On May 21, 2019, we came together to celebrate our Jewish community and a very special group of Jewish community leaders. Together we recognized Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey’s Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland honorees and inducted our most recent honoree – a fierce defender of those who are disadvantaged, a credit to the worldwide Jewish community, and a powerhouse in promoting a strong Jewish future: Linda Block. It was a privilege to honor Linda Block along with Claire Boren, Jane Cantor, Elise Feldman, Sheryl Grutman, Bobbi Krantz, Barbara Littman z”l, Susan Mandell, Wendy Marks, Judy Premselaar, Rona Shein, Eva Stahl z”l, Harriet Tabak z”l, and Phoebe Wofchuck.
The Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award is given every two years by our parent organization, Jewish Federations of North America, to a Lion of Judah who exemplifies the highest standards in philanthropy and volunteerism.
As you may know, Lions of Judah are philanthropic women of all ages, uniting as an international sisterhood of global advocates who care deeply about Jewish community dedicated to social justice, aiding the vulnerable, and promoting Jewish identity for generations to come.
Every Lion’s promise to give at least $5,000 a year to her local Jewish Federation’s annual campaign makes a strong personal statement about her values and commitment to the Jewish people.
You can be sure a Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland honoree – this is someone who has been nominated by her fellow Lions as a woman of valor – takes that commitment to extraordinary levels.
What drives a person to give of themselves in this way?
Many will say their parents set the example. Others will say meeting a beneficiary whose life was saved by Federation made something click. One of our honorees, Claire Boren, said simply, “Jews need to take care of Jews.”
Today that is as true as it has ever been, with too many among our extended Jewish family not knowing where their next meal is coming from; too many Jewish kids not understanding why or how their Jewish identity matters; and with the troubling increase in anti-Semitic acts in recent years…
Each Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland honoree has her own reasons and ways for making a difference.
A special thank you to the Party with a Purpose "Angels," Marcia & Jeff Schwartz, Linda & Monte Block, and an anonymous Angel, as well as those who contributed to the Virtual Tribute Journal, which is available through this link. The journal also includes a brief profile of each Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland honoree.
Pictured above: Susan Antman, Executive Director, Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, talking about all the Kipnis-Wilson/Friendand honorees