Leadership Message from Mary Cramer

Celebrating Mary Cramer: Our 2025 Orange County Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Honoree

As we approach the 2025 International Lion of Judah Conference, it is our honor to announce Mary Cramer as the recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award. This prestigious award is bestowed biennially by the Jewish Federations of North America to a Lion of Judah who demonstrates exceptional philanthropy and volunteerism. Mazel tov, Mary!

Why I Am a Lion of Judah: A Personal Reflection by Mary Cramer

"My journey as a Lion of Judah is deeply personal. As the daughter of Holocaust survivors who found refuge in America after enduring a U.S. displaced persons' camp, I witnessed firsthand the transformative power of the Jewish Federation's support. When my family arrived penniless in 1948, the Federation provided crucial shelter and support, instilling in me a lifelong dedication to giving back to our community."

Mary’s professional leadership as Vice President of Norco Ranch, and her philanthropic leadership through the Hebrew Academy and the Jewish Federation of Orange County's Women’s Philanthropy Council, have set new standards in communal giving. Notably, her recent role as VOICES Sponsorship Chair resulted in a record-breaking $100,000 in sponsorship contributions in 2024.

Mary's Legacy and Impact

For over 30 years, Mary has inspired philanthropic giving and leadership within our community, continuing a legacy of compassion and support. Her commitment ensures the Jewish Federation of Orange County can keep making a difference every day.


Past Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award Honorees (Orange County)

  • 2004                    Blossom Siegel
  • 2006                    Roz Vogelfanger
  • 2008                    Diane Karp
  • 2010                    Debbie Margolis
  • 2012                    Eleanor Weinstein
  • 2014                    Ann Miller
  • 2016                    Lori Schwartz
  • 2018                     Heather Kline
  • 2022                     Jane Brenner

Join Our Mission

Are you inspired to enhance your philanthropic leadership? Join our vibrant Women’s Philanthropy Council, a dynamic group of 40 leaders ranging from ages 30 to 90, representing the diverse spectrum of Jewish Orange County. As part of the council, you will drive our successful VOICES fundraising efforts, Giving Society events, and Mitzvah Mavens volunteer initiatives.

For more information or to become part of our mission, please contact Jahanna Semelroth, Director of Women’s Philanthropy.