Lions in the Federation’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, Miryam was completely committed to making the effort. Once she made her Lion-level gift last year, though, there was no surplus left in her personal budget to invest in a pin. One day, she received a package at her office. It contained a red box holding a Lion pin and a note from Jane Sherman, a well-known Detroitarea Lion and philanthropist. Jane wrote to Miryam: “Here’s my pin, until you get your own.” Because of the precious nature of the gift, Miryam is reluctant to actually wear the pin, but she is honored to hold it for safekeeping. “I’m just the caretaker,” explains Miryam, “but I love looking at the pin in the red box.”
- Miryam Rosenzweig, NEXTGen Director, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
“A symbol of strength and solidarity” In July 2006, Iris was in the audience on a UJC Solidarity Mission to Israel as Karnit Goldwasser, the widow of Israeli soldier Ehud “Udi” Goldwasser, made an emotional surprise visit to brief the delegation. At the time, Karnit’s husband had recently been reported missing at what was the outset of the Second Lebanon War and his wife had no certainty of his fate. (Udi’s body would be returned to Israel during a 2008 Israel-Hezbollah prisoner exchange.) Iris was touched by the woman she found “so courageous and tough” yet so emotional and weary. When the briefing ended, Iris approached Karnit to tell her how moved she was by her strength. As she offered her support, Karnit “touched my Lion of Judah necklace, commented on its loveliness, and wanted to know why so many women in the audience were wearing the same necklace. Without even thinking, I unclasped my necklace, put it around Karnit’s neck, and told her that she was now one of us, part of a group of women who were all behind her and standing with her in her struggle.” “At that moment, I discovered the real meaning of tikkun olam,” Iris reflects, adding, “Karnit proudly wore her Lion of Judah pin as a symbol of strength and solidarity, and perhaps also, as a reminder of how women simply and always reach beyond themselves to make the world a better place for others.”
- Iris Feinberg, Jewish Federation of Atlanta
“Someone who has since become a very dear friend solicited me years ago and said that if I became a Lion, she would buy me the pin,” Erika recalls. “I was touched by her commitment to the Lions and her desire to have me share in what has become, to me, an extraordinary sorority. Since then I have purchased pins for friends who have also become Lions. It’s such a special bond.” Erika makes a point of wearing her Lion to synagogue on High Holy Days and often encourages her sister Lions to do the same. “It is gratifying to see the pins and I feel special warmth because they are beautiful and represent generosity and connection,” says Erika. “And I love when someone asks about the pins around the room. It gives me an opportunity to explain what they represent and why more people should donate at that philanthropic level.”
- Erika Witover, UJA Federation of New York
“It’s like belonging to a special sisterhood.” “Whenever I’m out or traveling and I see someone wearing her Lion, we start to chat,” says Harriette Berger. “It’s like belonging to a special sisterhood. I know she must be a very special, kind and community-minded woman.” She considers her own pin “the most beautiful piece of jewelry I own.” So, “I’m happy that every year, I can buy it again!” As much as she cherishes her own pin, Harriette says she’s been just as touched by what it’s meant to her sister Lions, including a woman she befriended who faced unexpected widowhood after a recent move to Palm Beach. “Her husband passed away just before their new dream house was finished,” Harriette explains. “She was very depressed and had great difficulty adjusting to her changed lifestyle. She was happy to have my friendship and help.” After proudly becoming a Lion and being warmly embraced by her sister Lions in Palm Beach, this woman established a legacy (in her name and that of her late husband) in gratitude for Harriette’s kindness. “She was so proud to show me their names on the Federation building,” Harriette recalls. That benevolent Lion passed away a few months later, “but I know that being a Lion was very special to her.”
- Harriette Berger, Jewish Federation of Broward County
“It represents my commitment to Israel and to the Jewish people” Sheryl’s mother-in-law, Paula Kimerling, z”l, asked her to become a Lion in 1991. “Being a Lion was so very important to her and I was honored and touched that she asked me,” recalls Sheryl. “Over the years, I have worn my pin more than almost any other piece of jewelry. For me, it represents my commitment to Israel and to the Jewish people. When our twin daughters, Isabella and Victoria, celebrated their 21st birthday, my husband Jon and I made them Lions. I love being with Isabella and Victoria when we are all wearing our pins. I know how very happy it would make Paula to see that we have continued her legacy.”
- Sheryl Kimerling, Jewish Federation of Birmingham 18 www.JewishFederations.org/nwp
THE Inspiration of a
Patti Neumann’s Interview with Norma Kipnis-WIlson More than 40 years ago, Norma Kipnis-Wilson knew success in women’s philanthropy required something creative. She told Patti that the idea of a lion came to her in a dream, as a symbol of the strength of Judaism and the Jewish people.
Patti: In 1970, Norma, what was your Women’s Campaign goal?
Norma: I was thinking in terms of a minimum milliondollar campaign. But the big mystery was how to get there. If we were going to get to a million dollars, we needed to do something creative. A few months later, in a dream, it became clear. We could create a Lion of Judah as our symbol. Patti: Why a Lion? Norma: I always thought of myself as a lion. I think I was drawn to its power and it truly spoke to me. One early morning, I awoke from a dream, inspired and excited. I had dreamt of a lion as a symbol of strength—the strength of Judaism and the Jewish people. I drew a lion and called Toby at 6 a.m. to meet me for breakfast. At that meeting, we created a $5,000 giving level, which was the platform for what is now (and what we named back in 1971) “the Lion of Judah Society.” Patti: You dreamt big—and of something VERY special: a 14-karat gold pin with a diamond eye. A $5,000 gift in 1971 deserved something special. It had never been done. Norma, you are philanthropic visionary. Norma: Thank you. The original pin design by Balogh is, to this day, the logo and an international symbol of Jewish women’s philanthropy.
Please note, Patti, the idea took two years to be approved because the men on the Board of Directors found the notion of a minimum annual $5,000 women’s gift to be outrageous. We mobilized men and women who believed in what we were trying to do, and we persevered until the Lion of Judah was approved.
Editor’s Note: As most of you know, the Lion of Judah is now a worldwide sisterhood with 17,500 members. Thank you, Norma!
International Lion of judah conference:
S In The
potlight... From the 2012 ILOJC CO-Chairs priceless: 1,700 Lions arriving at the New York Marriott Marquis
hotel, warmly greeting each other and preparing to immerse themselves in the ILOJC. priceless: A ballroom full of inspired Lions, singing and dancing at the closing event as they celebrate their successful fundraising (to the tune of $27 million!) and the 40th anniversary of the Lion. priceless: Everything that happened in between!
We were privileged to be your chairs for the 2012 ILOJC, and for us, the experience was definitely priceless. From planning the event to seeing it come to life, we were lucky to be able to collaborate with an amazing team of Lions and JFNA professionals. We are especially grateful to the New York Lions for their support and warm welcome. And having Norma KipnisWilson, co-founder of the Lion of Judah, with us for the 40th anniversary celebration was the icing on the cake. Those of you who joined us at the ILOJC know that this conference offers an unmatched opportunity to learn, get inspired and share the joy of being a Lion with like-minded women. We hope all of you will consider participating in the next ILOJC, September 7-10, 2014, in New York City!! Bâ€™ahava,
Leslie & Betsy Leslie Sidell & Bestsy Hoos
Co-chairs, 2012 International Lion of Judah Conference 20 www.JewishFederations.org/nwp
Scholar-in-residence Rabbi Shira Stutman
MetroWest Lion Jackie Levine spoke of her activism and engagement
Welcome! Israeli Lions arrive and register for the ILOJC
Newark Mayor Corey Booker with Susie Stern, Linda A. Hurwitz and Gail Norry
The Maccabeats serenading us at the opening plenary
WTC owner Larry Silverstein spoke about his 9/11 experiences
JFNA Chair Kathy Manning with Lion co-founder Norma Kipnis-Wilson
ILOJC 2012 Co-chairs Betsy Hoos (New Haven) and Leslie Sidell (Colorado)
One Lion Enters THE Den Alone, Connects With Her Pride and Her Heritage “Sitting in a room with more Jews than my entire city has— that was overwhelming,” says Karen Rodgers of Jackson, Miss., a first-time attendee of September’s International Lion of Judah Conference in New York City. The room of 1,700 Lions that Rodgers describes numbered seven times the 259 Jewish families in Jackson, which boasts one synagogue and is a member of the Network of Independent Communities of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Rodgers has had a whirlwind experience with JFNA, and not only as a first-time conference attendee but also as a first-time contributor to the Annual Campaign. This past year, Rodgers and her husband Michael were approached by friend and community leader Cheryl Katz to find out if they were willing to learn about the Campaign and about how they could make a meaningful difference. She asked them to meet with The Network of Independent Communities’ Southeast Regional Director Richard Klein and Advisory Committee member Julie Wise Oreck. After being briefed on the pressing needs of Jews all over the world, Rodgers and her husband knew they wanted to help. “We saw how good a cause this was,” she says. “It didn’t take long to know that we wanted to support this work and that I wanted to become a Lion.” Klein and Wise Oreck encouraged Rodgers to attend the ILOJC and connect with thousands of other Lions who felt just as committed to worldwide Jewry as she did. And it made sense
Karen Rodgers braved the Lion’s den solo.
to Rodgers to head to New York: her husband, executive vice president and chief information and operations officer of Saks Fifth Avenue, often works in Manhattan, where they own an apartment. As the conference neared, Rodgers says she felt intimidated at the thought of knowing no one there, but she was determined to press ahead. “Julie [Wise Oreck] took me under her wing and set up a brunch with some friends, so I was able to meet seven people before the conference even started.” Once the conference began, Rodgers felt right at home. “Knowing people wasn’t what it was all about—it was about the experience, delving in and learning more about the Federation’s important work. And I made friends along the way.” The experience that made the most impact on her was the exercise in maximizing funding for overseas needs with limited dollars. “Who deserves more than another?” was a calculation she remembers having to make. “We have to figure out a way to help everyone, and this resonated with me so much.” She also felt deeply how fortunate she is in her own life. “I feel grateful,” she says. The conference helped Rodgers connect more to her Jewish roots. She says she recognized herself, her mother and other family members in many of the women she met. “I realized through this experience that I have a lot more Jewishness in me than I thought,” she says.
Bags packed at our service project have had a major impact!
b SANDY MAKES Service Project More Timely Than Anticipated Some of the women who worked on a service project during the International Lion of Judah conference in New York last September could not have known just how timely and important their project would become. They assembled emergency preparedness kits for residents of JASA Housing, a facility for 2,600 older, low-to-moderate-income New Yorkers. The kits were designed to help the residents cope with a loss of power in the event of an emergency. They included bottled water, non-perishable snacks, a flashlight, a manual can opener, a whistle, soap, plastic bags, batteries and bandages. A month and a half later, Hurricane Sandy struck JASA residents hard. There were food and water shortages, medical emergencies and emotional damage, according to Kathryn Haslanger, the chief executive officer at JASA. In a letter to the Jewish Federations of North America, Haslanger called the kits invaluable. “The preparedness kits were quite literally a light in the storm for so many people,” she wrote. “The flashlights, food and water helped to sustain our clients under the most difficult of circumstances.” The emergency whistles proved important
in helping staff locate seniors who needed help in a difficult situation, she added. The emergency kits were only one of five different packing projects undertaken by the Lions to mark the National 9/11 Day of Service. Some prepared literacy kits for early elementary school children at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, filling them with flashcards, markers, notebooks and books, including The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein; others prepared shelter kits for young families at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. They had toiletries, toys and games, diapers and other necessities. Still others made holiday meal kits for the elderly, distributed by the Metropolitan Council for Jewish Poverty. “The service projects were meant to drive home the challenges experienced by our most vulnerable populations,” said Wendy Abrams, chair of the project, who is from Chicago. “Our hope was that having hundreds of women working together toward this common goal would be both motivating and inspiring, a tangible reminder of Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Bazeh—all Israel is responsible for one another.”
NATIONAL SCENE THE JEWISH FEDERATIONS OF NORTH AMERICA INITIATIVES Parenting With Pride, In Spite of Disabilities There are 336,000 parents with disabilities in Israel and very few services to give them support. Enter Overcoming Disability to Parent with Pride, run by JDC in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation and the Israeli government. This program, the first of its kind in Israel, made an impact on the women who visited during JFNA’s Heart to Heart mission to Israel in February. It certainly touched NWP’s Gail Norry, whose son is on the autism spectrum. Gail remembers that when she first found out about Benjamin, she felt “lost and overwhelmed” until she turned to other mothers in a similar situation. They shared resources that helped her navigate the unfamiliar terrain of providing support for her son. The JDC program offers the kind of support and mentoring needed by disabled parents, who often experience isolation or even disapproval from families or society by choosing to parent. They benefit by being part of a community, by getting counseling and by learning how to advocate for themselves. Ultimately, the program helps them become more confident parents and more integrated and productive citizens. “The program gave me the strength to confront my disability, to ask my son, ‘how do you feel about my cane and my limitations’ for the first time,” said one program participant, whose sight had degenerated. “Today, my son isn’t ashamed of me anymore.”
“This is the only school in the South that was not closed because of the rocket attacks” last year, says Sandy Lenger of New York, who visited the school on the Heart to Heart mission. Rather than being limited to underground bomb shelters, safe space is easily accessible in indoor and outdoor areas of the school, which is located on the southern periphery of the Gaza Strip. This school demonstrates that “Israel takes care of its children,” says Sandy. “The country knows they’re the future.” President Shimon Peres, who visited the school in September for a dedication of the newly fortified campus, said that “a secure school is the least we can do” for our children. Taking in the extraordinary campus, built to keep students safe without sacrificing aesthetics or educational objectives, and saluting the school’s founders and funders, he said such “statements of beauty” are what is called for in the face of violence. “The toughest educational lesson is to teach not to hate,” says the school’s principal, Aharale Rothstein. “A school teaches love.”
Linda A. Hurwitz Becomes JFNA National Campaign Chair
One program participant had been healthy until she entered the hospital to give birth; an epidural injection put her in a wheelchair. “This sent a powerful message to us,” says Gail. “Life can completely change in a minute and any one of us could become disabled. We could all imagine being in her shoes.”
Beauty, Love—and Security—Make One Negev School Special The Sha’arr Hanegev school, near Sderot, educates 1,800 students in grades K-12 and is funded in part by World ORT. It is unique, and not only for its beautifully landscaped campus, stark desert architecture and outstanding curriculum. It also boasts comprehensive, concrete fortification, a necessity in an area that has been under consistent rocket fire for years. 24 www.JewishFederations.org/nwp
Linda A. Hurwitz caught the fever of Federation work in her 20s and has been on an upward trajectory ever since. While chair of National Women’s Philanthropy, she co-chaired her city of Baltimore’s 2012 GA, and now she brings her passion for our sacred work to the role of National Campaign chair. NWP is proud to see Linda follow in the footsteps of Susie Stern: making her mark at the local level, steering National
Women’s Philanthropy and now using her gifts and experience to strengthen the Jewish Federations’ Annual Campaign. We know she will bring gravitas as well as her signature passion to the position, for the benefit of all. (Read about Linda’s goals in her column on page 7.) Linda is immediate past president and past chair of National Women’s Philanthropy. She has served as the Campaign chair for The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, as well as its Young Women’s Leadership chair, Women’s Department campaign chair and chair of major gifts, new gifts and upgrades. “Campaign has always been my passion,” she says. “It’s not about the money, but about what the money does.” And her goal as National Campaign chair is to raise more money “to do more for the Jewish People.” Linda is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation and the ACHARAI: Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Development Institute. Friends and colleagues describe Linda as graceful, inspirational, enthusiastic and dedicated. They talk about her smile, her heart, her sensitivity and warmth. She is also known for being capable, prepared and detail-oriented. She is the complete package, generous not only with her gifts to the Campaign but with her time and love as a mentor and role model, empowering other women to be leaders.
Giving Together Strengthens Intergenerational Family Ties
Through the program, families are engaging in meaningful dialogue across generations to determine how to reach goals that reflect their deep commitments. As a result, many have established supporting foundations at their Federations or donor-advised funds at their local Jewish Community Foundations. Lori and Steven Klinghoffer and their two daughters have established the donor-advised Klinghoffer Family Philanthropic Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ. “My parents want us to be engaged,” said daughter Lisa Buber. For Lori, the fund gives her daughters the opportunity “to find their own way” in making a difference. “Lisa and Rachel,” she says, “are involved in social activism and are donors in their [own] right—the best dividends that the investment in family philanthropy provides.”
Dialogue, Debate and Celebration at GA Israel 2013 Every five years, JFNA’s signature annual event, the General Assembly, comes home to Israel—and there’s no place like home! This conference will be a three-day learning experience, networking opportunity, and gala celebration of Israel’s 65th birthday. Women leaders from across North America and Israel will play a major role as speakers, moderators and of course participants. The 2013 GA, co-chaired by Susie and Michael Gelman of Washington, D.C., and Ronny Douek of Israel, will focus on issues of critical importance to the global Jewish community, with an emphasis on Israel. The rich program will feature top leaders from Israel’s political, cultural, academic, business and religious arenas. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among the confirmed speakers. Many communities are planning missions built around the GA, and a national JFNA mission—chaired by Lion of Judah Sandy Lenger—will take place as well.View the exciting itinerary and find out more about every aspect of the GA—from missions and events to speakers and sessions—at www.generalassembly.org.
Lori Klinghoffer with Lisa (R.) and Rachel.
Fifteen years ago, research showed that $43 trillion would be transferred to the next generation by 2052, $20 trillion of which would go to charitable causes. Now, Baby Boomers and their children indeed have inherited significant sums of money and established a vastly increased number of family foundations. To help Jewish families engage their children and grandchildren in philanthropy that reflects their values, JFNA launched the Multigenerational Family Philanthropy Training Program, which has spread to dozens of communities. Families can now work with savvy and sensitive Federation professionals, who can help them continue their tradition of building community and sustaining Jewish life, learn about Jewish community projects that need support, and leave a meaningful legacy.
The theme of the 2013 GA is The Global Shuk: A Marketplace for Dialogue and Debate. This conversation needs your voice! Don’t miss the chance to be in Israel with thousands of Jewish leaders. Register at www.generalassembly.org.
The National Women’s Philanthropy web pages are packed with resources for women philanthropists, including Lions of all levels. Learn more about best practices, watch the latest Lion video, find out more about endowing your Lion gift, and meet the National Women’s Philanthropy professional team. If you have a friend who’d like to know more about women’s philanthropy, please share this information with her. You can find it all at www.JewishFederations.org/nwp.
Akron: Women’s Board President Julie Katz and Susan McMains.
Austin: (L. to R.) Austin Federation’s Vice-Chair of Philanthropy Valerie Newberg, Lion Reception hostess Susan Lubin, keynote speaker and National Women’s Philanthropy President Linda Adler Hurwitz, and National Women’s Philanthropy Advisory Council member Lecia Sud.
Akron: LOJE Dianne Newman and Women’s Board President Julie Katz.
Aspen: (back row, L. to R.) Aspen Lions Jo Ann Ross, Debra Cohen, Sandy Israel, Dorothy Thau, Lexie Potamkin, Debbie Epstein, Nina Zale, Yosefa Platt, Nancy Siwak and Dr. Rick Hodes. (front row) Lorrie Winnerman, Theba Feldman, Linda Stein, Nina Saslove and Fitsum Zewdie.
Aspen: (L. to R.) Aspen Valley Pomegranates Barbara Goldstein, Sandy Rothman, Dr. Rick Hodes, Julie Puchkoff, Lee Ritvo, Kathie Schulman, Fitsum Zewdie (seated).
Atlanta: Atlanta Campaign chairs welcome Gary Rosenthal.
Baltimore: (L. to R.) GA Co-chair Genine Fidler poses with Ellen Macks, GA Women’s Lunch chair and president, 26 ASSOCIATED Women, in Baltimore.
Baltimore: NWP immediate past President Linda Adler Hurwitz (center), with Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Detroit Lion, Doreen Hermelin.
From Dens Across North America...
HEAR OUR LIONS
In November, Akron’s Lions of Judah and Pomegranate donors were recognized and thanked at a special luncheon at the Shaw JCC. These women, dedicated and generous philanthropic leaders and role models in the Akron Jewish community, were celebrated for their contribution to making the world a better place.
ASPEN In August, the Aspen Lions of Judah and Pomegranates had a ladies luncheon at the home of Lorrie Winnerman. Their guest speaker was Dr. Rick Hodes, JDC medical director in Ethiopia. Dr. Hodes spoke about his important humanitarian work in Ethiopia where he deals primarily with spine patients. Accompanying Dr. Hodes was Fitsum Zewdie, a former spine patient, and Jennifer Kraft from the JDC. Melinda Goldrich is the Aspen Lion of Judah chair, and Julie Puchkoff is the Aspen Pomegranate chair.
Participants enjoyed hearing Rosenthal, creator of the Gary Rosenthal Collection, speak about how art is a catalyst for community building and arts enrichment. We saw how his tzedakah stems from his long history of service and educational contribution, but is rooted in what Gary knows best—art.
Austin Jewish Federation of Greater Austin Lions increased their ranks by 30 percent in one year with one new Sapphire, seven new Ruby Lions and four new Lions of Judah. The Women’s Campaign in Austin leads as the seventh fastest-growing Federation campaign. More than 600 women attended the 14th Annual Women’s Mosaic luncheon, which featured Women Who Inspire and Influence. Honorees included Woman of Valor Dana Baruch and keynote speaker Rochelle Shoretz. A special Austin tribute was paid to Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman from Arizona.
Baltimore Atlanta Renowned Judaica artist Gary Rosenthal joined Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s most generous and philanthropic women at the PomPlus event. It was a great evening, celebrating philanthropy and mingling with old and new friends. The PomPlus event was conceived by Federation Lion of Judah donors to help the Pomegranate Society women understand the power of being a Lion of Judah. The evening focused on building and strengthening the ties that our Lions have within our Federation and community as a whole. Each woman took part in the creation of a 5-foot-tall tzedakah box art piece by creating a tile in her own style and color. Once completed, this beautiful work of art will sit in the Federation lobby for the entire community to enjoy and be reminded of how each and every woman can make a difference.
Why do you give to your community? Why are you a Lion? You might be able to talk for hours about what philanthropy means to you and how it has enriched your life. But what if your answer to those questions was limited to six words? Larry Smith, the keynote speaker at the Women’s Philanthropy Luncheon at the JFNA General Assembly (GA) in November, has posed this intriguing challenge since 2006 when he launched the Six-Word Memoir project. Since then he has produced seven bestselling volumes of six-word stories. Smith’s concept has galvanized Baltimore, where THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore has been weaving it into diverse programming and conversations. Even before Smith shared his work at the GA, the Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation of Baltimore (JWGF), a program of THE ASSOCIATED, used it in September. As the group reflected on a decade of accomplishment and envisioned its future, the Six-Word Memoir challenge was posed to five founding members. Their responses were passionate and heartfelt, surprising members with the power of a message
Broward: (L. to R.) Binky Miller and Corinne Cott, two generations of Broward Lions
Calgary: (back) Jenny Belzberg and Marilyn Abugov (front) Doreen Abugov
Calgary: (L. to R.) Calgary Lion Raechelle Paperny, Shoshanna Paperny, Rebecca Silver and Lion Lisa Silver
28R.)www.JewishFederations.org/nwp Calgary: (L. to Sondra Spier (Calgary LOJ chair) and Sheila Gurevitch
Buffalo: Attending the gala UJF Campaign kick-off dinner for the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo were Lions (L. to R.): Maxine Awner, Leslie Shuman Kramer, past chair of Women’s Philanthropy, Dina Benderson, co-chair of Buffalo’s kick-off Campaign event, Ellen Weiss, chair of Buffalo’s Women’s Philanthropy, and guest speaker David Gergen of the Harvard Kennedy School.
that can be conveyed in six words. Founding member Martha Weiman shared that when she makes her philanthropic decisions, she imagines pictures of community needs that, in turn, inspire action. In six words, she summed it up: Inspiration. Reminders. More reasons to give. Quickly, the missives made their way onto THE ASSOCIATED Women’s Facebook page, and we continue to be inspired by the postings there. When ASSOCIATED Women held its annual meeting in May, it revolved around the theme, “We were all sisters at Sinai.” So, why do you give? Tell us in six words. Join ASSOCIATED Women on Facebook and share.
Boston We have been trying to improve our outreach to and engagement of our Women’s Philanthropy past presidents and Campaign chairs; most of them are Lions and many of them do not frequently attend events. In October, we held a special pre-reception for them at this year’s Lion of Judah Luncheon. One of our luncheon co-chairs, past President Rhoda Sapers, worked closely with our immediate past President Ann Levin, to make this a success. Together, they called each woman to invite her and to explain this would be the first in what we hope will be a series of get-togethers. The program was a great success, bringing together more than 20 women for a heartwarming and thought-provoking reunion. One hour before the luncheon event began, we sat together in a circle while each woman shared her thoughts on what Women’s Philanthropy had meant to her over the years. The collective warmth in the room was nearly palpable, as was the mutual respect between the younger and more veteran leaders. Not only did we secure a higher attendance among this cohort at our luncheon, but, more important, we made these women feel that we continue to value them and their legacy.
Broward Her grandmother was a Lion and her mother has been a Lion for 40 years. So it is no surprise that Corrine Cott, of Weston, Fla., is also a Lion with the Jewish Federation of Broward County. She recently attended the 2012 ILOJC, made especially meaningful because her mother joined her. “I had attended the 2010 conference and I felt the power of this group of women. It really was inspiring,” said Cott. As the 2012 conference approached, she asked her mother, Binky Miller, age 81, to attend. After a minute of hesitation, Miller agreed. “She was worried she would hold me back but I really wanted her there,” said Cott. “I wanted us to be able to experience it together.” Once there, she watched her mother experience the conference the way she did two years earlier. “That was the first time I experienced, through my own eyes, the amazing power of Jewish women from all over the world,” said Cott, through tears. “This time, I saw it through my mom’s eyes.” Miller, a Federation board member and a Women’s Philanthropy board member, became a Lion in 1972. She
eventually became a Ruby Lion. Corinne became a Lion when she was in her 30s. Now Cott’s 16-year-old daughter, Alex, is a Young Lion. “The conference was outstanding,” said Miller. “It was all that my daughter said it was and more. I know that my granddaughter will carry on our family tradition of giving.”
BUFFALO The Buffalo Federation kicked off its 2013 United Jewish Fund Campaign at the Buffalo Hyatt Hotel with an event featuring senior CNN political analyst David Gergen. Currently a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, Gergen was an adviser to four U.S. presidents. He visited Buffalo to share his thoughts on the 2012 presidential elections with the more than 600 people assembled for the “must-attend” Campaign program of the season. A highlight was Gergen’s address to members of the Jewish Federation’s New Leadership group prior to the community event. Participating in both events were Lions Ellen Weiss, chair of Women’s Philanthropy, Dina Benderson, co-chair of the kick-off Dinner, Leslie Shuman Kramer, past chair of Women’s Philanthropy and Maxine Awner. Endowed Lion Holly Levy, Federation president at the time of the kickoff dinner, also made remarks.
Calgary The Lion of Judah Chai Tea lived up to its name as 54 women gathered to hear the incredible story of Judy Feld Carr, the woman responsible for liberating 3,228 Syrian Jews over the course of three decades. The event was emceed by Calgary’s LOJ Chair Sondra Spier, and hosted by Raechelle Paperny and Lisa Silver. A “chailight” of the event was a moving presentation by Shoshanna Paperny and Rebecca Silver, daughters of Raechelle and Lisa. They spoke of the opportunities they have been given to connect to their Jewish community thanks to UJA, including their Jewish day school education, camp experiences and a Grade 9 trip to Israel where they enjoyed a mifgash with their pen pals at their sister school and were billeted with them. If Shoshanna and Rebecca are an indication, the future of LOJ in Calgary is very bright! Topping off the afternoon was the pinning of six new Lions and welcoming of another three who were unable to attend the event. Calgary’s Lion pride now numbers 76, who contribute approximately 20 percent of funds raised in the Annual United Jewish Appeal Campaign.
Charlotte From Generation to Generation was the overarching theme of Charlotte’s Lion of Judah Luncheon, co-chaired by Alison Lerner and Dale Polsky. Our amazing speaker, Alison Goldstein Lebovitz, incoming chair of National Young Leadership, was introduced by her equally amazing Lion of Judah mother Arlene Goldstein. A commitment to philanthropy clearly runs in their family, and Alison spoke
Charlotte: Alison Lerner, Arlene Goldstein, Alison Goldstein Lebovitz and Dale Polsky at Charlotte’s Lion of Judah Luncheon in January.
Chicago: (L. to R.) Hilary Greenberg, JUF Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago 2013 Women’s Board campaign vice president; 2013 Lion Luncheon Chair Lisa Rubinstein; 2013 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recipient Frances Horwich; guest speaker Alison Levine and Women’s Board President Fran Levy.
Cleveland: Cleveland’s “Mission Sisters” on the professional women’s trip to Israel.
Cleveland: Adrienne Goldberg lighting a Chanukah candle at Cleveland’s Campaign closing event, in honor of her leadership of the 8th Night of Chanukah program.
www.JewishFederations.org/nwp Calgary 2: (L.30 to R.) Sondra Spier (Calgary LOJ chair) andof Sheila Gurevitch Collier County: 2013 Campaign’s Major Gifts and Lion Judah Event
Collier County: (L. to R.) New Collier County Lions Beth Grossman, Phyllis Strome, Arlene Sobol and Pauline Hendel with Gail Norry, immediate past chair of National Women’s Philanthropy (center).
eloquently and passionately about “The Power of One”—how each of us has it within ourselves to change the world. At the luncheon, Gail Baron, one of Charlotte’s Lions who was also influenced by her mother’s commitment to Federation, introduced a new initiative by saying, “Today, we are establishing Zraeem Shel Ahava—Seeds of Love, a giving opportunity for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces and all of the special young women in our lives.” This would make these young women honorary Lions through their own gifts to Federation. “It is our hope,” Baron said, “that by sharing your personal connection to Federation with the special young women in your lives, you will foster their lifelong connection to Federation, and they will follow in your footsteps as Lions and philanthropic leaders upon reaching adulthood.”
Chicago The 2013 Lion Luncheon was an overwhelming success with more than 275 women attending and pledging gifts totaling more than $3.5 million. The main ballroom at The Standard Club was the beautiful setting for the luncheon, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Lion of Judah and kicked off the 2013 Women’s Division Annual Campaign. Frances Horwich, Chicago’s recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award, was recognized and honored at the luncheon for her many years of generosity and committed volunteer work on behalf of the Chicago Jewish community. The event was chaired by Lisa Rubinstein, who led a strong pride of Lions: Jane Cadden Lederman, Emerald co-chair; Karen Wander, Sapphire co-chair; Debbie Winick, Ruby co-chair; Janna Berk, Kim Levy, Andrea Ableman Rich and Rhonda Wener, Diamond co-chairs; Sharon Koltin, Young Women’s Board co-chair and Andrea Grostern, Young Women’s City Council co-chair. Alison Levine, adventurer, explorer, mountaineer and adjunct professor at West Point in the Department of Behavioral Sciences, was the featured speaker. Levine shared her views on leadership and perseverance and how it helped her not only climb each mountain, but reach higher in all aspects of life. On Sept. 10-12, Chicago Lions dispatched 35 women to represent their community proudly at the ILOJC in New York City, which drew 1,700 women. They also contributed toward the staggering $27 million pledged at the conference. Frances Horwich, Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recipient and Chicago native, was honored at the conference before the formal award presentation at the Chicago Lion Luncheon in October.
Cleveland Cleveland’s Jewish community sent 12 women last June to the first Professional Women’s Mission to Israel. Nan Cohen, Ruby Lion and mission creator, co-chaired the mission alongside Lions of Judah Andrea Kanter-Grodin and Patricia Rubin. The dozen participants spent seven days learning from their counterparts overseas and brought home to
Cleveland new best practices for their own businesses. Each day for one week, highly accomplished Israeli women from diverse backgrounds and disciplines shared their personal stories. They not only offered insight into how Israeli women live and work, but also candidly related their daily challenges as working women in a very different part of the world. One of the mission participants best describes her Israel experience by quoting Golda Meir: “I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively.” She said she never felt so much a part of something as she did during the mission with the 11 other women, her mission sisters. Many of the participants since have become Lions of Judah, and hundreds of professional women in the Cleveland Jewish community have come together for various programs and events to continue growing in their learning and networking. The holidays are a good time for giving, and Chanukah saw a wonderful opportunity in Cleveland to drive home the lesson of tzedakah. Nearly 2,000 children received and decorated tzedakah boxes with stickers that represented community needs and then made a donation to benefit the community. The program was called The 8th Night of Chanukah. Focused on the importance of dedicating this night of Chanukah to giving, this was an initiative of Cleveland’s Women’s Philanthropy, created and chaired by LOJE Adrienne Goldberg. The event, organized in collaboration with Federation’s Young Leadership, featured crafts, story time, jelly donuts, mitzvah projects and the opportunity for children to turn in their tzedakah boxes as an act of kindness that can change someone’s life, the community and the world. Giving weekly tzedakah as a family also was encouraged. This was a rewarding and meaningful program for Cleveland and the children in the community, our future leaders. It also yielded $2,494.61 and 533 new donors.
Collier County Jewish Federation of Collier County, in Naples, Fla., launched the 2013 Campaign at its Major Gifts and Lion of Judah Event in January at the home of Linda and Dan Carp. The featured speaker was Gail Norry, immediate past chair of National Women’s Philanthropy, who captured the hearts and attention of everyone present with her personal story and account of the myriad miracles performed by our Federation system locally, in Israel and around the world. Four Lions of Judah who are new to our community campaign were recognized for their commitments, and Campaign Chair Phyllis Seaman was recognized for becoming a Ruby Lion. We now have 33 Lions of Judah and new additions every year. Additionally, our community’s first LOJE was established by David Willens, Federation executive director, to honor the memory of his wife, Shereen Willens, z”l.
Grand Rapids: (L. to R.) Grand Rapids Lions Sharyl Titche, Judith Joseph, Marilyn Leven, Eileen Newman, Judy Subar, Karen Padnos, Myrna Kirschner, Lanny Thodey and Peg Padnos, standing in front of a painting by Grand Rapids’ most famous artist, Mathias Alten (1871-1938).
Colorado: Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado 2012 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recipient Carol Karsh.
Detroit: Detroit Ruby LOJ Luncheon Co-chairs Sherrie Singer, Hadas Bernard and Miriam Forman; Women’s Division Campaign Chair Roz Blanck; Women’s Division President Lisa Lis, and Co-chair Sue E. Kaufman.
Delaware: (L. to R.) Wendy Berger, Jewish Federation of Delaware development director; Dorothy Bobman, Women’s Philanthropy co-chair; Francesca Rudin, WOW co32 www.JewishFederations.org/nwp chair; Speaker Laurie Ann Goldman, SPANX CEO; Barbara Blumberg, Women’s Philanthropy co-chair; Shara Bubes, WOW co-chair.
Colorado “Priceless” was the theme of the ILOJC in New York and priceless it was. Colorado is thrilled to announce that our community, through the leadership of Leslie Sidell, Conference co-chair and local Mountain Lion, brought 40 fabulous Mountain Lions to the ILOJC. It was wonderful for the Colorado community to celebrate with 1,700 women from around the world for the 40th anniversary of the Lion of Judah program. What a magical event for the Mountain Lions who attended, from our newest Lion, Sylvie ShermanBloch, to mother and daughter Lions Robin Chotin (past KWF Award recipient) and Whitney Chotin. Even our most seasoned Lions and leaders, Judy Altenberg, Nancy Gart and Debra Weinstein, found the experience inspiring. “We truly made history in New York City that week as female leaders and philanthropists came together to learn, inspire and energize one another,” said Leslie. “On the 40th anniversary of the Lion, we celebrated all we have accomplished, but also rededicated ourselves to making an impact in the global Jewish community.” The priceless experience of ILOJC was particularly special for one longstanding Lion and PMC donor, Essie Perlmutter, who attended the conference for the first time to watch her best friend Carol Karsh receive this year’s KWF Award on behalf of our community. Essie, a pillar of philanthropy in Colorado and the Jewish community, has been a Lion of Judah for more than 25 years and a PMC donor since 2001. “The bond that we as Lions have with one another transcends generations and geography; it is an enduring community of passionate women who feel connected to each other by their hard work and dedication. I feel so fortunate to have experienced this—it was just fabulous,” Essie said. Colorado would like to thank all of the Mountain Lions who helped make this experience so special. Kol ha’Kavod on your continued support, passion and dedication to the Jewish people. You ladies are truly priceless.
Delaware The Women’s Philanthropy Division at Jewish Federation of Delaware, led by Co-chairs Barbara Blumberg and Dorothy Bobman, has seen tremendous growth and enhancement throughout the past year. Our “Women of Wisdom” (WOW) bi-annual events have become eagerly anticipated and have engaged women across all age groups throughout the community. The result has been increased attendance, volunteer participation and donations to the Annual Campaign due to our new minimum gift requirement. We hosted 125 women, including 19 new donors, at our Spring 2012 WOW luncheon featuring guest speaker Laurie Ann Goldman, CEO of SPANX, and co-chaired by Shara Bubes and Francesca Rudin. Our Fall 2012 WOW program was also well attended as we learned the basics of financial management for women from Amanda Steinberg, founder of DailyWorth. Women donors to the Annual Campaign have increased by almost 6 percent over the past year, with donations representing
more than 50 percent of total fundraising from 49 Lions of Judah and 28 Pomegranates, including seven new Pomegranatelevel donors. Meanwhile, Jewish Federation of Delaware was proudly represented at the International Lion of Judah Conference in September 2012 by nine women, including our Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award winner, Suzanne Barton Grant.
Detroit This year, Detroit’s Ruby and Lion Co-chairs Hadas Bernard, Miriam Forman, Sue E. Kaufman and Sherrie Singer have focused on creating additional Lion touchpoints beyond our annual luncheon. By reviewing existing events through a Lion lens, the chairs seek out opportunities that our Lions would find interesting and that offer growth. For example, when our Pomegranate Division brought in a speaker for its dinner event, the Lions were invited to hear the same speaker at a brunch the next morning. The response from the Lions has been extremely positive. Additionally, three exciting new initiatives were developed this past year under the leadership of Women’s Department President Lisa Lis and Campaign Chair Roz Blanck. We launched a campaign entitled “300 donors in 100 days.” A Special Women’s Action Team (SWAT) was assembled and charged with the responsibility of securing 300 new gifts in 100 days. Through telethons, personal contacts and innovative events, we surpassed our goal with more than 500 new donors by the 100th day. Recognizing that many of our supporters are successful professionals, we next created a Jewish Working Women Series (JWWS), which features early-morning educational and networking events. The opening program, “The Balancing Act: Tools for Managing Work, Health and Home,” was incredibly successful. It featured keynote speaker Florine Mark, president and CEO of Weight Watchers Group, and emcee Stacy Goldberg, founder and CEO of Savorfull. Finally, we established a LINC program to continue the development of potential leaders by placing women as liaisons on Federation constituent agency boards and high-level committees. By serving as liaisons, women increase their understanding of, and connection to, the Federation and the community.
Grand Rapids The Women’s City Club was the historic and elegant setting for the late-summer lunch of the Lions of Judah of the Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids. The club was built 150 years ago in Grand Rapids which, at the time, was nicknamed the Furniture Capital of the World. The lovely event was chaired by long-time Lions Judith Joseph and Marilyn Leven. After enjoying the delicious meal prepared by an award-winning chef, we listened to an inspirational talk given by a woman in our Jewish community, Jeanne Englehart, who rose from high school drop-out to become a computer software entrepreneur and president of the 3,000-member Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. www.JewishFederations.org/nwp 33
Kansas City: (L. to R.) National Young Leadership Chair-Designate Alison Lebowitz with Kansas City National Young Leadership Cabinet members Michelle Goldsmith, Beth Liss and Sarah Beren.
Hartford: (L. to R.) One of Hartford’s returning Lions of Judah, Dorothy Wetstone, with Women’s Philanthropy Major Gifts Chair Elaine Price, our newest Pomegranate Debbie Fish, new Lion of Judah Randy Parks, and Ann Pava.
Kansas City: (L to R) Kansas City Lion Chairs Deb Gill and Beth Liss with speaker Alison Lebowitz.
Greenwich: Bryanna Kallman, a Lion of Greenwich, is spearheading the Completing the Journey Campaign to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
Greensboro: Greensboro’s Lions with Cone family nephews Bob, Tom and Ben.
Greensboro: (L. to R.) Greensboro LOJEs Jeri D’Lugin, Phyllis Shavitz, Gail LeBauer and Marilyn Chandler.
Lehigh Valley: Lehigh Valley Lions Celebrate Chanukah – NWP Board Member Karen Cooper listens to Ronnie Sheftel, hostess of the Lehigh Valley Lion of Judah Chanukah party, tell stories of Jewish philanthropy and engagement.
Lehigh Valley: (L. to R.) Lehigh Valley Lions Nan Ronis, Carol Wilson, Sandra Goldfarb, Claudia, Eileen and Veronica Fischmann, Wendy Born, Vicki Wax, Karen Cooper, 34 www.JewishFederations.org/nwp Judy Diamondstein, Rachel Cooper and Amy Born.
Jeanne recognized and applauded the philanthropy of our Lions and their engagement in the community. While the Lions of the Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids number only 13, their gifts to the community in time and money far exceed their number.
Greensboro In February, the Jewish Foundation of Greensboro hosted a Lion of Judah Special Recognition Event at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Greensboro Lions were joined by Lion of Judah women from across North Carolina for a day of sharing, learning and celebrating together. Before a private tour of Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore, attendees enjoyed lunch at the Washington Duke Inn and a special presentation by Sarah Schroth, interim director of the Nasher and curator of the Cone collection. They also heard family insights on the sisters from Bob Cone, Tom Cone and Ben Cone of Greensboro. The day concluded with special gifts for the Lion of Judah Endowment donors: black shirts proclaiming “Well Endowed” and featuring the Lion and LOJE flame in gold. The event was chaired by Phyllis Shavitz, LOJE chair, and Gail LeBauer, immediate past chair of the Foundation.
Hartford In Hartford in October, more than 70 Lions of Judah and Pomegranates celebrated a new year and new members with special guest speakers Gail Norry, immediate past chair of National Women’s Philanthropy, and Donna Divine, Morningstar Professor of Government and director of Middle East Studies at Smith College. Gail Norry brought greetings from National Women’s Philanthropy, while Prof. Divine, a long-time Hartford Lion of Judah, discussed the situation in the Middle East. We recognized new Lions, Pomegrantes and Lion of Judah Endowment donors for their support of the Greater Hartford Jewish community. We were pleased to recognize Arlene Neiditz, Hartford’s Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award winner. Close, long-time friend Beverly Greenberg and daughter-in-law Leslie Neiditz performed the honors. Event co-chairs were Beverly Greenberg, Linda Levin, Leslie Neiditz and Jessica Zachs. Hartford is proud that Ann Pava, 2013 Women’s Philanthropy chair, has been selected by the Jewish Federations of North America as chair of National Women’s Philanthropy. Ann is a leader, a scholar and a philanthropist, and she has played a pivotal role in Women’s Philanthropy for many years, both in Hartford and in Western Massachusetts. She is certain to bring great energy and enthusiasm to the post.
Kansas City Kansas City Lion events began with the International Lion of Judah Conference in September, attended by 16 community women. It was followed by the Lion of Judah luncheon in October, which drew more than 50 women to hear National Young Leadership Chair-Designate Alison Lebovitz discuss changing the world, one act at a time. Many Lions, challenged by Alison to “do more,” reached into their pockets and made an extra gift to support the annual campaign. Lion Chairs Deb Gill and Beth Liss, determined to bring younger women into the Lion division, have introduced a three-year Lion step-up program. Women who participate will be invited to all Lion events and will be listed as step-ups. To kick off this endeavor, Alison Lebovitz spoke to a dozen women the evening before the Lion event and explained her motivation for being a Lion. Our community is proud to announce two step-up Lions for the 2013 campaign. Beth and Deb are continuing to market this exciting program to other women.
Lehigh Valley The Lehigh Valley pride attending the International Lion of Judah Conference in September received an added bonus when their daughters living in New York were able to join them for dinner at Kutscher’s Restaurant. This dor l’dor opportunity gave the Lions a chance to share the many exciting things they were experiencing at the conference as they impart their values and commitment to the next generation.
Los Angeles What a grand time our Lions had in New York! More than 100 Los Angeles and Valley Alliance women were in attendance— the largest number of all the communities who travelled to the Big Apple. Los Angeles Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland honoree Roz Goldstine was recognized for her leadership and generous philanthropy in the greater Los Angeles community and our very own Lion, Lesley Wolman, sang both our national anthem and Hatikvah at the opening plenary session. Sue Meltzer led this strong group of women as our conference chair. Lynn Bider, chair of The Sylvia Weisz Women’s Campaign, showed she knows outstanding leaders by appointing Sue to chair this effort. Lion of Judah giving remains a high watermark in our Annual Campaign, as it does in other communities. We gained 22 new Lions in 2012 and our LOJE continues to expand. We attribute this to the prestige of women wearing the Lion pin and the sensitivity to the ever-growing need for philanthropy. The dynamic is not about peer pressure so much as peer modeling. Women are sharing compelling and personal stories about their philanthropy and the pride they feel in being able to give and give back, and doing well by doing good. Personalizing philanthropy has served as a powerful strategy in Los Angeles.
Kansas City: (L to R) National Young Leadership Chair-Designate Alison Lebowitz with Kansas City National Young Leadership Cabinet members Michelle Goldsmith, Beth Liss and Sarah Beren.
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Valley Alliance KWF Honoree Sandra Kussin.
Kansas City: (L to R) Kansas City Lion Chairs Deb Gill and Beth Liss with speaker Alison Lebowitz. Los Angeles: Los Angeles Valley Alliance Lions at the conference (L. to R.): Rochelle Cohen, Karmi Monsher, Liisa Primack, Kathy Guccione.
MetroWest: Shabbat in a Bag at the home of Vice President Terri Friedman (3rd from right)
MetroWest: (L. to R.) Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ Lions Maxine Murnick, Amy Ganz Sadeghi and Leslie Dannin Rosenthal with residents 36 independent living facility of a local Jewish
Los Angeles: Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ 2012 KWF honoree Roz Goldstine
Louisville: (L. to R.) Alison Silberman, Janet Hodes and Jennifer Tuvlin co-chaired this year’s Louisville Lion of Judah/Pomegranate event and the community-wide Women’s Philanthropy event that followed.
Miami: (L. to R.) The Greater Miami Jewish Federation Women’s Event Chair Pam Wolofsky, Women’s Philanthropy Campaign Chair Elise Scheck Bonwitt, Lion of Judah Program Chair Terry Drucker and Women’s Philanthropy President Laura P. Koffsky.
Valley Alliance Women were thrilled that Sandra Kussin was lauded and recognized for her leadership as their KipnisWilson/Friedland Award honoree. Sandra has been a Lion of Judah since 1997 and she has endowed her Lion gift as well. She has a long history of tireless campaigning for The Jewish Federation Valley Alliance Women’s Department, earning her the 2011 Valley Alliance Hazak Award for long-time leadership, the Campaign Award in 2010, the Women’s Department’s Rita Reznikoff Leadership Award in 2007 and the Women’s Campaign Award in 1999. She was formerly the president and campaign chair of the Valley Alliance Women’s Department, and no Super Sunday would be complete without her! In other news from New York, the Valley Alliance successfully kicked off its 2013 campaign with gifts totaling $520,000. Firsttime conference participant Susan Kane said, “The conference gave me hope for placing the future of Judaism in the hands of young adults with the realization that their Jewish world will look very different from ours. I’m energized and can’t wait to get more involved.”
Louisville Louisville’s Lions of Judah strive to reach out to other women in the community and share their commitment to the Federation Campaign. In January, they invited the Pomegranates to join them for dinner with Sharsheret founder Rochelle Shoretz and then opened the dessert reception, at which Shoretz spoke, to all women in the community. Shoretz talked about her personal battle after she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in her 20s. She discussed how the lack of support available to young Jewish women with that diagnosis prompted her to found Sharsheret. Now, Sharsheret provides breast cancer information and support to women across the country and receives support from Federation campaigns in many communities. The event co-chairs were Janet Hodes, Alison Silberman and Jennifer Tuvlin, while the 2013 Federation campaign chair is Karen Abrams. Meanwhile, Louisville’s Lions of Judah continue to demonstrate their leadership. Two women, Karen Abrams and Sandra Hammond, attended the ILOJC in New York last September.
Greater MetroWest NJ Just three days after Sandy hit, Greater MetroWest opened its Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to help the community. We advanced $25,000 to our two Jewish Family Services agencies in Greater MetroWest to address the immediate needs of those affected by the storm, especially the frail and disabled.
Women’s Philanthopy president, and Leslie Dannin Rosenthal, Women’s Philanthropy past president and current general campaign chair, came to the aid of the residents of the local Jewish independent living facility who were without power. Lions galvanized their friends and synagogues to prepare hot meals for the seniors for the entire week the facility was without power, which they served along with warm smiles and friendly visits. Every step of the way, our Lions were at the forefront of doing good. They brought hundreds of pounds of food to the kosher food pantries and did storm clean-up in affected areas. They purchased and assembled items for “Shabbat in a Bag” and delivered them to hundreds of families in areas devastated by Sandy. We have just begun to recover from Hurricane Sandy, whose impact defied even the direst predictions. One of its lessons is that because of Greater MetroWest’s infrastructure and partnership with 27 local agencies, together with the leadership of our Lions and the willingness to pitch in by all our Women’s Philanthropy women, our community was and continues to be able to respond effectively and efficiently in an emergency.
Miami An unprecedented number of new and recovered Lions—94— emerged from the April 2012 Miami Mega Mission, which took more than 700 people to Israel. “As our LOJ women wore their gold pins with pride throughout the mission, many meaningful conversations were sparked about the power of women’s philanthropy, which ultimately led to more women wanting to be part of Federation’s work,” said Laura P. Koffsky, president of Women’s Philanthropy. Many of the new and recovered Lions gathered at a welcome breakfast last June in the home of Mojdeh Khaghan Danial, immediate past president of Women’s Philanthropy of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. Miami also added 13 more Lions at Women’s Philanthropy’s day-long Women’s Event, which featured an LOJ Breakfast chaired by Terry Drucker and Pam Wolofsky. Highlights included testimonials of four local women—Rosi Behar, Fran Berrin, Dorothy Podhurst and Lisa Weiner—who shared personal stories about what motivates and inspires them as Lions. Through our Lion Pride efforts such as these, we will continue connecting and encouraging Miami women who strive to make a difference in our Jewish world.
We want to pay tribute to the women in our community for their efforts in the face of this disaster. Greater MetroWest Lions, together with volunteers from Women’s Philanthropy, rushed to help. First on the scene was Amy Ganz Sadegi who, with her synagogue and the help of Maxine Murnick,
Middlesex County: Middlesex County’s 2012 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recipient Harriet Tabak, z”l (front and center).
Monmouth: Sheryl Grutman, Women’s Philanthropy chair of Monmouth County, visits the Kotel during the Women’s Heart to Heart Mission.
New Haven: New Haven Lions seated (L. to R.): Gloria Hoder, Robin Kramer, Stacey Perkins, and Barbara Orell; standing (L. to R.): Jane Shernow, Lisa Stanger, Sydney Perry, Marcia Reiter, Robyn Teplitzky, Judy Skolnick, and Stacey Trachten.
Louisville: Alison Silberman, Janet Hodes and Jennifer Tuvlin co-chaired this year’s Louisville Lion of Judah/Pomegranate event and the community-wide Women’s Philanthropy event that followed.
New Orleans: (L. to R.) New Orleans Lions of Judah Dana Shepard (2013 Annual Campaign co-chair), Lis Kahn, Julie Wise Oreck (Centennial chair), Carole Katz, Diane Franco and Jan Miller help to kick off the Jewish Federation’s Centennial year.
New York: (L. to R.) New York Lions Eneas Arkawy and Amy A. B. Bressman, recipients of the 2013 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award and the Spirit of 38 respectively. Peggy Award,
New York: Bressman (left) accepting the Spirit of Peggy Award, named after Peggy Tishman, from Tishman’s granddaughter Lauren Alexander.
New York: Broadway singer and actor Capathia Jenkins performing, “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going,” from “Dreamgirls.” Credit: Michael Priest Photography.
Middlesex County To meet Harriet Tabak, z”l, our 2012 Kipnis-Wilson/ Friedland Award recipient, was to love her. Only her “Jewish heart” and passion for Jewish Middlesex (NJ) shone brighter than her infectious smile and glistening red lipstick. She embraced everyone with kindness, friendship and a passion for life that was contagious. On Nov. 20, Harriet passed away, leaving behind brokenhearted family and community. Many of us remember that Harriet, after listening to or meeting someone who inspired her, would enthusiastically exclaim, “Wow!” Harriet was our “Wow!” and we will miss her. She was an advocate for Jewish peoplehood and a role model for philanthropic giving. She wholeheartedly supported every Women’s Philanthropy effort, whether soliciting a friend, sharing sage advice or driving a neighbor to ensure her attendance at a program. Harriet loved this community and dedicated herself to it. The Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County’s Lion of Judah donors were privileged to honor Harriet on Sept. 11 at the Manhattan home of Barbara Littman, a touch-and-go celebration due to Harriet’s declining health. With dedication and determination, Harriet arrived with her loving family by her side to receive the hugs and recognition from those she loved so much.
Monmouth County Monmouth County is proud to have a leader and role model like Sheryl Grutman as part of our community. Sheryl, a Ruby Lion and active philanthropist, serves as president of our Women’s Philanthropy and is a member of the National Women’s Philanthropy Board. She is a passionate woman who demonstrates a strong commitment to advancing the mission and initiatives of Jewish Federation and National Women’s Philanthropy, in particular. She began her involvement with the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County in 2004. She jumped right into the Lion’s Den by becoming a Lion of Judah in 2005 and has never looked back. Sheryl, a woman of influence who is well respected, never misses an opportunity to inspire other women and promote Women’s Philanthropy. In 2012, she helped welcome several new Lions of Judah to our community. Her passion and commitment continue as she kicked off 2013 by participating in the Heart to Heart Mission.
New Haven New Haven’s contingent of 15 Lions had an incredible experience at the ILOJC and returned inspired and motivated after 1,700 women joined in raising $27 million for the Annual Campaign. Many of the New Haven women present chose to increase their already generous gifts. Our group was particularly proud of Betsy Hoos, who so ably co-chaired the event. There should be no doubt that a small group of women can really change the world. We need to look no further than the women we honored with the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award, including New Haven’s own Judy Skolnick.
For now, the New Haven women are moving forward with a hands-on food-oriented program for children experiencing food insecurity in collaboration with Jewish Family Service. The goal is to ensure impoverished elementary school children are fed on the weekends throughout the academic school year. Meanwhile, the Women’s Philanthropy arm of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven is pleased to announce the newest Lion for the 2013 Annual Campaign, Laura Kaplan.
New Orleans In January, nearly 200 members of the Greater New Orleans Jewish community shared in the kick-off event marking 100 years of collaborative Jewish fundraising in New Orleans: Federation’s Centennial Jubilee. Among the crowd in the Isidore Newman School’s Henson Auditorium were many Lions of Judah. Attendees enjoyed kosher wine and hors d’oeuvres before adjourning to the auditorium to celebrate past Federation presidents during a spirited second line parade led by a local jazz band. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu congratulated Federation on the achievement, and community member Dr. Brenda Brasher offered a thoughtful presentation briefly summarizing 100 years of Federation in New Orleans. Another local, Bill Hess, husband of Lion of Judah Susan Hess, dressed up as his great-grandfather, Julius Rosenwald, and described the achievements of his forebear who helped bring the Federation system to New Orleans beginning in 1913. The highlight of the Centennial Jubilee was a spirited conversation between Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and New Orleans native Richard Berenson Stone, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. The Centennial Committee is chaired by Lion of Judah Julie Wise Oreck.
New York City As Lions gathered in New York City for the 2012 ILOJC, 200 New York Lions celebrated UJA-Federation of New York Women’s Philanthropy campaign kick-off at the Edison Ballroom in Manhattan’s theater district. At the Cocktails and Cabaret event, two of our own were honored for their hard work and generosity: Amy A. B. Bressman and Eneas Arkawy. The speakers throughout the evening also noted how influential the Lions are in the Jewish philanthropic world, and how they can extend that already impressive legacy by endowing their gift. Following the award presentation, the Lions were treated to performances by Broadway singers including Capathia Jenkins, Donna Vivino, James Wesley and Gay Willis, who sang pieces that reflected the vibrant Jewish history on Broadway. An energetic Seth Rudetsky, of Sirius/XM radio’s Seth’s Big Fat Broadway, provided piano accompaniment and served as the emcee.
Palm Beach County: Women’s Philanthropy in Palm Beach County makes up almost half of our Annual Campaign and is led by some of our amazing Lions. (L. to R.) Lisa Zwig Gerstein, vice president Education and Leadership Development; Judy Fish, vice president of Community Campaign; Vivian Lieberman, president; Lynn Kaston, vice president of Lion of Judah; Amy Jonas, immediate past campaign chair.
Northeastern NY : Tikkun Olam Volunteers at the American Cancer Society HopeClub. HopeClub is a support community for anyone whose life has been touched by cancer.
Northern NJ: Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey Lion of Judah Co-chairs Sari Gross and Stephanie Goldman-Pittel with Co-president Lauri Bader and Jodi Epstein.
Northeastern NY : Northeastern New York’s Tikkun Olam Volunteers at Girls Inc., an afterschool program for inner city girls. Girls Inc. inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold.
Northeastern NY : Tikkun Olam Volunteers at Daughters of Sarah, a nursing home committed to enhancing the quality of life of residents by assuring maximum independence and dignity through a variety of residential, personal care, health and other quality services consistent with Jewish tradition.
But the event went beyond celebrating Jewish contributions to the Great White Way to celebrating the Jewish values that connect so many of the Lions to their work. “Throughout my life’s journey… it is my association with UJA-Federation that has given me the place to perform the mitzvot that have added great meaning to my life,” Bressman said, while accepting the Spirit of Peggy Award from Lauren Alexander. Arkawy, who received the 2013 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award at the event, took it as a testament to the strength and impact of the Lions that she’s begun to see a new generation joining the group. Karen S. W. Friedman, chair of Women’s Philanthropy, emphasized the present and future influence that the Lions of Judah have within UJA-Federation, and the populations that it serves. In 2012 alone, New York Lions raised almost $29.1 million to help those in need and build inspired Jewish communities worldwide, and they have endowed $45 million more in future contributions.
be part of this sisterhood. “We believe in each other. We believe that no child should go to bed hungry, that every senior has the right to live with dignity and that all Jews should be able to live anywhere in the world without fear of persecution. We believe that together we can make the world a better place. And we have the track record to prove it.” Jodi Epstein gave two examples of how Lion gifts are making a difference in Jewish lives. “We are providing Jewish celebrations and cultural experiences to disabled children living in Northern New Jersey, and we are providing activities and Jewish learning for individuals with Alzheimer and dementia while giving a bit of respite to their caregivers.” LOJE Chair Bambi Epstein, our very deserving KipnisWilson/Friedland Award recipient, announced that four Lions—Geri Cantor, Rella Feldman, Ruth Kornheiser and Jayne Petak—endowed their gifts in the last few months, bringing the total number of LOJE donors in Northern New Jersey to 79, with commitments totaling $8.9 million.
Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York’s Women’s Philanthropy division and the young women of NextDor: the Next Generation of Leadership have embarked on an exciting new path for community service volunteer opportunities. They established TOV, or Tikkun Olam Volunteers. TOV is a collaborative effort between our Federation women and area social service agencies. It was inspired by one of our Lions of Judah Thank You Dessert Receptions and has been a great success. We decided to start the program by assisting two Jewish and two secular organizations each year. Jean Kaback, TOV chair, stated: “TOV believes that there is power in the work of the female collective. We will provide opportunities to women to come together to volunteer and help people in our own community.”
Thanks to the vision and tenacity of a group of Ottawa Lions of Judah, more than 1,000 people paddled into history on the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel last May at the first-ever Dragon Boat Israel Festival. The sold-out festival was a product of the contagious enthusiasm and hard work of a great group of women. The whirlwind two-day event filled with ruach included the exciting Dragon Boat race, entertainment, food and activities for people of all ages.
We have already helped four different organizations in the Capital Region and the response has been fantastic. Not only are we attracting women who have never been involved in Federation before, but we are educating Northeastern New York about the work Federation does in our local community, Israel and around the world. Several of our Tikkun Olam Volunteers have already joined steering committees for various Women’s Philanthropy events and are becoming active leaders in our Jewish community.
Northern NJ More than 75 Lions of Judah from Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey roared at the annual Lion of Judah Luncheon, chaired by Stephanie Goldman-Pittel and Sari Gross. The luncheon was held at the Stone Mansion at Fricke Estate in Alpine to kick off the 2013 Annual Campaign. Richard and Patti Kurtz, owners of the Stone Mansion, shared a brief history of the Fricke Estate. Lauri Bader, co-president of Women’s Philanthropy along with Jodi Epstein, told the audience how proud she was to
In October 2012, a group of women gathered for the annual Lion of Judah Brunch, during which keynote speaker Lisa Steinmetz impressed and inspired all attendees, including our two most recently pinned Lions. They also heard an address from a young community Lion, Jessica Kerzner, who is a member of our Emerging Generation demographic (22-35 years of age). She explained that being a Lion of Judah affords her the opportunity to be philanthropic, while her participation with the Emerging Generation offers more of a hands-on and social connection.
Palm Beach County The Lion of Judah Campaign is the centerpiece of Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s fundraising efforts. Lions Vice President Lynn Kaston and our leadership team have developed new strategies and initiatives to engage more donors and increase participation. We are making great strides and have exceeded expectations. Our primary goal for Campaign 2013 is to increase gifts by 20 percent and begin conversations about leaving a legacy. We have already secured increases ahead of the goal, closed several LOJE gifts and had many discussions about endowments. We also want to identify and reach out to the many women who are seasonal residents of Palm Beach County and Lions in other communities. These members of the “pride” sisterhood should feel like an integral part of our community. To that end, www.JewishFederations.org/nwp 41
Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Lion of Judah Luncheon Chair Flo Mae Moravitz (zâ€?l) watches as her daughter and fellow Lion of Judah Luncheon Chair Joy Moravitz signs the Pittsburgh LOJE Ketubah.
Palm Springs: Palm Springs 2012 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recipient Roberta Nyman.
Raleigh-Cary: Attendees are engaged by health professionals on a variety of topics.
Raleigh-Cary: (L. to R.) Diane Zamansky, Symposium Co-chair Ellen Caplan, Hadassah Lieberman and 42 www.JewishFederations.org/nwp Symposium Co-chair Claudia Kadis.
Raleigh-Cary: Raleigh-Cary Womenâ€™s Symposium Keynote Speaker Hadassah Lieberman.
Nancy C. Hart graciously hosted a gathering at her home in December, where 35 women learned about the critical needs in our local community. Our “Step-Up Lion” program, initiated last year, has been very successful. The program allows women to journey toward a Lion gift over a three-year period. Currently, we have 14 commitments; these women will immediately receive all the benefits of being a Lion. The highlight of the Lion campaign is the Pride of Our Lions: A Celebration of Women’s Philanthropy luncheon, with Honorary Chair Jane Karp. This year, Alina Gerlovin Spaulding and Anya Romanet shared their powerful, inspiring stories of triumph in February at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. Sandra Bornstein, Rosalee Davison, Whitney Schneider, and LOJE Co-chairs Sheryl Davidoff and Lisa Seymour chaired the event.
Palm Springs In February, the Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and Desert Area Women’s Philanthropy held the annual Lion of Judah luncheon at the beautiful JW Marriott Desert Springs and Resort. President Lainie Weil, Campaign Vice President Stephanie Ross, Vice Chair Lion of Judah Margot Halperin plus the two co-chairs of the luncheon, Annette Lerner and Debra Star, recognized and thanked our Lions for their generosity and hard work. The guest speaker was Sally Oren, the wife of Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael B. Oren. We were pleased to welcome 12 new local and out-oftown Lions. Thirteen of our Lions attended the ILOJC in New York City. We were all very proud that Roberta Nyman, our Federation’s past president, received the Kipnis-Wilson/ Friedland Award. Everyone said they found the conference educational, motivational and memorable.
down, work harder, there is so much to be done. Hineini.’” At the closing program, we honored Ann Spain, z”l, as our Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award winner for 2012. Ann exemplified a woman of valor. Her response to a call to action was, “They’re Jews, they’re your family, they need it, you have it, give them what they need. It’s as simple as that.” Ann certainly knew how to “Step Up.”
Pittsburgh One of the most beloved programs for the Pittsburgh Lion community is the annual Lion Lunch and Learn series. In 2013, we raised the bar on this fabulous series by tying together the Lunch and Learns and the annual Lion event with a theme— exploring the growing arts scene in Pittsburgh through a Jewish lens. We kicked off the year with our Lion event, held at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s (PBT) rehearsal space. The luncheon was punctuated by an occasional ballerina crossing through the room, reminding us of the rehearsals taking place next door! A few weeks later, our first Lunch and Learn focused on the PBT’s recent trip to Pittsburgh’s partner city of Karmiel for the internationally renowned Karmiel Dance Festival—a trip that was facilitated by the Federation’s P2G program. Terence Orr, director of the PBT, shared the company’s experience performing in Israel and even taught our Lions a few prima ballerina moves of our own. In the spring of 2013, the Lunch and Learn series, chaired by Shelly Snyder, continued with a visit to the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts for a private tour of the paintings of Kara Snyder. The paintings in this show are partially inspired by the artist’s experience on Federation’s Mega Mission to Israel in 2012. We conclude the year with an overview of the burgeoning film industry in Pittsburgh, which has brought the filming of movies such as “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Promised Land” to our city.
The 2012 campaign theme for Philadelphia’s Women’s Philanthropy was “Step Up” and our leadership and volunteers did just that. Our dedicated and passionate Conference Chairs Robin Batoff and Sheree Bloch stepped up and recruited 43 excited, passionate and generous women from Philadelphia to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Lion of Judah. This was our largest group ever to attend a Lion of Judah Conference. At our caucus, our women stepped up by responding to Gail Norry’s request for a 20 percent increase in their gift by raising $536,000. We also endowed seven Lions from the conference.
Sunday, October 21, was a glorious day—inside and out! The brisk fall air and the changing leaves beckoned more than 150 attendees to the Women’s Symposium at the Embassy Suites in Cary to hear keynote speaker Hadassah Lieberman and participate in a wide range of health-related seminars. Welcoming all of the guests were the event sponsors: The Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary Lions of Judah, REX Healthcare and the Raleigh and Cary chapters of Hadassah. Co-chairs Ellen Caplan, who is Raleigh’s Hadassah president, and Claudia Kadis, Lion of Judah, expressed their pride and pleasure in seeing so many women converge from across the region.
Robin Batoff said, “While the conference was a time to think about our gifts, it gave even more back to those who attended. The power and possibility that we, as Jewish women, have to impact our world cannot be underestimated.” She continued by saying, “I will never forget 9-11-12 as our own Lynda Targon led 1,700 women in saying Kaddish. Or when Newark Mayor Cory Booker closed his remarks by saying, ‘Individually we are strong; together we are a divine force. Continue, double
In her remarks, Mrs. Lieberman, wife of former Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, drew on her global efforts to turn health diplomacy into measurable action. An international advocate for improving the social status of women to alleviate poverty, Mrs. Lieberman also stressed the need for women to remain vigilant on behalf of their own well-being. She urged www.JewishFederations.org/nwp 43
Richmond: Esther Fradkin being pinned a Lion of Judah by 2013 Richmond Women’s Campaign Chair Ellen Renee Adams.
Richmond: Mothers and daughters at the L’dor V’dor Event. Richmond: (L. to R.) 2013 Richmond Campaign Chairs Ellen Renee Adams and Tracy Retchin with new Lions Lisa Kaplan and Esther Fradkin.
San Antonio: Lauren Weissman Stanley packs nutritionally complete food packages for underprivileged Israelis at Latet Yavne during Heart to Heart.
San Diego: San Diego Lions Tour the spectacular Stuart Art Collection on their local University of California campus.
San Antonio: (L. to R.) Lauren Weissman Stanley, Jennifer Jay, Alice Viroslav enjoying the shuk.
Rochester: 2013 Rochester Federation Campaign Main Event Steering Committee—back row (L. to R.): Elizabeth Fine, JDC keynote; Caroline Korn; Randy Morgenstern, Women’s Philanthropy FRD director. Front row (L. to R.): Lion Marisa Kessler; Susan Kramarsky, Main Event chair; Shaina Kovalsky; Lion Jamie Flaum; 44 www.JewishFederations.org/nwp Lion Tiffany Meyer.
San Antonio: Lions dancing with Holocaust survivor Tova Alderman.
the assembly to continue to work together, stressing the link between Torah and health. She asked that our community, through education and philanthropy, continue to raise awareness of women’s health issues.
Several women on the Steering Committee indicated they would love to serve on the 2014 Main Event! We look forward to another incredible and successful evening.
The afternoon event continued with speakers who informed and engaged women on a variety of health-related topics, from vein therapy to menopause and nutrition. Participants praised Jackie Bedard, Lisa Feierstein, Pam Koretsky, Phyllis Kritz, Debbie Orol, Lisa Warren, Lauren Watral, Dr. Polly Watson, Dr. Seth Weinreb and Barbara Vosk. They said they appreciated the in-depth quality and substance of the information that was imparted.
Richmond The 2013 Annual Campaign season for the Lions of Judah in Richmond,VA, was very busy. Richmond’s pride of 83 Lions welcomed two new Lions and two new Ruby Lions this year. The Lions and Women’s Division raised $950,000, a high mark for the Women’s Division total and almost a third of the entire Richmond Annual Campaign. More than 50 people—many of them mothers, daughters, nieces, aunts and cousins—gathered at the annual L’Dor V’Dor event which honored Lion of Judah Elise Scherr with the Woman of Valor-Aishet Chayil award. Elise, who has been an active Lion for nine years, has endowed her Lion gift and serves on the board of the Federation as well as being active with many of our local partners.
This past February, Jewish Federation of San Antonio President Alice Viroslav, along with immediate past Chair Gail Norry and Laurie Luskin of Baltimore, chaired a life-changing mission: Heart to Heart 4: A Women’s Journey to Israel. Lion and JFSATX Women’s Division Chair Lauren Weissman Stanley also participated. Lions from across the country took part in a hands-on service project at Latet Yavne, met with Israeli women philanthropists and Lions, visited JFNAsupported sites across the country, heard moving stories, and somehow found the time to shop! One site our Lions particularly enjoyed was Megemeria, a fine jewelry school for Ethiopian olim. In fact our ladies liked it so much they bought the entire stock, the sales of which go directly to funding the school! This mission was an opportunity for our Lions to explore Israel, learn from its people, become inspired and deepen their engagement with Jewish life in their community and worldwide. Following H2H, Lauren Weissman Stanley had the opportunity to visit JFSATX’s Partnership 2Gether region of Western Galilee. Lauren is very excited to reinvigorate San Antonio’s partnership with Akko.
San Diego Rochester Neither rain nor sleet nor Super Storm Sandy deterred 250 women from attending our 24th annual Main Event. The winning combination for this successful evening: a young, enthusiastic committee and a compelling keynoter who shared her moving personal decision to leave corporate America and pursue the path of her dreams as director of International Initiatives with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. We were pleased that 70 Main Event guests were part of our Sherut group, our new division for younger women. During the evening, we had the honor of welcoming two new Lions to our pride: Amy Libenson, who experienced Israel for the first time as a Heart To Heart 2 participant, and Hedria Saltzman, who twice facilitated Women’s Philanthropy leadership retreats. The power of our homeland, the impact of a fabulous mission and the passion of our committed volunteers all serve to foster lasting impressions and personal calls to action. At the event, 110 gifts were closed and 79 increased, with 31 first-time gifts pledged to Women’s Philanthropy. These pledges represented a 35 percent gift-for-gift increase. Rochester celebrated one new Lion of Judah-level gift, while one Lion was moved to pledge at the Ruby level. In addition, one former Lion returned to the pride.
In December, 28 Lions of Judah enjoyed a wonderful day together touring the magnificent Stuart Art Collection at the beautiful UCSD campus. The day included lunch at the UCSD Faculty Club, along with a walking tour with docent Jane Peterson of the Stuart Collection, who shared her in-depth knowledge of many outdoor sculptures placed throughout the campus. A visit to the Stuart Collection would not have been complete without a visit to the newest installation, Fallen Star, by Korean artist Do Ho Suh. This is a small cottage on the rooftop of the Jacobs School of Engineering that sits crookedly on one corner, cantilevered out over the ground seven stories below. Event Co-chairs Juli Bear and Lisa Kornfeld expressed their excitement in bringing the Lions together for a day of art and culture right here in our own backyard. Each year the Lions hit the road for a day together to explore arts and culture. In the past several years, the Lions have enjoyed day trips to Los Angeles to the Skirball Museum and the Getty Villa, as well as our own local Little Italy and downtown areas. One participant stated, “It is a great way to share an experience with other Lions, women who share a common thread of caring for our community and making a difference in the world.”
Sarasota: Sarasota-Manatee Lions at the International Lion of Judah Conference.
Sarasota: Helen Glaser, Sarasota-Manatee’s 2012 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recipient.
South Palm: Left side (L. to R.): Charla Bernstein, Anne Jacobson and Judi Schuman; Right side (L. to R.) Barbara D. Cohen, Ilene Wohlgemuth, Beth Mishkin and Robin Agronin
Seattle: Seattle 2012 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award 46 Sidell. recipient Iantha
South Palm: April Leavy and Emily Grabelsky
Somerset: Israeli hand-made children’s clothing on sale at “Imagine” to raise funds for an adult day program in the Negev.
Sarasota-Manatee Lions of Judah representing The Jewish Federation of SarasotaManatee were proud to participate in the ILOJC in New York City in September. They were Barbara Ackerman, Karen Bernstein, Fran Braverman, Lynn Carvel, Edie Chaifetz, Ilene Fox, Helen Glaser, Roz Goldberg, Linda Lipson, Ros Mazur, Nelle Miller, Nadia Ritter, Irene Ross, Bunny Skirboll, Susi Steenbarger, Patti Wertheimer and Cynthia Wright. “To be in New York City with 1,700 other Jewish women to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Lion of Judah and to have our own Lion, Helen Glaser, honored from Sarasota-Manatee as one of the 2012 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recipients was a truly exciting experience,” said Susi Steenbarger, co-chair of Federation’s 2013 Annual Campaign. “Being able to participate and share this special time with other local Lions gave me great personal pride and rededicated my commitment to our local community and the Jewish world at large.”
lifelong achievements cover every aspect of the Jewish Federation, as president of the board, chair of Women’s Philanthropy, dynamic fundraiser, ambassador and mission chair. She is also the recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award for her committed spirit as a Lion of Judah. It was a great moment for Iantha, and an even better one for Seattle’s Jewish women.
Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties Each year the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties Women’s Philanthropy Division targets populations in Israel and in our local area where help is needed. We then educate our community about the needs and raise funds to make a difference in people’s lives.
In January 2013, Sarasota-Manatee Lions attended the annual Lion of Judah and Pomegranate Luncheon at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, co-chaired by Bobbi Bernstein and Marysue Wechsler. Lions enjoyed a delicious lunch and raised funds for a project in Sarasota-Manatee’s partnership community, Kiryat Yam, Israel. Following the luncheon, guests enjoyed a performance of “The Heidi Chronicles.”
Over time, we have assisted at-risk youth, children facing abuse, economically distressed women, impoverished and hungry children, Ethiopian refugees, cancer patients and their families and many others. Our focus this year has been on assisting the elderly in need in our tri-county area in New Jersey and in the under-served Negev region of Israel. The program in Israel, Amutat Havaya, is being supported in concert with our sister Federation, Greater MetroWest. Meanwhile, our local adult day program serves our area in New Jersey. Both programs work to help keep the elderly in their own homes and supported during the day so they may continue to live with independence and dignity. Our key women’s event, “Imagine,” is held in the fall, and a follow-up event is planned each spring to raise the funds needed. Amutat Havaya sent us wonderful hand-made children’s clothing to offer during our events. Our Federation women have a chance to learn about their sisters locally and in Israel and enjoy the effort to connect and help each year.
SOUTH PALM BEACH COUNTY
Seattle’s Jewish Federation recently honored esteemed Federation leader Iantha Sidell with the Althea Stroum Woman of Distinction award. The prestigious Stroum award honors pillars in Seattle’s community who have dedicated themselves to the critical mission of the Jewish Federation.
The roar of 60 South Palm Beach County Lions was loud and clear across New York City during four action-packed September days. Among 1,700 women, our pride boasted the largest delegation from outside the NY area at the 2012 International Lion of Judah Conference. Just to start, our Lions had two days of their own special activities, visiting Ground Zero and the Jewish Heritage Museum, walking the High Line and enjoying lunch and fashion at Bloomies. With dinner, testimonials and song, they lauded Beverly Shapiro, our 2012 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland honoree.
After the ILOJC, Helen Glaser reflected, “What a wonderful experience I had as the recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/ Friedland Award. The inspiration that I received from the 1,700 Lions of Judah was so rewarding. I think that this was an experience that every woman should have. Thank you, Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, for making this one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
Iantha epitomizes all that the award represents—“The gentle humanitarian and philanthropic spirit that has resulted in the betterment of Jewish lives and culture locally, in Israel and around the world.” The award was presented at the community’s largest annual gathering of Jewish women in the Pacific Northwest— Connections. What made this award even more remarkable is that it was presented as a complete surprise to Iantha, a long-time volunteer, activist and philanthropist. Iantha has dedicated most of her adult life to the goals and mission of the Jewish Federation, having traveled to Israel 30 times. She is regarded as a precious, multi-faceted diamond in our community, contributing her brilliance and passion to Jewish life. Her
The conference plenaries and dynamic breakouts included high-level leaders from JFNA, governments in the U.S. and Israel, the nonprofit world and philanthropy, inspiring and increasing the capacity of the Lions to do their important work at home. The women also participated in a Best Practices Exchange as well as in service projects for literacy, women’s shelters, the elderly and more. Led by South Palm’s Conference Co-chairs Beth Mishkin and Ilene Wohlgemuth, Lion Vice Chair April Leavy and Women’s Philanthropy Chair Emily Grabelsky, and
Southern AZ: Lion and Women’s Philanthropy Campaign Co-chair Donna Moser shares her mission to Odessa and Israel at Southern Arizona’s Leadership Campaign Summit.
Southern AZ: (L. to R.) Southern Arizona Lions Elsa Goldberg and Brina Grusin at the Leadership Campaign Summit LOJ Wine Reception.
Stamford: Stamford Lions Meryl Gordon, Ellen Weber, Joan Zinbarg-Hochberg, Nancy Mimoun, Malerie Yolen Cohen, Lorraine Kweskin and Anat Chavkin.
48 www.JewishFederations.org/nwp Tidewater: (L. to R.) New Tidewater LOJEs Laura Gross, Mimi Karesh and Betsy Karotkin.
Tidewater: Tidewater Lions – standing (L. to R.): Jeri Jo Halprin, Shari Friedman, Amy Levy; Seated (L. to R.): Lynn Schoenbaum and Stephanie Calliott
accompanied by new CEO Matt Levin, our delegation took full advantage of the ILOJC New York experience. And, while they were there, Margaret Kotler and Marilyn Weissglass endowed their Lion of Judah gifts—as our women contributed more than half a million dollars to our Federation’s Annual Campaign.
Southern Arizona What better way to kick off the 2013 Annual Campaign than with wine, cheese and a personal connection to our Federation? In November, Southern Arizona Lions of Judah gathered at Hacienda del Sol Resort to do just that. It was the kick-off for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Leadership Campaign Summit, a series of parlor meetings bringing together leaders in support of the campaign efforts; our Lions joined Women’s Philanthropy in a session specifically for women. Micah Halpern, social and political commentator and the only exclusively kosher wine reviewer in the Western Hemisphere, spoke on “Making Sense of the Middle East: A Post Election Analysis.” He also treated the Lions to his winetasting expertise in a special LOJ pre-reception. The Lion of Judah women joined Chair Ellen Goldstein in this extraordinary opportunity to discuss intimately our opportunities and challenges as a Jewish community. They heard first-hand the experiences of Lions and Women’s Philanthropy Campaign co-chairs and sisters, Audrey Brooks and Donna Moser, as they shared the story of their incredible journey and their family’s roots in Odessa and Israel. They also had the opportunity to meet individually with Campaign leadership to make their gifts. It was a wonderful afternoon of learning, connecting and giving in the spirit of Lions.
Southern Maine The Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine was proud to celebrate its Lions of Judah with a private viewing of the photographic exhibit, Upon Reflection, by Lion of Judah Judy Ellis Glickman. Best known among the photographs from the exhibit are black-and-white images from Holocaust, the Presence of the Past and portraits from Resistance and Rescue: Denmark’s Response to the Holocaust. Our Lions were treated to a delicious brunch and a gallery talk with Judy.
Stamford Reflections from Ellen Weber, president of Women’s Philanthropy of Stamford, New Canaan and Darien: My first International Lion of Judah Conference in September was also my first official activity as Women’s Philanthropy president. I participated with eight other Lions from United Jewish Federation of Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, in meetings that were inspirational and enlightening. The message at the ILOJC was clear: Lions are a caring and philanthropic group who make a difference in the lives of those in need here, in Israel and throughout the world. The three-day conference
was so inspirational that when the Stamford group met at the plenary at the end of the third day, more than half the group increased their pledges by a minimum of 10 percent. From the very first night of the conference I was in awe. I listened as two members of the “Wicked” cast entertained us singing, “Because I knew you, I’ve been changed for the good.” I was. I listened to Nancy Lublin talk about her involvement in Dress for Success and realized that the power we all have to change the world is, sometimes, one outfit at a time. And, as I watched the film of the generations of grandmothers, mothers and daughters who are committed to the Jewish Federations of North America, I knew what my role should be in the life of my own daughter. The event from beginning to end was truly “priceless.”
Tidewater The 2013 Tidewater Lion Luncheon was all about celebrating the power of Jewish women to make a difference in the world and shape the future for generations to come. In her remarks, guest speaker Lori Palatnik, founder of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance project, noted that throughout the Torah women consistently trusted in God and kept the Jewish people moving forward to the Promised Land, even when the men doubted, feared or stumbled. It’s not often that a speaker can enchant an entire room, but Palatnik did just that, making each of the more than 80 participants feel that she has the power to shape the future of the Jewish community and make the world a better place. Five new Lions were honored: Rachel Abrams, Hannah Chakoff, Wendy Konikoff, Nancy Nusbaum and Jennifer Rush. A sixth, Jerri Jo Halprin, became our newest Lion shortly after the event. Two Lions moved to new levels: Shelia Josephberg became an Amethyst and Randi Gordon a Ruby. We also honored four new LOJEs: Laura Gross, Amy Levy, Betsy Karotkin and Mimi Karesh.
Twin Cities Lions across the Twin Cities Jewish community had eagerly awaited September 20th so that women who are passionate about philanthropy, community and their Jewish identity could come together to celebrate their local and global impact. About 120 women gathered at the annual Lion of Judah Luncheon presented by the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul. It was a wonderful turnout for the seventh consecutive year. Guest speaker Judith Viorst spoke about her career as the accomplished author of books for adults and for children (including Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good,Very Bad Day). She also wrote a column in Redbook for more than 25 years. Cindi Goldfine and Kathy Zack of Minneapolis, and Joanne Silverman and Judy Wolf of St. Paul, chaired the 2012 intergenerational luncheon, which focused on the important role women’s philanthropy plays in our Jewish community. www.JewishFederations.org/nwp 49
The lasting impact of a Lion of Judah Endowment was another important message shared from the podium that inspirational afternoon. The luncheon gave the women who had just returned from the ILOJC in New York a perfect opportunity to share their experiences with their peers. The Twin Cities Lions are looking forward to another year filled with opportunities to shine as women who make a difference in their community.
Washington, D.C. The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington was thrilled to welcome 22 new Lions during the 2012 Annual Campaign. Additionally, nine women increased their Lion gifts to the Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald levels. We also initiated the Lion’s Leap, a program that allows women to “leap” to the Lion giving level in three years at their own pace.
initiative funded by our Federation and the United Jewish Endowment Fund. We are looking forward to a great 2013 and hope to bring many new Lions into our family! Let’s hear them roar!
Western Massachusetts Western Massachusetts was represented by a contingent of 12 Lions at the International Lion of Judah Conference in NYC. They enjoyed the workshops, guest speakers, community service projects and multiple opportunities for learning, coming away with renewed passion and commitment for the vital work of the Federation system.
Vice President of Women’s Philanthropy Cathy Gildenhorn said, “It is exciting to see so many new women making a difference in our community. The Greater Washington Federation reached its 2012 Annual Campaign goal! Thanks to all our generous and dedicated Lions who helped make that meaningful moment possible! I am proud to call myself a Lion alongside this great group of women.” On January 31, we gathered for a delectable evening pairing cookies made by local women entrepreneurs with wine from our Israeli sister city, Beit Shemesh. The event allowed our Lions to meet, socialize and build community. We also learned about the Jewish Food Experience, an exciting new local
Washington, D.C.: (L. to R.) Washington, D.C. Lions Mindy Strelitz, Dottie Bennett and Lillian Abensohn.
Western MA: (L. to R.) Western Massachusetts Lions Betsey Freedman, Sue Kline, Susan Goldman, Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland honoree Betsy Gaberman, Ruth Weiss and Fay Smith.
As I write this, nine months have passed since the Lion of Judah Conference, and I am still so energized by the passion and strength that 1,700 of you brought to New York! I am also amazed by the impact that this conference continues to make.
As all of you are aware, many places in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere were changed forever when Hurricane Sandy hit on October 20. It was incredible to watch how the Federation movement and so many others rallied around those struggling without food, water, electricity, clothing and shelter. In December we received a letter from JASA, The Jewish Association for Services of the Aged and a recipient of funds from the UJA-Federation of New York. We were told that the backpacks that Lions like you helped to prepare on September 11, 2012 were literally the light in the storm for many seniors living in the community (see story on page 23). And then, soon after, the impact of the work we do was made clear again. I was running late to the office because bad weather had delayed the subways. Like so many others, I was irritated and annoyed by the time I got pushed onto the 4 train headed downtown. I remember saying to myself, “It is not going to be a good day.” Then I heard a little boy coughing. I turned to look and saw a child who must have been about 5. He was seated next to his mother who was carrying a younger child on her lap. The coughing continued and subway riders tried to move away or commented that sick children should not ride the train. For some reason I kept my eyes on them. I asked the mother if I could give her son a cough drop and, in broken English, she said I could. For the next two stops I watched this little family grouping, drawn to them for some unknown reason. As the mother stood up and headed off the train, I got a glimpse of her back. She was wearing the Jewish Federations of North America backpack that we have provided to shelters supported by UJA-Federation of New York. I often need a mission to Israel or a visit to a five-story walkup in Minsk to remind me why I do what I do, but now I know that the work we do is all around us. I love that on a snowy morning on a subway, I got to be inspired and gratified, and it was on behalf of each of you, knowing we make so much possible. If we are lucky, we get to discover again and again that supporting community—locally, nationally and internationally—is our greatest job as well as our greatest gift to ourselves. Thank you so much for all you do!
Kimberlee Fish, Senior Director, National Women’s Philanthropy