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Israeli Colonel Focuses on Women’s Unlimited Potential

May 29, 2013 By:
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Women of Vision leadership celebrate a successful spring luncheon at Green Valley Country Club. (From left) Past chair Donna C. Feinberg; immediate past chair Renee G. Sackey; founder and chair emerita Sally Cooper Bleznak; Col. Miri Eisin, keynote speaker; chair Judith B. Ginsberg; and luncheon co-chairs Marian Fisher and Phyllis Finkelstein.

Miri Eisin, guest speaker at a recent Women of Vision luncheon, told members of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia that “in Israel, the sky is the limit but the path is not always easy for women.” She cited her personal challenges during a distinguished 20-year career in the military and government.

Like the vast majority of Israeli men and women, Eisin was drafted into the military at the age of 18. Based on her aptitude and skills, she was assigned to serve in military intelligence — one of the few female soldiers to work in this specialty during the early 1980s.

Following officer’s training, she was assigned to “a relatively quiet base” on Israel’s Jordanian border. But the “quiet” was shattered during the withdrawal of Palestine Liberation Organization forces from Beirut and the subsequent Lebanese civil war, which had repercussions for Israel. Eisin’s military achievements won her the rank of full colonel — and the admiration of friends, family and colleagues who knew how hard she fought to achieve this recognition. “Women had to perform better than men to be treated with equal respect,” Eisin explained.

Eisin continued to excel after she resigned from military service and began working as the  international media adviser for Ehud Olmert during his tenure as Israeli prime minister. During the past 10 years, she has distinguished herself as one of Israel’s most prominent speakers on such topics as geopolitics and security-related issues.

She credits her parents, and in particular, her mother, for inspiring Eisin and her two sisters to pursue their dreams. “I was just 8 years old when my mom and dad returned from a trip to Israel and decided that we were to begin new lives in the Jewish homeland,” the native Californian recalled, adding that before they made aliyah, her mom determined that she needed to fulfill her own dream of completing her undergraduate degree.

She pursued her studies at University of California, Berkeley, “undeterred by the race riots going on around her,” Eisin explained. “Mom was my role model for believing that with hard work, determination and the support of others, anything is possible.”

The speaker expressed her admiration to the 441 members of Women of Vision for their philanthropy and “passionate commitment” to making a positive difference in the lives of women and girls in the Greater Philadelphia community and in Israel.

Judith B. Ginsberg serves as Women of Vision chair. Phyllis Finkelstein and Marian Fisher were co-chairs of the luncheon program.

Women of Vision is open to all Jewish women who make a $2,500 gift to the Foundation, payable over a two-year period. Each member has a vote in the selection of grant recipients.

For information, call Susan Lundy at 215-832-0849 or email: slundy@jfgp.org.

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