Apr 15, 2016

Women’s Philanthropy Steps into the Future as April Leavy Takes the Gavel

In support, celebration and sisterhood, 101 caring, dedicated women came together on April 7, 2016 for the annual installation of the Women’s Philanthropy Board of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. Led by Women’s Philanthropy Board Member Elyssa Kupferberg, the “Stepping into the Future” brunch program in Zinman Hall on the Federation campus drew a continual chorus of laughter, tears and cheers. An inspiring D’var Torah by Rabbi David Steinhardt charted an inspiring course for the morning.

Together the women celebrated the past two-year term of Women’s Philanthropy Chair, Judi Schuman and rededicated themselves to the future as new officers were installed and Judi passed the gavel to new Chair, April Leavy. Schuman and her team were lauded by an array of leaders including Kupferberg, new Federation Board Chair, Anne Jacobson, Federation President & CEO Matthew C. Levin, Judi’s husband, Allan, and two deeply moving video tributes.

Click here to enjoy more photos from the Women’s Philanthropy Installation.

“Judi has guided Women’s Philanthropy over the past two years by lifting up those around her, making an indelible imprint with her wisdom, good humor and obvious love for her work,” said Jacobson, also a past Women’s Philanthropy Chair. “We have all been changed for the good, and together we are changing lives every single day – leaving handprints on the hearts of so many in our community and around the world.”

Recapping accomplishments during her tenure, Schuman shared, “In these two years we’ve spent together, Women’s Philanthropy has grown not only in numbers, but in stature. Our events and even our board meetings have featured speakers of great distinction, depth and substance, showing us the power of women, and showing our guests the power of the women of South Palm Beach County!”

“We won’t always know whose lives we touched and made better – but what is important is that we do care and we do act,” said Schuman in her inspiring outgoing message. “I know our acts of kindness and our philanthropy have made a real impact in our community, in Israel and all over the world where our Jewish family must depend on us.”

Karen Dern and Janice Obuchowski received special recognition as this year’s recipients of the Dorothy Seaman Leadership Award. For the past two years, they have worked as partners to lead the Women’s Philanthropy Chapter Two education and leadership development program, as well as educational events with prominent speakers for hundreds of participants.

Presenting the award, Schuman explained that it “recognizes individuals on the Women’s Philanthropy Board who embody the values of Dotti Seaman (z’l) through their leadership and philanthropy, serving as role models and mentors, and motivated by their desire to make the world a better place through tikkun olam… repairing the world.”

Also recognized were Wells Fargo Private Bank the generous Dorothy P. Seaman Department of Women’s Philanthropy sponsor, and generous installation event sponsor, Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation.

Emily Grabelsky, recent past Women’s Philanthropy Chair, conducted a moving installation ceremony for the 2016-17 officers. On receiving the gavel from Judi Schuman, new Chair April Leavy expressed her gratitude for her “exposure to the brilliant, powerful descendants of our matriarchs, who carry a wonderful spirit and a thirst to make our world a better place – and whose expertise and wisdom continue to inspire me.”

Looking ahead, Leavy continued, “It’s time to use my voice and my passion to ask all of you in Women’s Philanthropy to be Women of Intention in the coming year – to give more, do more and lead others to do the same. We must make sure that our Jewish family here and abroad is open to all with disabilities, and can care for the sick, feed the hungry, provide shelter and protect our people from danger.”

Click here to enjoy more photos from the Women’s Philanthropy Installation.


Congratulations to the 2016-17 Women’s Philanthropy Officers:

  • April Leavy, Chair of Women’s Philanthropy
  • Jill Rose, Vice Chair, Campaign
  • Elaine Roberts and Rebecca Applebaum, Vice Chairs, Lion of Judah
  • Joan Hauser and Nancy Geffen, Vice Chairs, Pomegranate
  • Dale Filhaber, Vice Chair, Planned Giving and Endowment
  • Karen Dern, Vice Chair, Leadership Development
  • Marcia Beckerman, Vice Chair, Education
  • Helen Heiman and Susan Rahn, Vice Chairs, Social Action
  • Helene Paul, Secretary
  • Jeanne Fibus, Officer at Large
  • Monica Goldstein, Officer at Large
  • Gail Greenspoon, Officer at Large
  • Eydie Holz, Officer at Large
  • Barbara Lewin, Officer at Large
  • Janice Obuchowski, Officer at Large
  • Wendy Schlesinger, Officer at Large
  • Janet Sahr, Officer at Large
  • Judi Schuman, Immediate Past Chair


Photo captions top to bottom (L-R):

  • Installation Chair Elyssa Kupferberg; Larry Katz, Wells Fargo Private Bank
  • Jill Rose, new WP Campaign Chair; April Leavy, new WP Chair
  • Karen Dern and Janice Obuchowski, Dorothy P. Seaman Leadership Awardees
  • Past WP Chairs: Debra Halperin, Emily Grabelsky, Anne Jacobson, Roxane Lipton, Meryl Gallatin, Cynthia Hollander Schechner
  • Matt Levin, Federation President & CEO; Judi Schuman, outgoing WP Chair; Anne Jacobson, new Federation Board Chair; April Leavy
  • Judi Schuman, Elyssa Kupferberg, April Leavy
  • Emily Grabelsky installing the 2016-17 WP officers
  • April Leavy, Margaret Kottler (past WP Chair)