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'Back and Forth Among Life's Parts'

June 9, 2005 By:
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When Lori Reiner is asked "how do you do it all?" she replies: "There is no magic answer. You have to maintain a balance, though that balance does shift at times."

Reiner is a full partner, in charge of Service to Professional Organizations, at Goldenberg Rosenthal LLP, business advisors and certified public accountants. She is also the mother of two young children, Olivia, 9, and Zachary, 5.

And right alongside her family and career, Reiner puts her commitment to the Jewish community. "It has taken different forms over the years, but it is always part of my day-to-day life."

After she graduated Temple University with a bachelor's degree in business administration about 20 years ago, Reiner became active in the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia when she was working for Laventhol and Howarth, an accounting firm now closed.

"It was a company that just expected its staff to make a gift to Federation and get involved," she said. "I went to a meeting of Federation's Young Accountants Division, and met people there who are still close friends."

Wanting to branch out from being only with accountants, Reiner became involved in what was then Young Leadership Council, now the Renaissance Group.

Reiner, a recipient of a Federation Young Leadership Award in 2000, serves on its Board of Trustees and on the National Young Leadership Cabinet.

Most recently, she co-chaired Renaissance Group's Power Hour, which features local business people sharing their success stories and offers the opportunity for young professionals, ages 25 to 45, to network.

"For many who attend these 'hours,' it is their first exposure to Federation," pointed out Reiner. "It has been a successful outreach effort for Renaissance Group, and attendance has grown in the five years since it began."

Reiner said that when she asks someone for a gift to support the Jewish community, she shares her own feelings about "giving back what life has given you."

And sometimes, when the opportunity is right, she shares her early life, so people can have a better understanding of giving to the community.

Raised in Northeast Philadelphia, Reiner was the youngest of three girls, 14 and 16 years older than she. Her father died suddenly when she was just 7.

"I grew up in a humble household. It was just my mother and me at home, and she had to go back to work and do whatever had to be done to make ends meet," she explained. "I had attended Hebrew school before my dad died, but then all that stopped.

"I saw what my mom did," she continued, "and that's one of the reasons I didn't stop my professional life when my kids came along."

Reiner's professional success is evident in awards she's received from the Philadelphia Business Journal, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and in being named one of Pennsylvania's Best 50 Women in Business. She is also the immediate past president of the Forum of Executive Women.

Her mother having to work is also why Reiner said she has a "passion for everything and anything to do with women and children." As such, she serves as vice president for Federation Early Learning Services.

Concern for the community and the awareness that people in it need help are what drive Reiner forward. Daughter Olivia has been helping her mom at Super Sunday since she was 5, even starting the conversation by saying, "my mommy wants to tell you about the good things Federation does."

"Giving time and support to the Jewish community is so important to me and my husband, Keith," said Reiner. "It's what we instill in our kids.

"I feel fortunate to be where I am in my life, and go back and forth among its parts."

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