May 4, 2015
Women’s Philanthropy Installation Celebrates and Rededicates
Against the vibrant backdrop of amazing works of art, nearly 100 Jewish women came together on April 27, 2015 for the annual installation of the Women’s Philanthropy Board of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. Together, with joy, laughter and some tears, they remembered and celebrated 2014-15, then recommitted as they looked to the year ahead.
As the women enjoyed a gourmet brunch buffet at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Installation Chair Gail Greenspoon offered a warm and inspiring welcome, thanking the women for putting their values into action and their profound impact for our community and the Jewish people.
Greenspoon also remembered the Dorothy Seaman Department of Women’s Philanthropy’s namesake, noting, “This is the first annual installation that will not be graced with the presence of Dotti Seaman. Her leadership has left an indelible stamp on all of us. We can feel proud that Women’s Philanthropy will forever honor Dotti’s blessed memory by carrying her name, and she will always be an inspiration to women who choose to make a difference here.”
Greenspoon also recognized Wells Fargo Private Bank, represented for their generous corporate sponsorship of the Department of Women’s Philanthropy, calling Larry Katz “a real champion of our cause.”
Federation President & CEO Matthew C. Levin lauded the women for their dedication, generosity and creativity that have led to so much success, before Women’s Philanthropy Chair Judi Schuman took the podium. Schuman spoke of the power and bonds within Women’s Philanthropy, acknowledging the past Chairs “whose vision and hard work were absolutely instrumental in forging the path that enables us to be here today.”
The women were deeply moved by Rani Garfinkle’s account of her mission to France following the recent deadly terrorist attacks. A longtime local Federation leader, Garfinkle’s many national roles have included JFNA Chair and President of National Women’s Philanthropy.
Judi Schuman looked back on her remarkable first year as Women’s Philanthropy Chair and thanked her leaders and volunteers for, “a most wonderful time of togetherness and hard work, raising increased funds and drawing more donors at all levels for our Federation’s Annual Campaign – including 42 new Lions of Judah, 23 new Pomegranates and 6 new Lion of Judah Endowments, engaging new women to join our efforts, and making many new friendships.”
Yet, Schuman also challenged the women to fulfill their potential by doing even more. “The power of our women in making an impact over the years has been nothing short of extraordinary,” she said. “But, sadly, there are still too many families here and abroad looking for their next meal, Holocaust survivors who desperately need home care, children and adults with special needs who deserve to live lives of dignity and, of course, our brothers and sisters in Israel who are vulnerable to what tomorrow may bring. We know the funds we raise and contribute have a powerful effect. So, with pride and determination, passion and momentum, we must challenge ourselves to reach higher and do more together.”
The look back also focused on the inaugural class of Chapter Two, a program designed for women who want to learn more and get involved with the Jewish community, and chaired by Janice Obuchowski, Vice Chair, Outreach and Karen Dern, Vice Chair, Education. Robin Siegal shared her experiences, from “the instant common bond that formed among the group of smart Jewish women who have so many talents, so much to learn and so much to give, to their learning experiences about the Jewish community and its needs, and so much more.”
In recognition of her prodigious efforts and achievements, Eydie Holz, current Women’s Philanthropy Vice Chair, Lion of Judah, was presented with the 2015 Dorothy Seaman Leadership Award. Established in 2008, this annual award recognizes an exceptional role model on the Women’s Philanthropy Board whose leadership and philanthropy, commitment and dedication to tikkun olam, repairing our world, embody Dotti’s values. “Eydie is passionate about her work for the Jewish community and getting more people to understand what Federation does to help here in the community and around the world,” said Schuman, who presented the award.
The 2015-16 Women’s Philanthropy officers were installed by Immediate Past Chair Emily Grabelsky, before many of the guests took advantage of the opportunity to view the museum’s exhibit, Helena Rubenstein: Beauty is Power, organized by the Jewish Museum in New York City.
“I know this group of women, led by Judi Schuman, will meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” said Gail Greenspoon in closing. “I wish you wisdom in your deliberations, passion as you stand for your beliefs, and a bit of humor as you face whatever the future holds in store."
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2015-16 WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY OFFICERS:
Judi Schuman, Chair of Women’s Philanthropy
April Leavy, Vice Chair of Campaign
Eydie Holz, Vice Chair, Lion of Judah
Joan Hauser, Vice Chair, Pomegranate
Barbara Lewin, Vice Chair, Planned Giving and Endowments
Karen Dern, Vice Chair of Education
Janice Obuchowski, Vice Chair of Community Development
Rebecca Appelbaum, Vice Chair of Social Media
Marilyn Barry, Secretary
Monica Goldstein, Officer at Large
Gail Greenspoon, Officer at Large
Margie Marlowe, Officer at Large
Janet Sahr, Officer at Large
Barbara Werner, Officer at Large
Emily Grabelsky, Immediate Past Chair