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Empowered Women, Empower Women


By Jill Grossman, JCFR Director of Woman’s Philanthropy and Affinities

The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond’s Lions of Judah and Pomegranates had the honor and pleasure on June 20 of welcoming Carolyn Gitlin, National Woman’s Philanthropy Chair, to Richmond for a beautiful evening of celebration.

Carolyn leads the engagement of thousands of Jewish women across the United Stated raising over $200 million for Federation campaigns annually.  Lions and Poms sipped and socialized with Carolyn before having the opportunity to hear about how she became involved with Federation, her recent trip to the Polish/Ukraine border, what inspires and motivates her, and so much more!

This evening was planned in celebration of the Year of the Lion. It has been 50 years since Norma Kipnis-Wilson and Toby Friedland, of blessed memory, co-founded the Federation’s Lion of Judah program. Today, more than 18,000 Lions of Judah around the world contribute $5,000 or more annually in their own names to a Jewish Federation Annual Campaign. The Award honors extraordinary women who have set a high standard for philanthropy and volunteerism and who have a lifetime of commitment to the Jewish world.

Carolyn shared her journey and spoke about what inspires and motivates her.  The Lions and Poms celebrated as Carolyn announced Ellen Renee Adams received the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award.

Following, new Lions of Judah and Pomegranates were recognized. Nannette Shor pinned Tatyana Manelis and Elly Goldberg; Susie Adolf pinned Yuliya Habib; and Robyn Galpern pinned Rachel Feinstein, and her mother, Melanie Feldstein. It was wonderful to be back in person to honor our newest dynamic women philanthropists. (In the photo above, the women posed for a photo following the pinning. They are (from left) (From left) Melanie Feldstein, Tatyana Manelis, Nannette Shor, Elly Goldberg, Jill Goldfine, Rachel Feinstein, Robyn Galpern, Susie Adolf and Yuliya Habib

Ellen Renee Adams led a Shehecheyanu and hugs and thanks were given before Sara Rosenbaum, JCFR’s Chief Impact Officer, gave an informative talk. Sara spoke about the process she, along with the Allocations Committee goes through in determining allocations for our core partners – Weinstein JCC, JFS Richmond, Beth Sholom, Rudlin Torah Academy, and Federation.

Sara concluded with an update about Richmond’s local Ukrainian Emergency work – almost $400,000  has been raised and allocated to our overseas partners and sister community of Zaporozhye, Ukraine.

She also spoke of the work Federation and our partner agencies, JFS, Weinstein JCC and RTA have done to welcome a recently resettled family to Richmond from Zaporozhye.

From Carolyn Gitlin:

It is my honor and pleasure as Chair of National Women’s Philanthropy for the Jewish Federations of North America to bring the International Lion of Judah Conference (ILOJC) to women from North America, Israel, and around the world. Along with Hartford Women’s Philanthropy Chair Jill Dulitsky and Chair of the Board Dana Keller, I want to personally invite you to attend ILOJC this December 11th through 13th at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix.

The following photos were taken during the pinning.