Inspiring Jewish Women Leaders Celebrated As JWI “Women to Watch”

September 4, 2012

CONTACT: Ann Rose Greenberg

Inspiring Jewish Women Leaders Celebrated As JWI “Women to Watch”

Washington, DC – Continuing its tradition of promoting Jewish women’s leadership, Jewish Women International (JWI) has selected its 15th class of “Women to Watch.” These exceptional Jewish women leaders from across the United States have impacted the worlds of business, media, politics, culture, community service, family, and spirituality. They will receive JWI’s prestigious national leadership award in 2012.

“This year’s honorees demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit that has guided them through their successful careers, exemplifying the immeasurable contributions to our society that are being made by women today,” said JWI Executive Director Lori Weinstein. “Our 2012 Women to Watch are truly inspirational role models for the next generation of Jewish women leaders.”

Each fall issue of Jewish Woman magazine profiles the year’s Women to Watch, exploring their personal and professional journeys, family lives, and connections to Judaism. Their varied stories offer a full and inspiring picture of contemporary American Jewish life. Since 1998, the roster of honorees has grown into a diverse group of talented, dynamic visionaries.

In addition to appearing in the fall issue of Jewish Woman, the women will be honored at the annual Women to Watch celebration in Washington, DC – a gala luncheon, awards ceremony and vibrant honorees’ discussion panel. This year’s event will take place December 3, 2012 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Selected for their unique contributions across a wide array of professions, the honorees are:

Liz Claman, New York, NY, Anchor of Countdown to the Closing Bell & co-anchor of After the Bell, both on the FOX Business Network; author of The Best Investment Advice I ever Received; winner of several local Emmy Awards.

Mandy Ginsberg, Dallas, TX, President of; oversees all aspects of the U.S. business, from building strategic relationships to launching innovative product features that sustain and evolve the country’s leading online dating site.

Sharon Hall, Los Angeles, CA, President of Alcon Entertainment’s television division; former Executive Vice President, U.S. Drama Development at Sony Pictures Television, where she developed critically-acclaimed series including Breaking Bad for AMC and Necessary Roughness for USA.

Debbie Kenvin, Plano, TX, CEO & President of Savvy and Chic, which offers life strategies and lifestyle coaching for women and girls; CEO and co-founder of Empowerment Partners, a non-profit teaching life and leadership skills to young women in low-to-moderate income communities, as well victims of domestic violence.

Edie Lutnick, New York, NY, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, which has raised and distributed more than $250 million to victims of terrorism, disasters and emergencies; author of An Unbroken Bond: The Untold Story of How the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald Families Faced the Tragedy of 9/11 and Beyond.

Rabbi Amy Perlin, D.D., Fairfax Station, VA, Senior and Founding Rabbi of Temple B’nai Shalom; first female rabbi to start a congregation, which she has led for 30 years; educator, philanthropist, and committed supporter of Reform Judaism, synagogue life in America and religious pluralism in Israel.

Susan K. Stern, Scarsdale, NY, Civic leader locally and nationally; serves as National Campaign Chair of Jewish Federations of North America; nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Chairman of the President’s Advisory on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; in 2008 appointed by the Governor of New York as Chair of New York State Commission on National and Community Service.

Elana Drell Szyfer, New York, NY, CEO of AHAVA North America since 2011, leading double-digit growth in all of AHAVA’s key retail partners in her first year at the helm; 20-year industry veteran, serving at top companies including Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and Avon.

Noha Waibsnaider, Brooklyn, NY, Founder and CEO of Peeled Snacks, organic fruit snacks with no added sugar or preservatives, sold nationwide with a commitment to environmental sustainability and nutritional awareness; ranked on Inc. 500’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies; prior to Peeled Snacks, she worked in brand management at Unilever.

Liza Levy, Potomac, MD, Co-founder of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation, and co-founder and executive board member of the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse; board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and many other Jewish organizations throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area; recipient of the Jewish Federation of North America’s 2012 Kipnis/Wilson Friedland award for women demonstrating the highest ideals of leadership, philanthropy and volunteerism. Levy is the recipient of JWI’s Community Leadership Award, honoring one woman’s ability to strengthen the Washington, DC community and mentor new leaders.

For more information about Women to Watch, or to purchase tickets to the gala luncheon, visit or call 800.343.2823.

Jewish Woman magazine was established to be a different kind of Jewish magazine, embracing the breadth and depth of Jewish women’s experiences. Each issue is rich with resources to enhance a woman’s Jewish identity, personal spirituality, and lifestyle. Since its inception in 1998, JW has highlighted hundreds of women who exemplify Jewish values and serve as role models and change agents for the people and the world around them. JW brings a unique and inviting voice to Jewish life – and offers broad appeal to readers in print and online. Visit to learn more.

Jewish Women International is the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls through economic literacy, community training, healthy relationships education, and the proliferation of women’s leadership. Our innovative programs, advocacy, and philanthropic initiatives protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safe homes, thrive in healthy relationships, and realize the full potential of their personal strength. For more information, please visit or contact us at 800.343.2823.


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