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Lions of Judah Getting Re​ady to Roar at October Luncheon

September 25, 2008 By:
Amy Purdy, JF Feature
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Lisa B. Goldenberg predicts that the upcoming annual Lion of Judah Luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 7, will be a "wonderful intergenerational gathering of extraordinary women committed to the success and welfare of our Jewish community."

Goldenberg, who serves as co-chair of the event with Nancy Selarnick, estimates that more than 125 women, who each make an annual gift of $5,000, will attend the luncheon sponsored by the Women's Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia at the Rittenhouse Hotel Ballroom.

This year's theme, "Jewish Women . . . the Circle of Our Lives," was chosen because we are "recognizing the women who make commitments to the Jewish community, year in and year out, throughout the cycle of their own lives," said Goldenberg.

The co-chairs expressed both excitement and awe at the prospect of recognizing the 75 women who have made the Lion of Judah commitment a consistent priority for 18 years and more. Currently, this international women's philanthropic group has 350 local donors.

Members proudly wear Lion of Judah pins, symbolizing the character of Judah, one of Jacob's sons, who serves as the biblical role model for the responsibility of one Jew to another. Annabelle Fishman, one of the honorees explains her commitment to Lion of Judah: "If Jews don't help other Jews, who will?" In 1978, Fishman founded the Daughters of Rachel, forerunner to Lion of Judah. "The most exciting thing is how this group has grown," continues Fishman. "I'm proud to see my passions being passed on to the next generation, both in my family and in my community."

Bubbles Seidenberg has been a Lion of Judah since the 1970s. "Federation is the central address and a voice for the Jewish community," says Seidenberg, who will, like Fishman, be recognized for her ongoing commitment. She mirrors the opinions expressed by many "Lions" when she says, "Through Lion of Judah I can fulfill my responsibility to help other Jews, whether financially or through the many wonderful community services funded by Federation."

During the luncheon, Beth G. Reisboard, a 2008 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award recipient, will also be recognized. The award, to be presented at the Lion of Judah Conference in Tel Aviv in November, honors women from federations throughout the world who exemplify the spirit of the Lion of Judah.

"I feel I've gotten so much more back from my community work than I gave," notes Reisboard, who has shared her talents and expertise with the Philadelphia Jewish community for 33 years. She is the only woman to serve as the General Campaign Chair of the Philadelphia Federation. Reisboard is also a founder and mentor of the Federation's Young Women's Division, and chaired both the Women's and Young Women's Division. She also served on the executive committees of the Northeast Region UJA Women's Division and National UJA Women's Philanthropy, where she is a past Missions co-chair.

Reisboard, founder and executive director of the Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation, was first inspired by Gerda Klein's speech to the Young Women's Division about her experiences as a Holocaust survivor.

The event's keynote speaker is Iris Krasnow, the best-selling author and relationship correspondent for Fox Morning News, Baltimore. Her books include Surrendering to Motherhood, Surrendering to Marriage and Surrendering to Yourself.

For additional information about the group or the luncheon, call Marni Grinberg, associate director of women's philanthropy at 215-832-0859.


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