A Message From Our CEO 3.15.24


Dear Friends,

Last night at our annual Women’s VOICES, we celebrated the pivotal role of women philanthropists in shaping and enriching Jewish life in Orange County, Israel, and beyond. As many of you know, VOICES is not just a celebration; it is a testament to the incredible impact of women working collaboratively to amplify Jewish life and values. Thank you to all of the women who stepped up with their time, talent, and treasure to make this year’s VOICES a resounding success. We are particularly grateful to our Women’s VOICES Co-Chairs Anna Putterman and Lisa Shatzkin, VOICES Advisors Ann Miller and Tanya Newman, and our Women’s Philanthropy President Andrea Alfi, for their outstanding leadership.

We were privileged to feature best-selling author and former Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism, Noa Tishby, whose words and insights built a deeper understanding and inspired a commitment to a world free of antisemitism. VOICES also provided us with the opportunity to honor an exceptional leader within our community, Heather Kline, our 2024 Woman of the Year. Please join me in once again wishing Heather mazel tov!
For those who may be less familiar with Heather, her accomplishments include three years as Board Chair of Federation, and current service as our Immediate Past Chair and Philanthropy Committee Chair; previously, she was our President of the Women’s Philanthropy Council. Beyond Orange County, she served on the National Women’s Philanthropy Board of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), as the Vice Chair of Engagement, co-chair of JFNA’s 2022 International Lion of Judah Conference, and co-chair of the JFNA Heart to Heart Mission to Israel in 2021. In 2018, Heather was recognized by JFNA with the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award for leadership and excellence in service. She has served three terms on the Board of Trustees of Temple Bat Yahm as Trustee of Education and has been honored twice by the Temple, as Woman of the Year in 2013 and with the Dedication and Service Award in 2015. 

What I admire most, having worked closely with Heather over the last two years, is her vision for a flourishing Jewish future. Heather's dedication to our community and commitment to leadership is an inspiring example of Jewish expression—a whirlwind of tzedakah in action. Our community is the stronger for it. 

Women’s VOICES also plays a critical role in our Jewish Federation campaign. It is the cornerstone of our efforts to enhance and sustain Jewish life, support Jews in need, advocate on pressing issues for our community, and reinforce our unwavering bond with Israel and the global Jewish people.

As we reflect on the success of last night's event, know that, together, we are creating a legacy of impact and unity that resonates throughout Orange County and around the world.

Shabbat Shalom,
Erik Ludwig


Erik Ludwig, PhD
President & CEO