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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

October 5, 2018  RSS feed
Organizations

Text: T T T

Women’s Philanthropy raises $101,000 at luncheon


Hope Levin, a vice president at the Jewish Agency for Israel, second from left, was the guest speaker for the Women’s Philanthropy Luncheon. She poses here with (L-R) Maxine Kaufman, Federation’s director of arts, culture, and education; Jeanie Abelson, Lion’s of Judah chair, and Emilie Socash, Federation executive director. Hope Levin, a vice president at the Jewish Agency for Israel, second from left, was the guest speaker for the Women’s Philanthropy Luncheon. She poses here with (L-R) Maxine Kaufman, Federation’s director of arts, culture, and education; Jeanie Abelson, Lion’s of Judah chair, and Emilie Socash, Federation executive director. Thirty women from across the community attended a lunch at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa on Oct. 4 to learn about the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties and hear directly from leadership of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The women committed more $101,000 to the not-as-yet officially unveiled 2019 Annual Campaign. That is an increase of $9,500 over their last year’s gifts.

Lion of Judah Chair Jeanie Abelson, served as the emcee of the day, and noted that “this is the type of event that the women of our community enjoy: intellectually stimulating and offering a social and soulful connection.”


Just a few of the women present: (L-R) Sally Laufer, Stephanie Stein, Jeanie Abelson, Carlen Mines, and Lynn Amy Levenson. Just a few of the women present: (L-R) Sally Laufer, Stephanie Stein, Jeanie Abelson, Carlen Mines, and Lynn Amy Levenson. Hope Levin, senior vice president and managing director for Israel and Global Philanthropy at the Jewish Agency for Israel, was the featured speaker at the event.

Levin’s presentation covered the vast array of international services and programs that JAFI stewards and Federation fundraising helps support.

“Because of your unrestricted gifts to the Federation, we’re able to serve 1.8 million Israelis and millions more around the globe through aliyah (immigration), absorption, crisis, security, and much more,” Levin said.

She highlighted the ongoing efforts of the global aliyah hotline, the tremendous influx of French olim (immigrants) following the 2012 antisemitism spike, and the current needs in South Africa.

“We consider both pull factors and push factors,” she explained. “Many North American and even European Jews are compelled to make aliyah because of pull factors: they wish to live in Israel, they are Zionists, they feel it’s ‘right.’ Yet hundreds of thousands more are motivated by ‘push’ factors, seeking relocation to Israel because they see no safe future as Jews in their current country.”

Levin joined the JAFI staff in 2016 after a 23-year tenure at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. She is a native of Chicago and got her start in Jewish communal service with an internship at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. She currently lives in Palm Beach.

While Levin addressed the needs globally and in Israel, Emilie Socash, executive director of the Federation, offered perspectives on the needs of the local Jewish community.

Socash noted that the women present at the lunch historically donated enough to cover the monthly cost of sending 500 Jewish-themed books to local children through PJ Library as well as sending 24 kids to Jewish sleepaway camp.

She highlighted other new and innovative programs the Federation has launched in the last two years, including the Jewish Community Camp, the Federation Fellows (which sends five young adults to Israel each year in exchange for volunteer service), and the new Fed Fridays lecture and conversation series. She called for each woman present to give, and consider an increased gift of at least 10 percent over last year’s commitment.

The women responded: the average increase in gift amount was 18 percent.

Women’s Philanthropy is an arm of the Federation’s activity, welcoming and encouraging all women to become active in service to the Jewish community through the combined contributions of their time, talent, and treasure.

For more information about getting involved in this movement, contact Emilie Socash at emilie@jewishpinellas.org.


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