Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending my first Women’s Voices, the largest annual daytime gathering of Jewish women in Orange County and the signature campaign event of Women's Philanthropy of Jewish Federation & Family Services. I have to say, the event absolutely lived up to all the hype I’ve heard since I came to Orange County nearly 9 months ago. Seeing nearly 700 Jewish women in one room, gathered in the spirit of philanthropy and community, was breathtaking.
What is most moving is that the women who attend know why Women's Voices is more than a premier social event with an inspiring speaker. They know that Women’s Voices is also about Tzedek – the Jewish traditions of social responsibility, compassion, and respect for all. They attend because of Tikkun Olam – because we care for people in need, here in Orange County, Israel, and around the world. And they take their places at the Women's Philanthropy table because of Kehillah – Jewish community – and because of K’lal Israel – love and support for Israel.
The impact women have is profound. We are the builders and the guardians of Jewish life – in our families and in our community. And strong women build a strong community. Women’s Philanthropy of Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County, collectively raised $1.3 million last year. Nationally, women raised $189 million for the annual campaigns of North American Jewish communities. That is nothing short of extraordinary.
I am proud of be part of a community where women’s voices are heard – loud and clear. And I am proud to be part of a community where women and men alike have a deep sense of responsibility for people in need and join together to positively impact Jewish life here, in Israel, and around the world.
|L-R: Women’s Voices Co-Chair Nadine Durbach, JFFS President & CEO Arlene Miller, Women’s Voices Co-Chair Rabbi Corie Yutkin, 2016 Woman of the Year Toni Mandel McDonald|
Jewish Federation & Family Services
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