Jan 4, 2016

Human Rights Activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Address Lions of Judah at Annual Luncheon

The “pride” of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County will once again celebrate at the most awaited annual event in local women’s philanthropy. More than 500 generous and committed women are expected to gather at the Polo Club at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, for the Lion of Judah Luncheon.

“It gives me great pleasure to chair our Lion of Judah program, and to work on the luncheon with co-chairs Amy Ross and Robin Rubin, and our Honorary Chair, Phyllis Sandler,” said Eydie Holz. “The wonderful women who are Lions in our community raise a significant percentage of our Women’s Philanthropy campaign dollars, and we stand among the largest ‘Lion Prides’ in the country.”

“I am so proud of my daughters, Amy Ross and Robin Rubin, for their wonderful leadership in coordinating this luncheon and bringing together hundreds of our community’s most devoted and generous women,” added Phyllis Sandler. “Along with my daughter-in-law, Andrea Schnurmacher, and my two granddaughters, Brittany Kohn and Ali Schnurmacher, we stand proudly among the growing number of intergenerational Lion families in this community.”

The Lion of Judah luncheon will be keynoted by human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

“We are privileged to hear a meaningful keynote address from Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an important voice for human rights, a distinguished political leader and a true global champion of free speech,” said Amy Ross.

Hirsi Ali grew up Muslim in Somalia, but soon began questioning her faith. After an arranged marriage, she fled to the Netherlands, becoming a citizen and earning her M.A. from the University of Leiden. She served as an elected member of the Dutch Parliament, campaigning to raise awareness of violence against women, until she was forced to resign when authorities claimed she had misled them on her asylum application. Though her citizenship was later affirmed, she moved to the United States, where she is now a Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

“Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a compelling message of enlightenment, empowerment and inspiration that women of all ages will not want to miss,” added Ross.

This year’s luncheon will also highlight the Code of Kindness, a global project that strives to promotes acts of kindness and spread them from one person to the next throughout the world, using physical tokens and kind deeds. Each luncheon attendee will receive a token so they can continue to impact others through their generosity and pay the kindness forward.

"As a people, Jews have always tried to make the world a better place, and how better to repair the world than with acts of loving kindness?” said Robin Rubin. “We will be weaving messages of kindness into our Lion of Judah Luncheon program so that our Lions, and our entire Jewish community, will continue to improve the world.”

The luncheon couvert is $95, with a Lion level individual woman’s gift of $5,000 or above to the 2015 UJA/Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Annual Campaign required to attend. Dietary laws will be observed. For more information, call 561.852.6058 or email francescaw@bocafed.org.

Wells Fargo Private Bank is the generous sponsor of the Dorothy P. Seaman Department of Women’s Philanthropy. The Lion of Judah Luncheon is generously sponsored by Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation and Ivan & Co. Jewelers. The Boca Raton Observer is the Exclusive Magazine Sponsor.

Photos: (Top): Amy Ross, Phyllis Sandler, Robin Rubin; (Bottom): Aayan Hirsi Ali