While attending law school at Chapman University, I was a participant in NextGen, the Orange County young adult program of Jewish Federation. Through my involvement with NextGen, I learned about and joined the National Young Leadership Cabinet, a five-year leadership development program offered by Jewish Federations of North America. I’m now in my final year of this extraordinary experience! Cabinet is designed to support the growth and philanthropic journeys of emerging community members, guided by the local and overseas impact of Federation and its partners. Cabinet has deeply influenced my leadership journey: Today, I serve on the Jewish Federation of Orange County Board of Directors, and I’m very excited to chair our 2024 Women’s VOICES with Lisa Shatzkin.
At my first Cabinet retreat, as a relatively novice Federation participant, I initiated a conversation with another Cabinet member , complimenting a beautiful gold lion pin I noticed she and many others were wearing. She shared the meaning of Federation’s Lion of Judah Giving Society, noting that her grandmother and mother were both Lions of Judah. I learned how philanthropy was ingrained deeply in her family history and values.
Through this conversation, I realized her family and mine were connected on a profound level. Thirty years prior, the dollars that her grandmother and mother donated to a Federation initiative - to support families escaping religious persecution in the former Soviet Union - were the same dollars that helped me and my family to leave Ukraine and immigrate to America.
Today, my grandparents, Holocaust survivors who live in Irvine, continue to benefit from programs offered by Jewish Federation of Orange County.
I elevate and donate because Federation’s impact is generational. I hope that my grandkids will share this story of our family’s history, as it illustrates the Federation’s impact on our lives. I hope this inspires others to prioritize philanthropy and to understand its generational significance for families like mine, locally and abroad.
HEATHER KLINE has been actively involved in the OC Jewish community since 2003.
At Jewish Federation of Orange County, she served as Board Chair for three terms, from 2021 through 2023, and is a member of the 2024 Board and Executive Committee as Immediate Past Chair.
In years prior, Heather served as Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of its Campaign Committee, President of the Women’s Philanthropy Council, and as the Council’s Vice President for Social Action. Heather is a member of the National Women’s Philanthropy Board of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), where she served as the Vice Chair of Engagement. Heather co-chaired the JFNA Heart to Heart Mission to Israel in 2021 and served as co-chair for JFNA’s International Lion of Judah Conference in 2022.
In 2018, she received JFNA’s Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award for leadership and excellence in service. Heather was a participant in the second cohort of the Federation’s SKILLSETnpo Leadership Institute. 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. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Emory University and a graduate of the Boston University School of Law. Originally from Miami, Florida, Heather currently lives in Newport Beach with her husband Jon.
Noa Tishby is a NY Times best-selling author and Israel’s former Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism and Delegitimization.
A Tel Aviv native, Tishby served in the Israeli army before landing a starring role on the nation’s highest-rated prime time drama. After becoming a household name in Israel and appearing in numerous TV shows, films, theater productions and fashion campaigns, Tishby moved to Los Angeles, where she sold the Israeli TV show “In Treatment” to HBO, which made history as the first Israeli TV show to become an American series. “In Treatment” was nominated for fourteen Emmy and Golden Globes and won a Peabody Award.
Tishby has been a leader in pro-Israel activism for over a decade, co-founding and initiating several organizations and projects, including Act for Israel, Reality Israel and Eighteen: an institute to combat antisemitism and inspire Jewish pride. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth and is among the best known pro-Israel figures on social and legacy media, her content reaching millions of people daily across all platforms.
Tishby recently announced her second book: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Jew, cowritten with NY Times best-selling author Emmanuel Acho, forthcoming from Simon Element, Simon & Schuster, April 30, 2024
Tishby resides in Los Angeles and she is a proud Jewish mother to her son Ari.