"Gems from generation to generation" was the theme of the Lions of Judah luncheon held on Nov. 8 at The Rittenhouse. A total of 145 women participated in this program sponsored by Women's Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
The annual event, which recognizes those who make a $5,000 minimum gift to Federation's Jewish Community Fund, raised more than $750,000 for the 2008 campaign.
This year's event was particularly poignant for one of the luncheon co-chairs, Ellyn Golder Saft.
Saft's mother, Cis Golder, who passed away in May 2006 after a valiant battle with breast cancer, was honored as a "community gem" for her 45 years of leadership in the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community. Cis Golder was an active member of the board of Women's Philanthropy, the board of directors of the Federation Endowments Corporation and served as a member of the Federation board of trustees.
To honor her memory, the Golder family dedicated the Cis Golder Garden at Philadelphia's therapeutic group home, managed by Orr Shalom in Haifa, Israel.
Orr Shalom is a nonprofit organization that cares for more than 1,300 Israeli children at risk who have been removed from their biological parents' home due to severe abuse or neglect. For perhaps the first time, the children can experience normal family life and parental care.
The garden will be used as a safe haven for children to meet with their biological parents, as well as be a site for recreation, and such therapeutic activities as selecting plants and flowers and watching them grow. An additional $50,000 was raised to create and maintain the garden.
Saft and her fellow co-chairs, Cindy Golder Miller, Ruth Golder and Jane Zolot, extended the "precious gems" theme of the event to their choice of speaker, Isaac Levy, founder along with his wife, Orna, of the Israeli jewelry firm known as Yvel.
Levy designs high-end jewelry featuring pearls and gold, which are carried in fine jewelry stores around the world.
Gail Norry serves as president of Women's Philanthropy.
Women's Philanthropy campaign co-chairs are Nancy Astor Fox and Sara Minkoff.