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2015 Honorees

Rebecca Alexander, New York, NY

Psychotherapist, author, extreme athlete and activist; raised awareness and more than $100,000 for the Usher III Initiative, which promotes research on Usher Syndrome, the genetic disease she was diagnosed with as a teen; author of Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found.


Deborah Berebichez, New York, NY

Physicist, educator and entrepreneur dedicated to promoting education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields; the first Mexican woman to graduate with a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University; currently serves as vice president of risk analysis at MSCI on Wall Street.


Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, Los Angeles, CA

The first female rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, now spiritual consultant to Canyon Ranch in Arizona and Massachusetts and a nationally-recognized speaker; author of We Plan, God Laughs: What to Do When Life Hits You Over the Head and Thresholds: How to Thrive Through Life’s Transitions.


Allyson Kapin, Washington, DC

Online advocacy expert; co-author of Social Change Anytime Everywhere; founding partner of Rad Campaign; named one of “Top Tech Titans” by Washingtonian magazine, one of the Most Influential Women in Tech by Fast Company and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes.


Roberta Kaplan, New York, NY

Litigator; adjunct professor of law at Columbia University Law School; represented Edie Windsor in the landmark case United States v. Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013; author of Then Comes Marriage: United States V. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA.


Linda Lipsen, Washington DC

CEO of the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America); widely honored as an influential lawyer, lobbyist and advocate for injured Americans; former director of the legislative advocacy program for Consumers Union.


Lynn Morgan (Sondra D. Bender Community Leadership Honoree), Washington, DC

Co-founder and president of Morgan Language Services Corporation; member of the board of directors of the Jewish Federation; co-chair of synagogue outreach for AIPAC’s Greater Washington, DC Council; JFGW’s Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership awardee.


Laurie Moskowitz, Washington, DC

Political organizer; senior director of U.S. campaigns for ONE, the anti-poverty advocacy organization co-founded by Bono; co-founder of consulting agency FieldWorks; veteran of dozens of Democratic political campaigns at the federal, state and local level.


Jane Randel, New York, NY

Co-founder of NO MORE; Social Impact consultant and co-founder of Karp Randel; immediate past president of the board of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence; Board member for Break the Cycle; senior advisor to the NFL and NASCAR on domestic violence/sexual assault policy, protocol and programs.


Paula Shoyer, Chevy Chase, MD

French-trained pastry chef, teaching classes in French pastry and Jewish cooking in the Washington, DC area and around the world; author of The Holiday Kosher Baker and The Kosher Baker: 160 Dairy-Free Desserts from Traditional to Trendy; freelance writer for numerous news outlets.

2014 Honorees

Julie Chaiken, Marin County, CA

Founder of Chaiken, a San Francisco based clothing line, and Threadsuite, a business optimization tool that facilitates sales management and data analysis. She is a champion of reproductive rights and youngest board member at Center for Reproductive Rights.


Lisa Reiner Cohen (Sondra D. Bender Community Leadership Honoree), Washington, DC

Immediate past-President of Jewish Foundation for Group Homes and member of Board of Directors of the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse.


Gabrielle Giffords, Washington, DC

Former U.S. Representative known across the country for her resilience in the face of violence, and for her consensus-building leadership in Congress. Founded Americans for Responsible Solutions with her husband.


Sharna Goldseker, New York, NY

Executive Director of 21/64, a non-profit consulting practice specializing in next generation and multigenerational engagement in philanthropy and family enterprise. Serves on the Board of Directors of the Goldseker Foundation and is a member of the Collaboration for Family Flourishing.


Jodi Macklin, Bethesda, MD

Interior designer featured in numerous magazines. She is also involved with many Jewish organizations, such as Israel Bonds Federation and the Hebrew Home.


Sunita Leeds, Washington, DC

Co-chairs The Enfranchisement Foundation, which focuses on breaking the cycles of poverty and intolerance in the United States as well as on women’s issues. Involved with many organizations, such as the League of Education Voters of America, NARAL, and the Executive Committee of the National Jewish Democratic Council.


Roberta Levy Liss, Rockville, MD

Executive Vice-President of Leasing and Marketing at BECO Management, a premier, mid-Atlantic commercial real estate company. Recognized among an elite class of 13 Penn State University's 2013 Outstanding Engineering Alumnae. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Engineering.


Liz Schrayer, Washington, DC

President of political consulting firm Schrayer & Associates, Inc., and CEO and President of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a foreign policy non-profit whose advisory council includes every former Secretary of State. Former AIPAC Political Director. Currently serves on advisory boards for University of Michigan, George Washington University and USAID.


Caryl Stern, New York, NY

President, US fund for UNICEF. Heads one of the largest non-profit agencies, currently leading campaign against child trafficking. Last year, Caryl's book, "I Believe in Zero, Learning from the World's Children," was published to critical acclaim.


Rabbi Shira Stutman, Washington, DC

Director of Jewish Programming at Sixth & I. She is a scholar-in-resident at the National Women's Philanthropy program at the Jewish Federations of North America and a member of the Board of Directors of Jews United for Justice and on the J Street rabbinic cabinet.

2013 Honorees

Gail Becker, Los Angeles, CA

Chair of Canada, Latin America and U.S. Western Region for Edelman Public Relations, and chair of Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN), overseeing efforts to increase the number of women at the seniormost levels of the firm.


Lisa Eisen, Washington, DC

National Director of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and director of its Washington, D.C. office, supporting initiatives around the world that empower young Jews to embrace the joy of Judaism, build inclusive Jewish communities, support the State of Israel and repair the world.


Danielle Gelber, Los Angeles, CA

Executive vice president of (Universal media Studios-based) Wolf Films, where she produces NBC’s Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.; former executive at Showtime, Fox and Spelling Television; has developed hit shows including Weeds, The L Word, Ally McBeal, Beverly Hills: 90210 and The Sopranos.


Julianna Goldman, Washington, DC

Chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek; writes on White House domestic policy and the President’s economic policy agenda; named one of the 2010 Power 30 Under 30, a ranking of the most influential people in Washington, D.C. under the age of 30.


Dr. Bonnie Hartstein, San Antonio, TX

Lieutenant colonel and chief of family and community medicine at San Antonio’s Brooke Army Medical Center, one of the military’s largest primary care centers in the United States; Board certified in pediatric and emergency medicine, she oversees a $14 million annual budget and constantly searches for ways to improve patient care. She has also served in Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan.


Pati Jinich, Chevy Chase, MD

Political analyst-turned-cooking teacher, food writer, official chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, DC, and host of the public television series “Pati’s Mexican Table”; has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs.  Her first cookbook, Pati’s Mexican Table (Houghton Mifflin), was published in spring 2013.


Nicolette Mason, Brooklyn, NY

Writer, editor, designer and art director; contributing fashion editor and columnist for Marie Claire, and host of the”Big Girl in a Skinny World” series on HelloStyle, a partnership between Hearst Publications and YouTube; soon to launch accessories and lifestyle line PREYFORDAWN. She also hosts a Big Girl in a Skinny World series on HelloStyle, a partnership between Hearst Publications and YouTube.


Lori Palatnik, Rockville, MD

Jewish outreach educator, public speaker, and author; founding director of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, which has brought nearly 2,000 women to Israel since 2009 on a subsidized, 9-day tour-and-learn program. Appears weekly on her video blog, Lori Almost Live, on Aish.com.


Meryl Rosenberg (Sondra D. Bender Community Leadership Honoree), Potomac, MD

Washington, DC activist, philanthropist and attorney in private practice. She is director of ARTparenting, a program devoted to arrangements and all legal aspects of surrogacy, egg donation, embryo donation, and other matters involving assisted reproductive technologies (ART), as well as step-parent adoptions and second-parent adoptions.


Amanda Steinberg, Philadelphia, PA

Thought-leader on the topic of women and money, and founder of DailyWorth – an online community (nearing one million subscribers) helping women earn more, save more and spend smarter; featured in the New York Times, TIME, Forbes, Parenting, Cosmopolitan and on NY1, CNN, FOX, ABC and NBC news.

2012 Honorees

Liz Claman
Anchor of Countdown to the Closing Bell & co-anchor of After the Bell
New York, NY

Liz Claman is the anchor of FOX Business Network’s Countdown to the Closing Bell and co-anchor of After the Bell. Raised in Los Angeles, Claman started as a production assistant at L.A.’s KCBS-TV, then earned several local Emmy Awards covering local news in Ohio and Boston before she became a financial journalist at CNBC. Since joining FOX Business Network in 2007, Claman has interviewed numerous high-profile CEOs, bankers and politicians. Passionate about advancing the role of women in business, she has covered the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – often as the only woman in the room. Claman is a frequent speaker at Anti-Defamation League events and participates in the Big Brother Big Sister program at her local Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. She is the author of The Best Investment Advice I Ever Received (Business Plus, 2007).


Mandy Ginsberg
CEO of Match.com
Dallas, TX

Mandy Ginsberg is CEO of Match.com, the country’s leading online dating website, overseeing all aspects of the U.S. core business, from building strategic relationships to bringing in new customers and launching innovative product features. Under Ginsberg’s leadership, Match.com experienced the fastest growth in the history of the company. Previously, she served as vice president and general manager for Match.com’s sister site, Chemistry.com, where she led the award-winning “Come as You Are” campaign. Ginsberg’s customer experience acumen was first honed during her tenure as vice president of consumer technology for Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, then subsequently in her role as vice president of worldwide marketing at i2 Technologies. She played Division I soccer at University of California at Berkeley and earned an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.


Sharon Hall
President of Alcon Entertainment’s television division
Los Angeles, CA

Sharon Hall is the president of Alcon Entertainment’s television division, where she oversees production and development. The company is producing an upcoming Frank Sinatra documentary on HBO, and is also known for films such as “The Blind Side,” “The Book of Eli” and “Dolphin Tale.”  Hall enjoys her hands-on role and having an impact on the shows she works on. She was inspired for her career in television by her family’s love of storytelling and the passion her father, Monty Hall, has for entertainment. Previously, she was the executive vice president of drama development for Sony Pictures Television and also worked at Viacom, BBDO and MTM television. She won a Peabody Award for her 1992 Rock the Vote television special. Hall grew up with a strong Jewish identity and appreciation for the importance of giving back. She is active in her congregation, which is committed to social justice and volunteer work.


Debbie Kenvin
CEO & President of Savvy and Chic
Plano, TX

Debbie Kenvin previously ran Savvy and Chic, an organization offering programs and education workshops to girls and women. She also founded Empowerment Partners, which targets women in underserved communities. The goal of her organizations is to use the concept of brand-building to give girls and women the tools to expect more from themselves and help build their confidence to live as their own leaders. Kenvin has written numerous education modules on bullying, communication, social skills, and power over one's own life. As the vice president of a large textile manufacturer, realizing the pressures of fitting in as a woman, she changed her career path to set a stronger example for her two young daughters. Currently, Kenvin has taken her skills back into the business world to lobby inclusion for all. She joined her extraordinary parents' company, which manufactures products to provide equal access to those affected by any type of hearing loss.


Edie Lutnick
Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund
New York, NY

Edie Lutnick is the co-founder and executive director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund. The fund has raised and distributed more than $180 million to the Cantor Fitzgerald families who lost their loved ones as well as an additional $75 million to support worthwhile causes throughout the world. She left her career as a labor lawyer to start the fund after she lost her brother on 9/11, and to help her surviving brother who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald.  She is committed to helping the 9/11 families by working on the fund and serving on boards of other 9/11 organizations.  She also published a book, An Unbroken Bond: The Untold Story of How the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald Families Faced the Tragedy of 9/11 and Beyond. She was raised on Long Island and credits her parents for teaching her strong Jewish values and the importance of philanthropy.


Rabbi Amy Perlin, D.D.
Senior and Founding Rabbi of Temple B’nai Shalom
Fairfax Station, VA

Rabbi Amy Perlin, D.D. is the founding rabbi of Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, Va., where she has served for three decades. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she serves on the advisory committee to the Office of Religious Life. Rabbi Perlin studied for the rabbinate at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s New York campus, and she currently serves on its board of governors. This past spring, Rabbi Perlin was named one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis by the Forward newspaper. She and her husband, Gary are passionate about philanthropy. Their foundation is responsible for venture philanthropy projects throughout the U.S. and Israel.


Susan K. Stern
Local and National Civic Leader
Scarsdale, NY

Susan K. Stern is a community activist and political advocate in New York and nationally. She was nominated by President Barack Obama and serves as chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She is the chair of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service and has served on the governor’s cabinet. Stern is the past chair of the Board of UJA Federation. Sheserves as chair ofglobal programs for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and was the first chair of the Government Affairs Committee. Stern was the first woman national campaign chair of The Jewish Federations of North America and a co-founder of the International Lion of Judah Conference. She is married to Jeffrey and they have two sons – Michael and Peter – and a grandson, Zachary Dylan.


Elana Drell Szyfer
Executive Vice President of Global Strategy & Positioning, Kenneth Cole Productions
New York, NY

Elana Drell Szyfer of New York City is the Executive Vice President of Global Strategy & Positioning at Kenneth Cole Productions. Prior to her move into the fashion industry, Elana served as the CEO of Ahava Worldwide, where she helped re-launch the Israeli company’s Dead Sea minerals cosmetics brand. As the CEO of Ahava North America, she successfully increased sales by 50% and made the company’s products more prominent in department stores while also overseeing the Dead Sea Essentials line.  Szyfer was previously the vice president of global marketing for Estee Lauder and also worked in marketing at Avon and L’Oreal.  She developed her passion for marketing at New York University where she received her MBA.


Noha Waibsnaider
Founder & CEO, Peeled Snacks
Brooklyn, NY

Noha Waibsnaider is the founder and CEO of Peeled Snacks, which makes organic fruit snacks, without added sugar or preservatives, that are sold nationwide. She launched Peeled Snacks in 2004 to help people feel good about snacking with real food. The company has ranked on the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies for the last three years, has been featured in Oprah’s O List, and received the Healthy Snack award from Health Magazine. In 2007, she founded the NY Foodie Companies group to promote sustainable local food businesses. Previously, Waibsnaider worked at Unilever in brand management. She received an MBA from Columbia Business School and was awarded the school’s Ecademy Award for Entrepreneurship and the Distinguished Alumni Award. Waibsnaider has been recognized as a White House Champion of Change and Women Presidents Organization’s 50 Fastest. She brings tikkun olam to everything she does with her company.


Liza Levy (Community Leadership Award)
Co-founder of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation
Potomac, MD

Liza Levy is the president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, where she spends her days meeting with donors, building community and carrying out the mission of the Federation. She has made it her career to be a community activist, leader and philanthropist. In 2003 she co-founded the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding programs serving women and girls while empowering female philanthropists to effectively target their contributions. Prior to that, she co-founded the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, which offers comprehensive assistance to domestic violence victims and their families in the Washington, DC area. She said she is motivated by “being that voice of change” and feels it is important “to constantly be pushing the envelope within any community.” Raised in Cape Town, South Africa, she was part of a close-knit Jewish community and her parents were involved in numerous organizations and causes. Liza is married to Michael and has three grown children, Justin, Allison and Lindsay.

2011 Honorees

Mia Bauer
Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Crumbs Bake Shop
New York, NY

Formerly a lawyer with a successful career in New York City politics, Bauer decided to “try something new” in 2003 and, with her husband, opened a bakery on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that specialized in large, lavishly frosted cupcakes. Today Crumbs is a publicly traded company that produces some 150 varieties of kosher cupcakes for 36 locations nationwide. Bauer is also in charge of the company’s philanthropic endeavors, which have included donating to synagogues, senior citizen centers and children’s organizations. She is responsible for nearly all the company’s recipes, and spend her days testing new flavors and varieties in her kitchen. Bauer also published her first children’s book, Lolly LaCrumb’s Cupcake Adventure, in 2008.


Abby Greensfelder
Founder, Owner & Executive Producer, Half Yard Productions
Washington, DC

Half Yard Productions is an entertainment production company which develops and produces television specials and series. Greensfelder left her job as senior vice president of programming and development for the Discovery Channel in 2006 to start her own production company with business partner Sean Gallagher.Half Yard Productions became an entrepreneurial success story, responsible for some of the best-known reality shows on top television networks, including TLC’s "Say Yes to the Dress," Bravo’s "The Real Housewives of D.C.," the History Channel’s "How the States Got Their Shapes" and the Discovery Channel’s "American Loggers." With offices in Maryland and New York, Greensfelder spends her days brainstorming with her staff, pitching networks and overseeing the production of new shows.


Kim Morris Heiman
President, SK Textile & Managing Director, Standard Textile Company
Cincinnati, OH

Standard Textile Company is one of the leading producers of textiles for the hospitality and healthcare industries, with 24 factories and serving more than 60 markets worldwide. Heiman is responsible for its international business development, which has included opening factories in Israel and Jordan and fostering economic ties between the countries. A former stockbroker, Heiman considers the employment of women around the world, who are often from disadvantaged communities, to be the most rewarding part of her job. She was named a “Woman of the Year” by the Cincinnati Enquirer for her philanthropic work; volunteers regularly at Hebrew Union College, Yad Vashem, the American Jewish Committee and her local Jewish day school; is a past president of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati; and runs a family foundation with her husband, Gary.


Alexis Kashar
Activist Attorney for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
New York, NY

Kashar practiced law for 13 years at Newman Aaronson Vanaman in Los Angeles, California, in the areas of civil rights and special education. Her focus was on the educational rights of children with special needs and the expansion of physical and communication access in places of public accommodations. In 2006, Kashar relocated to New York. She currently serves as general counsel for Compu-TTY, Inc. Kashar serves the deaf community in numerous leadership roles, including public policy chair for the National Association for the Deaf; president of the board of trustees for the New York School for the Deaf; and president of the Jewish Deaf Resource Center, a non-profit organization that serves as a bridge between Jews who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing and the individuals and organizations throughout North America. Kashar also serves as a commissioner for the American Bar Association's disability rights commission.


Kathy E. Manning
First Woman Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America
Greensboro, NC

Now a practicing attorney in Greensboro, N.C., Manning served as the first woman to chair of the board of trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America. She has devoted a significant amount of her time to leadership roles in the Jewish communal world, and continues to serve on the boards of JFNA, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Manning travels frequently to strategize with Federation boards and speak at community events about the importance of philanthropy, and about women’s career advancement and mentoring female volunteer leaders. In addition to her volunteer work in the Jewish world, Manning is currently chairing an effort to build a new performing arts center in Greensboro, and was instrumental in founding a regional theater and a local arts festival in her home community.


Rynthia Rost
Vice President of Public Affairs, Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO)
Bethesda, MD

She is responsible for the company’s cause marketing and community affairs, and also spearheaded the GEICO Corporate Community Citizens program, where GEICO employees devote time each month to volunteer work. Previously Rost has worked as a U.S. attorney, assistant general counsel for National Public Radio, doing appellate work for the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and as a board member for The Greater Washington Urban League, Mentors, Inc., and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Greater Washington. She also, with her daughter Katie, runs the Ronald F. Rost Foundation, which helps families enroll their children in extracurricular programs. Rost became involved in Jewish life through marriage, and when she converted to Judaism in 1992, discovered that her great-great-grandmother was Jewish.


Rabbi Julie Schonfeld
Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Assembly
New York, NY

The Rabbinical Assembly is the international membership association of Conservative/Masorti rabbis. The first woman to professionally lead a rabbinic organization, Schonfeld is known for her innovative approach to traditional egalitarian Judaism, her effective advocacy on matters of religious pluralism in Israel and her inspiring and incisive Jewish voice in matters of public policy. After graduating Yale University, Schonfeld taught playwriting to young people with the New York Shakespeare Festival, then received her ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She served as rabbi of the New York City-based Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a historic New York synagogue. Rabbi Schonfeld serves on President Obama’s White House Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Newsweek named her one of the 50 most influential Rabbis in America in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She has also been named in the Forward 50.


Ellen Stone
Executive Vice President of Marketing, Bravo and Oxygen Media
New York, NY

Stone oversees the development of all brand strategy, consumer, ad sales, license/merchandising, and digital marketing, enjoying great success, with multi-million dollar campaigns for franchises such as "The Real Housewives” and “Top Chef.” She also serves as a member of Bravo's senior management team shaping the network's overall strategy. She is the mastermind behind some of Bravo Media's most successful ventures, including the two-time New York Times best-selling Top Chef cookbook series, "Top Chef: The Tour." Additionally, under Stone’s watch, her team earned the 2010 Digital Publishing & Advertising Award for Best Social Engagement Campaign, an IMA Outstanding Achievement Award, a Cablefaxie and three CTAM Mark Awards. Stone holds a bachelor's degree in marketing and a minor in French from Lehigh University School of Business and is a graduate of CTAM University, Harvard School of Business.  She is a member of JWI's board of trustees.


Abbie Weisberg
CEO/Executive Director, Keshet
Chicago, IL

Keshet is a non-profit guided by Jewish values, serving individuals with developmental disabilities. Weisberg first joined Keshet as a Sunday school teacher, and steadily rose through the ranks to become its CEO and executive director. Along the way Weisberg ran Keshet’s Sunday school, summer camp and recreational programs, and helped implement an educational philosophy designed for autistic and other handicapped children known as TEACCH, or “Structured Teaching,” which lies at the core of every Keshet program. Most recently, in partnership with her local JCC and a kosher restaurant, she launched the KJ Café, staffed entirely by young adults who have participated in Keshet’s programs. Weisberg now spends her days talking to donors, working with her management team and overseeing a comprehensive array of educational, recreational and vocational programming for children and young adults.


Esther B. Newman (Community Leadership Award)
Founder & Executive Director, Leadership Montgomery
Rockville, MD

Newman founded Leadership Montgomery in 1990 and grew it from a single community leadership program to a nationally recognized model, including youth, senior, executive and member programs. A resident of Montgomery County, Md., Newman decided to establish this organization in 1988 to promote community trusteeship in her county’s leadership. Since then, Leadership Montgomery has graduated more than 1,800 people from its four educational and professional development programs designed for community leaders, business executives, youth and seniors. Graduates have gone on to serve on hundreds of nonprofit boards and on county, state and national boards. Newman also volunteers for a wide variety of causes and sits on numerous boards. She established a scholarship fund at Montgomery College, the alma mater that served a springboard for her own successful career.

2010 Honorees

Dana Bash
CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent
Washington, DC

Bash covers the activities of both the U.S. House and Senate. While at CNN, she also has served as a White House correspondent, the Capitol Hill producer and an editor in the Washington bureau. As a child in New Jersey, Bash – whose father was an ABC news producer – resisted the idea of one day working in television, and certainly never imagined she would one day wind up in front of the camera. She started out working in CNN’s tape library in 1993 and rose through the ranks by continually volunteering to do things that went beyond her job description. Over the years she has covered the Bush White House during the war in Iraq, traveled the world with the former president covering summits from Asia to the Middle East and conducted lengthy interviews with Sen. John McCain during the 2008 election.


Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin
Executive Director of the Baltimore Orchard Project
Baltimore, MD

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin is executive director of the Baltimore Orchard Project as well as a rabbi, author and founder of non-profit organizations. A trailblazer in the fields of Jewish feminism, healing and liturgy, the Baltimore native grew up in a family devoted to Jewish communal work. She founded the New York City-based Jewish Women’s Resource Center in 1978 and belonged to the first class of women allowed to attend the Jewish Theological Seminary’s rabbinical school in 1984. Cardin has been an active and unconventional spiritual leader, working over the years as advisor to students in the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary; editor of Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility; founding associate director of the National Center for Jewish Healing; director of Jewish life at the JCC of Greater Baltimore; and writer or editor of more than 10 books.


Nicole Feld
Executive Vice President, Feld Entertainment, Inc.
New York, NY

Nicole Feld is executive vice president of the world’s leading producer of live family entertainment, and Producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® and Disney On Ice.  Nicole is a graduate of New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and imaging. Before joining the company in 2001 as an assistant producer, she initially embarked on a career as a researcher and photo editor at People Magazine. As a producer, she focused on talent scouting, intrinsic to the success of all Feld Shows. In 2003, Nicole’s role expanded to include producing Ringling Bros. where she became the first woman to produce the show, and Disney On Ice, where she launched productions including Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour. Nicole has personally produced more than two dozen productions for Feld Entertainment.


Arna Poupko Fisher
Lecturer and Scholar
Cincinnati, OH

Fisher is a sought-after expert on the Jewish lecture circuit with a diverse career as a scholar, lecturer and Jewish community leader. Currently on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati Jewish Studies department and for the Wexner Heritage Foundation, Fisher recently served for four years as president of the Cincinnati Jewish Community Relations Council. She was raised in Edmonton, Canada and embraced observant Judaism as a teenager, going on to study at a yeshiva in Israel for two years, receive a teaching certificate from Touro College in New York and a master’s degree in medieval Jewish philosophy from Yeshiva University. She pursued doctoral programs in Jewish thought before accepting a groundbreaking position in 1993 as a “Judaic consultant” for Montreal’s Jewish Federation, where she taught Jewish perspectives to members of the Federation’s agencies. As a volunteer, Fisher has served on the boards of Hillel, AIPAC and other organizations.


Meryl Frank
President of Makeda Global Network; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Highland Park, NJ

Frank was appointed by President Barack Obama as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in February 2010, after serving as the U.S. Representative to the CSW for nearly one year. In addition to her service as U.S. Ambassador, she is the president of Makeda Global Network, a consulting firm focusing on women’s leadership and political participation. Ambassador Frank has more than three decades of experience advocating for women and children. She served at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Copenhagen preparing a report on the Implementation of the International Code on Breast Milk Substitutes, and as director of the Infant Care Leave Project at the Yale Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy. She was also president of the Women’s Division of the American Jewish Congress. Ambassador Frank is a member of JWI's board of trustees.


Lisa Malat
Vice President of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers
West Caldwell, NJ

Lisa Malat is a retail expert with a deep understanding of Millennial shopping patterns and preferences. She provides strategic direction and executive oversight to more than 700 campus book

stores in the areas of consumer and corporate marketing, learning and development and in-store and eCommerce strategy and operational efficiencies. Malat's energy is contagious and inspires those around her to exceed their personal best. She is generous with her knowledge and leads with intensity, passion and humor, sparking innovative and creative solutions. After working briefly on Wall Street and for a team of Broadway producers, she joined the executive training program at Macy’s flagship store in New York City and quickly graduated to senior management positions. As a breast cancer survivor, Malat offers counsel and hope to other women battling the disease.


Kim Oster-Holstein
Co-Founder & Chief Chocolate Officer, The Crave Bar
Chicago, IL

In addition to her role with the Crave Bar, a pretzel confectionery and ice cream company, Oster-Holstein is also a partner with TwistWorks, consultants specializing in food marketing, ideation, brand strategy/development, entrepreneurship education, and social entrepreneurship consulting. Oster-Holstein was formerly president/CEO and chief inspiration officer of Kim & Scott’s Pretzels, a business she started from scratch with husband and business partner Scott in 1995, and sold in 2012. The company’s mantra, “Pretzels with a Purpose,” inspired the partners to ensure that good comes from every pretzel product made and sold. This initiative has carried on in their Crave Bar efforts to make a difference while growing a successful company. Oster-Holstein shares her passion for empowering others to build their dreams through motivational speaking engagements and coaching. She was elected chair of JWI's board of trustees in June 2013.


Dominique Schurman
CEO of Schurman Retail Group
Fairfield, CA

Schurman Retail Group is the second-largest specialty retailer in the American personal expression industry and creator of the internationally recognized Papyrus brand. Schurman began answering the phones in 1982 and since has built her family’s business from a small niche company into a leading international retailer that owns 430 stores and four retail brands – PAPYRUS, Carlton Cards Retail, American Greetings Retail and Paper Thread. Schurman is passionate about the company’s philanthropic and environmental initiatives, such as using recycled paper and partnering with Earth Share, an organization that helps companies target donations to environmental charities.


Alexandra Shapiro
Executive Vice President, Marketing and Digital, USA Network
New York, NY

Though she is trained as a performer, Shapiro found creative fulfillment in a career behind the scenes and earned a reputation as an innovative television executive. She launched the promotional campaigns of numerous award-winning USA series and played a key role in creating the network’s “Characters Welcome” brand, as well as the overhaul of its online presence. Recently, Shapiro spearheaded the channel’s new Characters Unite brand initiative, a multimedia program that partners with nonprofit organizations to combat prejudice and discrimination. In her free time, Shapiro has helped to produce a number of short films and theater productions, and serves on the board of Scenarios USA, an organization that empowers underprivileged youth through writing and filmmaking projects.


Jane Fairweather (Community Leadership Award)
Realtor and Community Leader
Bethesda, MD

Fairweather ran her own management consulting firm for 12 years before starting a career in real estate. Today she is one of the top Coldwell Banker agents in the country, and was voted Best Realtor, Readers' Pick 2013 in Bethesda Magazine's Best of Bethesda contest. Philanthropy and community leadership are a priority for Fairweather. She devotes free time and energy to causes and organizations including the Jane Fairweather Community Service Scholarship Award for public school students involved in community service; work with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club and the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (she created the Strut Your Mutt festival to raise money for both organizations); and involvement on the boards of the Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, Imagination Stage children’s theater company and the environmental organization Bethesda Green. Fairweather is also co-chair of the Weizmann Institute of Science for the Washington region.

2009 Honorees

Rabbi Sharon Brous
Founder and leader of the nondenominational congregation IKAR
Los Angeles, CA

Brous is the founding rabbi of IKAR, a spiritual community dedicated to reanimating Jewish life by standing at the intersection of soulful, inventive religious practice and a deep commitment to social justice. Since starting IKAR in 2004, Brous has been recognized a number of times as one of the nation’s leading rabbis by Newsweek/The Daily Beast (listed as #1 in 2013) and as one of the 50 most influential American Jews by the Forward. In 2013 she blessed the President and Vice President at the Inaugural National Prayer Service. She sits on the faculty of the Hartman Institute-North America, Wexner Heritage and REBOOT, and serves on the board of Teruah-The Rabbinic Call to Human Rights and rabbinic advisory council to American Jewish World Service and Bend the Arc. She was honored to receive the Lives of Commitment Award from Auburn Theological Seminary and was the inaugural recipient of the Inspired Leadership Award from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.


Yanina Fleysher
President of Yanina & Co.
Cedar Grove, NJ

Fleysher is a custom jewelry designer and president of Yanina & Co. She began designing her own jewelry while still in high school, and started her own jewelry business at only 19 years old. Yanina and her family created a successful business by providing exceptional customer service and fine jewelry design. As a result she has created a loyal following throughout the United States.Yanina supervises the design and sales team along with her brother and partner, Alex. Yanina & Co. has been voted top jeweler in New Jersey many times and was named National Jeweler’s America’s Best Jeweler in the Couture category in 2009. 


Laurie Ann Goldman
CEO of Spanx, Inc.
Atlanta, GA

Goldman has taken SPANX from a spunky startup to an international powerhouse with thousands of products, across multiple brands. SPANX products reach consumers in more than 50 countries. Goldman has enjoyed 25 years building consumer product businesses and brands – first in retail, then at Coca-Cola and now at SPANX. Earlier in her career, she managed event marketing at Macy’s Department Store, where she created and managed special events, marketing and promotions. Goldman has been featured on CNBC and in Forbes, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and USA Today. An active and in-demand speaker, she regularly shares her thoughts on marketing, consumers, retail, leadership, life-balance and other topics to a range of business, civic and educational organizations. She lends her leadership and energy to a variety of community, philanthropic and professional development organizations. 


Ruth Marcus
Reporter and Columnist, Washington Post
Washington, DC

Marcus is a veteran reporter, editor and Washington Post columnist, specializing in American politics and domestic policy. Marcus has been with the Post since 1984. She joined the national staff in 1986, covering campaign finance, the Justice Department, the Supreme Court and the White House. From 1999 through 2002, she served as deputy national editor, supervising reporters who covered money and politics, Congress, the Supreme Court, and other national issues. She joined the editorial board in 2003 and began writing a regular column in 2006. As a staff writer, Marcus covered the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, followed Bill Clinton on the campaign trail and stood on the South Lawn of the White House for the historic handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat in 1993. A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2007.


Julie Morgenstern
Organizing and Time Management Expert and Bestselling Author
New York, NY

Morgenstern began her journey toward self-organization with her daughter’s diaper bag – and continued to the point that USA Today dubbed her the “queen of putting people’s lives in order.” One of the country’s leading experts on organization, business productivity and time management, the author of five best-selling books, a consultant to large corporations and a sought-after speaker, Morgenstern has appeared on "Oprah" and NBC’s "Today" show, and helped thousands of people transform their homes, businesses and attitudes about every kind of clutter. Morgenstern studied theater and developed a passion for directing – a job that requires both big-picture thinking and attention to detail. But as a newly divorced mother of a 3-year-old, she needed a career with a more stable financial future. The New York City-based Julie Morgenstern Enterprises has been successfully in business for 20 years.


Estee R. Portnoy
Marketing and Business Manager, Michael Jordan
Bethesda, MD

Portnoy manages the day-to-day business & marketing activities of Michael Jordan, working with the basketball star for over 15 years to manage and grow Jordan’s brand. Portnoy has managed the licensing for Jordan’s feature film debut Space Jam, and overseen the successful launch of the JORDAN Brand, a division of Nike. She has also served as a production executive for the IMAX movie Michael Jordan To The Max, opened several Jordan restaurants, and numerous other Jordan-related projects. Portnoy also oversees the Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf Invitational, a charity golf event, which has raised over $6 million for charities. Portnoy is the current Chair of the International Board of Directors for BBYO.  She is also the co-founder of KEEN USA, a sports program for children with disabilities, and has served on the National Advisory Council for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and as a board member for the Mid-Atlantic Region.


JJ Ramberg
Host of MSNBC's Your Business & co-founder of GoodSearch.com
New York, NY

MSNBC's "Your Business" has profiled hundreds of small business owners and featured advice from countless small business experts and investors. As a leader in this field, Ramberg often speaks to groups of business leaders and entrepreneurs. She is also author of the bestselling book It’s Your Business – 183 Essential Tips that Will Transform Your Small Business. Ramberg is passionate about small business and has firsthand experience as an entrepreneur herself. With her brother, Ramberg co-founded Goodsearch.com, a company which transforms every day actions into ways to support your favorite cause. Before joining MSNBC, Ramberg was a reporter at CNN where she covered a wide range of topics, ranging from breaking news to profiles of the country’s top business leaders. She also hosted the daytime talk program “The Flipside” on CNNfn. She began her television career at NBC News, where she was an associate producer at "Dateline NBC."


Melissa Arbus Sherry
Assistant to the Solicitor General
Washington, DC

Sherry is assistant to Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., representing the U.S. government in cases argued before the Supreme Court. Since 2009, Sherry has argued six cases before the Supreme Court. Before joining the Department, she spent four years at the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP, where she specialized in appellate litigation. Sherry was formerly a clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and was named one of the Top 30 Lawyers Under 30 by Bisnow in 2008.


Ellen Stovall
Healthy Policy Advisor, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
Silver Spring, MD

Stovall is one of this country’s leading advocates for cancer survivors – and a three-time, 42-year survivor of the disease herself. From 1992 to 2008, Stovall was president and CEO of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), and now serves as its senior health policy advisor. NCCS has influenced federal legislation, impacted cancer research and treatment, and provided information and support for cancer survivors. Stovall is passionate about her work, which includes presentations to policy-makers, health care professionals and cancer survivors. She grew up in a close-knit community in Honesdale, Pa., where her family was devoted to community service and leadership. After surviving Hodgkin’s disease in 1971, Stovall founded a pioneering support group for young cancer survivors. Today, she serves on a number of boards and committees of the Institute of Medicine, the Brookings Institution, and the National Quality Forum.


Jillian Copeland (Community Leadership Honoree)
Founder of the Diener School
Potomac, MD

Jillian Copeland became frustrated when she couldn’t find a school that would meet all the needs of her son, who had been diagnosed with epilepsy and a variety of developmental delays. So the former teacher and educational consultant created a school for special-needs children that integrated educational and therapeutic models that could be tailored to each student. The Potomac, Md.-based Diener School now has students in kindergarten through the fifth grade, and a team of teachers and therapists who create a holistic and balanced program for kids who learn in many different ways. Copeland began teaching elementary school, and later became a teacher trainer specializing in literacy and technology. Now running the Diener School, Copeland does everything from administrative work to presiding over teacher meetings to fundraising – but her favorite place is in the classroom working with the Diener kids!

2008 Honorees

Stephanie S. Abrutyn
Vice President and Senior Counsel, Home Box Office, Inc.
New York, NY

As vice president and senior counsel, litigation and anti-piracy, for Home Box Office, Inc., Abrutyn isresponsible for legal issues and proceedings pertaining to the areas of HBO and Cinemax Original Programming, HBO Films, HBO Sports and HBO Documentary Films. Abrutyn joined HBO as senior counsel in June 2005, was named vice president in August 2007 and added anti-piracy to her responsibilities in June 2012. Just prior to HBO, she served as senior counsel, East Coast Media, for Tribune Company, where she counseled and represented six of its daily papers including Newsday, The Hartford Courant and The Baltimore Sun. She is currently on the New York State Bar Association Media Law Committee, a member of the board of directors at the Media Law Resource Center Institute and an active participant in the ABA Forum on Communications Law. She teaches internet and publishing law at New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies.


Linda Cohn
Anchor of ESPN’s SportsCenter; author of Cohn-Head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking Into the Boys’ Club
Bristol, CT

Cohn is one of the most recognized faces on ESPN, known primarily as an anchor on SportsCenter for the last 16 years. In 1987, she made sportscasting history as the first full-time U.S./female sports anchor on a national radio network, when she was hired by ABC. Cohn is an inductee of both the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and the SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame. In addition to balancing work (at a 24-hour sports network) and quality time with her two children, she authored a book – Cohn-Head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking into the Boys’ Club, published in September 2008. Cohn also hosts the ESPN podcast "Listen Closely to Linda Cohn."


Karen J. Kessler
President and Co-Founder, Evergreen Partners, Inc.; Vice-Chair of Atlantic Health
Scotch Plains, NJ

Kessler is a founding partner and president of Evergreen Partners, a full-service public relations firm specializing in reputation management, crisis communications and event planning. Kessler counsels both private and public companies, and individuals on matters ranging from legal inquiries and personnel matters to business practices and general opportunities for increased visibility. Her expertise led to her role as technical consultant to the CBS television show “The Good Wife” and the ABC show “Nashville.”  Kessler also serves as chair of the board of trustees of New Jersey's Atlantic Health System. She has been recognized by NJ BIZ as one of the “50 Most Powerful Non-ProfitBoard Members” and “50 Most Powerful Women.”  In 1984 Kessler joined the American Stock Exchange and became the vice president of corporate communications, supervising a staff of 25. She speaks frequently on topics including corporate board best practices, media and messaging management, how to manage a corporate reputation in the era of social media, career options for women, and women and leadership.


Susan G. Kornstein, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and OB/GYN, and Head of the Institute for Women’s Health, Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA

Dr. Kornstein is an internationally known psychiatrist, researcher, and pioneer in women’s health. A professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, she is co-founder and executive director of the VCU Institute for Women’s Health. She edited the first comprehensive textbook on women’s mental health and is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Women’s Health and recently served as president of the International Association for Women’s Mental Health. A groundbreaking researcher in depression and premenstrual syndrome, she has authored over 100 scientific articles and book chapters and has been widely quoted in the media.


Rabbi Naomi Levy
Founder and Spiritual Leader, Nashuva
Venice, CA

Levy is founder of Nashuva, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to spiritually uplifting prayer, social action work and outreach to unaffiliated Jews. Listed in 2013 as one of the country’s top 50 rabbis in Newsweek, she has appeared on "Oprah" and NBC’s "Today" show, and belonged to the first class of women allowed to attend the Jewish Theological Seminary’s rabbinical school. Rabbi Levy also broke another glass ceiling as the first female rabbi to lead a West Coast Conservative synagogue – Congregation Mishkon Tephilo in Venice, Calif. She is the author of To Begin Again, Talking to God and Hope Will Find You. Levy has been a keynote speaker at the Harvard School of Public Health on healing the violence in our society; for the American Cancer Society on the issue of healing and resiliency; and for scores of Jewish organizations and temples.


Amanda Lipitz
Broadway Producer
New York, NY

Lipitz is a Tony-nominated Broadway producer and served as executive producer and creator of MTV’s groundbreaking series "Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods." She associate-produced “A Broadway Celebration” for PBS as part of the White House music series. Her first foray into Broadway producing was at the age of 24 with "Dirty Rotton Scoundrels." Her other producing credits include "Legally Blonde the Musical," "The Performers," "Modern Orthodox," and "Tisch on Broadway."  Lipitz graduated with a BFA in theatre from Tisch School of the Arts and now serves on the board of the school. She also serves on the board of The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women and PONY (Playwrights of New York). In addition to producing, Lipitz is responsible for some of the most innovative sponsorships on Broadway, including partnerships with UBER, Tiffany & Co., PBTeen, Maybelline and Apple. She is currently working on several projects including an original movie musical for MTV directed by Michael Mayer and the stage musical "The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company."


Jaime Berman Matyas
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, National Wildlife Foundation
Reston, VA

Matyas oversees more than 300 NWF staff members located in 10 offices around the United States. She also manages the day-to-day operations of her organization, initiates integrated marketing efforts and identifies new revenue and fundraising efforts. As part of NWF’s commitment to wildlife, the environment, and connecting people with nature, and as a mother of two young daughters, she has been an outspoken advocate for outdoor play time for kids and families. Matyas was one of 1,000 people trained by Vice President Al Gore as part of The Climate Project. In 2006, she was one of Washington Business Journal’s 25 “Women Who Mean Business.”


Lisa Rudes-Sandel
Creator and Founder, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans
Los Angeles, CA

Not Your Daughter’s Jeans is a denim company that caters to women over 40 with real curves. Rudes-Sandel's patented Tummy Tuck Jeans, designed to flatten the belly, flatter the hips and offer women a comfortable fit, are sold in top department stores and have attracted a devoted following. The Los Angeles-based business sold a 50 percent interest to a New York private-equity firm for around $100 million in 2008. Rudes-Sandel still runs the company with her sportswear-designer father.


Addie Swartz
CEO & Creator, reacHIRE
Lexington, MA

ReacHIRE combines skills refreshers, coaching and peer support, and placement in paid part-time projects at leading companies to bring professional women back to work. Prior to reacHIRE, Swartz founded B*tween Productions, Inc, creating the award-winning Beacon Street Girls book series to provide positive role models for tween girls. Swartz also founded educational software company BrightIdeas and has held senior positions at The Walt Disney Company, Lotus Development, and Reebok. She has been featured in numerous business and family publications; delivered keynote addresses at the Annual Women’s Leadership Conference at Babson College and Harvard Business School’s Dynamic Women in Business Conference; and been honored by the Girl Scouts as a “Leading Woman.”


Suzi Weiss-Fischmann
Executive Vice President & Artistic Director, OPI Products, Inc. 
Los Angeles, CA

Known as “the First Lady of Nails,” Weiss-Fischmann creates every OPI nail lacquer shade and is the go-to color authority for beauty editors and fashion designers alike. Over the past 30 years, she has changed the nail care industry, paving the way for nail lacquer to become today’s hottest accessory. She is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and emigrated to the U.S. from communist Hungary via Israel. Weiss-Fischmann served on the board of directors and the executive board of the Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School. Her philanthropy extends to numerous organizations, in Los Angeles and around the world. Weiss-Fischmann has been a JWI Mother’s Day Flower Project Partner for the last three years, partnered with JWI in the 2013 "Girls Achieve Grapeness!" campaign, and is a member of JWI's board of trustees.


Sharon Einbinder Friedman (Community Leadership Award)
Special Initiatives Consultant, Nonprofit Montgomery
Silver Spring, MD

Friedman, a licensed clinical social worker, is currently bringing her experience of 18 years as executive director of the Mental Health Association in Montgomery County to the greater nonprofit sector. Friedman has a keen interest in nonprofit sector development, and in the strengthening of public/private partnerships and community coalitions. In her role as special initiatives consultant to Nonprofit Montgomery, an affiliate of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, Friedman is serving as the project manager for Beyond Charity: Nonprofit Business in Montgomery County, MD and Montgomery Moving Forward. Friedman has been a recipient of the Neighborhood Excellence Local Hero Award from the Bank of America, a University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning Hero of Social Justice Award, and the Athena Award for Professional Excellence. Her expertise was tapped for the transition teams of the last two Montgomery County Executives and she has been included in The Daily Record’s Top 100 Women in Maryland.

2007 Honorees

Mary Jo Barrett, MSW
Executive Director/Co-Founder, The Center for Contextual Change
Chicago, IL

Barrett is a leading authority on trauma and violence. The Center for Contextual Change of Metropolitan Chicago was created to help families and communities recover from trauma and violence. Barrett's treatment model helps people prevent and recover from traumatic events by harnessing their own resources and engaging in the natural cycle of growth. She has co-authored three books and published more than 100 works, and led thousands of trainings on her treatment model, The Collaborative Change Model, as well as eating disorders, compassion fatigue and other related topics. She is adjunct faculty at the University of ChicagoSchool of Social Service Administration. Barrett has been passionately dedicated to her teaching and her clinical work in the field of family violence since 1974.


Miri Ben-Ari
Grammy Award-Winning Hip Hop Violinist and Producer
New York, NY

Originally from Israel, Ben-Ari has created her own unique sound – a revolutionary fusion of classical soul and dance music. She has wowed audiences around the world with performances such as Aventura’s “Sold Out at Madison Square Garden” concert, VH1's "Save The Music" Gala at Lincoln Center, and "Fashion Rocks" at Radio City Music Hall.  Ben-Ari has been the face of many promotional campaigns, including Reebok's “I Am What I Am” global print and TV advertisements. She is the founder and chairman of “Gedenk” ("Remember" in Yiddish), a not-for-profit organization that educates young people about the Jewish Holocaust. As a young role model, Ben-Ari has been privileged to receive many international accolades including the “Martin Luther King Award” from Israeli President Shimon Peres and the “2012 Big Vision Awards.” She was recently appointed as “Goodwill Ambassador of Music” at the United Nations Association-Brazil.


Elisa Spungen Bildner
Co-Founder, Foundation for Jewish Camp
Montclair, NJ

Bildner is co-founder/co-president of the board of trustees (with Rob Bildner) of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, a public foundation thatsupports and promotes non-profit Jewish overnight camps throughout North America. Founded in 1998, the FJC is the preeminent communal voice for the effectiveness of Jewish camp. Perennially active in national Jewish life and philanthropy, Bildner is also former chair of the Jewish Funders Network and immediate past president ofJTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency). She is a former lawyer, journalist and professor, and more recently served as CEO of a leading fresh-cut produce company. A professionally trained vegan chef, Bildner writes and consults about healthy foods and nutrition.


Toby Graff
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, USA Network
New York, NY

As senior vice president of public affairs for USA Network, a division of NBC Universal, Graff oversees all corporate social responsibility, community outreach and cause marketing efforts. Previously, Graff was the senior vice president of public affairs and corporate communications for Lifetime Networks where she led the company’s Emmy® Award-winning public service and advocacy campaigns. Graff held several positions in the Clinton Administration, including deputy press secretary for then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. She has been named one of Broadcasting & Cable’s Next Wave of Women and CableFax’s Rising Stars, and has received numerous honors. Graff has also served on the Education Advisory Board of New York City League of Women Voters, the Communications Advisory Board of RAINN (operator of the National Sexual Assault Hotline), the Myelin Repair Foundation Communications Advisory Board and the Advisory Council of the NYS Anti-Trafficking Coalition. She is a member of JWI's board of trustees.


Marla R. Letizia
President & CEO, Big Traffic Mobile Billboards Worldwide
Las Vegas, NV

Letizia, now president and CEO of Big Traffic Mobile Billboards Worldwide, began her career 30 years ago as a well-known face in Las Vegas television broadcasting. After starting a family, she stepped away from the camera to raise her children, create the Parenting Network and sitting on the founding board of The Meadows School, a private educational facility in Las Vegas. Eventually she came back to business with “Mobile Billboards of Las Vegas,” and has since grown one woman, one truck and one driver into 40-plus employees, a fleet of 12 mobile billboard trucks, and an international hub in Mexico City. Letizia was honored with the 2005 Women in Business Award for marketing.


Molly Levinson
Vice President for Strategy, Freedman Consulting, LLC
New York, NY

Levinson works with the Freedman Consulting's executive team to lead the firm’s management and develop and implement a plan for strategic growth. Previously Levinson was political director at CBS News, overseeing all coverage of the 2008 campaign and election for the network. Before joining CBS she was acting political director for CNN, where she oversaw the network’s political coverage, polling and political research programs. Prior to that, Levinson served as deputy political director and deputy political editor for CNN’s Washington-based Political Unit (2004-06), during which time she helped to produce and shape editorial content for the network’s on-air and online coverage of the 2004 election and other political events. Before CNN she worked for GQR Research as an analyst of opinion research and as a development assistant at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.


Monica Levinson
Film Producer
Beverly Hills, CA

Levinson began her career working in television news. Shifting her sights to feature films, she worked on “The Pelican Brief,” “Howard Stern’s Private Parts,” “28 Days” starring Sandra Bullock, Michael Mann’s “The Insider” and Ben Stiller’s hit comedies “Zoolander” and “Dodgeball.” She then went on to produce the international sensation and multiple award winner “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” as well as "Bruno," "30 Minutes or Less," "The Watch" (with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn) and most recently Larry David's "Clear History" for HBO.


Jamie McCourt
Founder, Jamie Enterprises; Former President, CEO & Co-Owner, Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles, CA

Through Jamie Enterprises, McCourt focuses on new investment opportunities and currently has several projects in development. She has been a visiting professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management teaching “The Pursuit of Leadership: A Female Perspective,” the only leadership class targeted to women at a U.S. business school. McCourt serves on the University of Southern California’s board of trustees, the executive committee at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the North America Executive Board at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Parent’s Advisory Board at Stanford University. She is an active philanthropist and she has received numerous honors, including the Scopus Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


Debra A. Neiman, CFP
Principal, Neiman & Associates Financial Services, LLC
Arlington, MA

Neiman is a certified financial planner who has focused on the underserved market of unmarried and nontraditional couples and families. Principal of Neiman & Associates Financial Services, LLC, she co-authored the widely-used resource Money Without Matrimony: The Unmarried Couples’ Guide to Financial Security. She also co-founded PridePlanners™, a national organization dedicated to keeping financial professionals aware of the changing and unique financial planning needs of nontraditional couples and families. Her most demanding client is her 6-year-old daughter.


Lynn Shapiro Snyder
Health Care Attorney, Epstein Becker & Green P.C.
Washington, DC

Shapiro Snyder was honored for her roles as both a senior member of the law firm of Epstein Becker & Green, PC, and the founder and president of the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation (WBL)™. She is recognized as one of the most powerful people in the health care industry, as creator of WBL and for her legal work for the nation’s health care companies. Through her leadership at WBL, Shapiro Snyder advances the role of business women in the health care industry and increases the number of women who serve on the boards of directors of companies nationwide.


Vivian G. Bass (Community Leadership Award)
CEO, Jewish Foundation for Group Homes
Rockville, MD

Bass has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life, independence, community inclusion and dignity of individuals with disabilities throughout the Washington, DC area. Bass has served as a consultant to more than 25 communities over five continents. In addition to being sought as a speaker for major national and international disabilities and/or Jewish conferences, serving on numerous boards, and playing a pivotal role in a myriad of consortiums and legislative/consumer advocacy efforts, Bass has received many distinctions including Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine. She is also a Lion of Judah. Bass is the vice-chair of JWI's board of trustees.

2006 Honorees

Michelle Bernstein
Chef and Restaurateur
Miami, FL

Bernstein is an award-winning chef and restaurateur from Miami, Fla. Bernstein has carved her own unique path in the food industry, drawing on her Latin-Jewish roots – Argentine and Italian – for culinary inspiration in her various and successful endeavors: owner of Miami hotspot restaurants Michy’s, SRA. Martinez, Michelle Bernstein's and MB Terrace; cookbook author; and consulting chef for Delta Air Lines. Bernstein studied with famed chef Jean-Louis Palladin and gained fame as the chef at Azul at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Miami. Bernstein She hosts a PBS weekly television series, "Check, Please! South Florida" and has been a regular guest on national television shows including The Today Show and the Martha Stewart Show. Bernstein has also opened a Miami chapter of Common Threads, a weekly after-school program to instill in underprivileged children the importance of balanced, nutritious meals.


Wendy C. Drucker
Managing Director, Drucker & Falk, LLC
Newport News, VA

Drucker has been with property management and real estate investment services company Drucker & Falk LLC, since she began her career in 1981. A Certified Property Manager® through the Institute of Real Estate Management, Drucker directs the management, supervision and construction of apartment communities from an office once inhabited by her grandfather. Drucker’s roots in her Newport News, Va. community run deep; she grew up working with her mother on large philanthropic projects in the Newport News area, and today dedicates much of her professional life to non-profit endeavors. She is equally skilled at fund-raising and philanthropic networking, and has led her company’s outreach to residents in low-income communities, offering opportunities to get health screenings, visit a bookmobile or meet local police and fire officials.


Dr. Perri Klass
Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics, New York University
New York, NY

Klass is a pediatrician who writes fiction and non-fiction about children and families, medicine, food and travel, and knitting. She is the author of 10 books, including the novel The Mercy Rule; the nonfiction work Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters to a Young Doctor, written in the form of letters to her older son as he starts medical school; and Every Mother Is a Daughter, a memoir in two voices written with her mother, English professor and novelist Sheila Solomon Klass. Klass is also a widely-published journalist; she writes the monthly "18 and Under" column for the Science section of the New York Times. Klass is a professor of journalism and pediatrics at New York University, as well as national medical director of Reach Out and Read, a national literacy organization which works through doctors and nurses to promote parents reading aloud to young children.


Susan Manheimer
Chief of Police, San Mateo Police Department
San Mateo, CA

Manheimer was sworn in as San Mateo, California’s chief of police in 2000 and is one of 27 women, the only Jewish woman out of 338 police chiefs in California. She serves on the board of directors of the California Police Chiefs Association and is involved in many other law enforcement–related organizations. Nationwide, she is among an estimated 200 female police chiefs. Manheimer describes her job as “truly tzedakah” and she helped start an informal support organization for Jews in the San Francisco Police Department. Her community-based approach seeks to partner police not only with other criminal justice agencies but also with public health, substance-abuse counselors, group homes for the elderly and youth, and other resources that are best equipped to deal with the myriad problems for which police are often the first ones called. Prior to serving the city of San Mateo, Manheimer worked for the San Francisco Police Department for 16 years.


Marcella Kanfer Rolnick
Vice Chair, GOJO; Founder, Walnut Ridge Strategic Management Company; and Chair, Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation
Akron, OH

Rolnick is building and stewarding her family’s multigenerational enterprise as vice chair of GOJO, a skincare and topical pharmaceutical manufacturer and inventor of PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer; founder of Walnut Ridge Strategic Management Company; and chair of Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation. Kanfer Rolnick has also worked as a management consultant in New York City, vice president of business development for a nonprofit multi-media publisher in Boston, and an associate at a boutique investment firm in San Francisco. She co-founded the Lippman Kanfer Institute for Jewish Learning and Engagement at JESNA. She joined the American Jewish World Service board of trustees in October 2007 and is currently chair of its strategy management committee.


Marcella L. Roenneburg, M.D.
Urogynecologist, The Weinberg Center for Women’s Health & Medicine at Mercy Medical Center
Baltimore, MD

Roenneburg joined a medical mission to the West African nation of Niger determined to help girls as young as 12 who had suffered childbearing-related wounds and were left incontinent and ostracized by their families and communities. In Niger, Bangladesh and Sierra Leone, Roenneburg has operated on scores of young women with vesicovaginal fistulas – holes between the bladder and the vagina. A nationally recognized expert in urinary incontinence and pelvic reconstructive surgery, Roenneburg also sees patients at Mercy Medical Center’s renowned Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine in Baltimore, and at Three Lower Counties Community Service in Salisbury, Md. She is an instructor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and a clinical assistant professor at University of Maryland Medical School.


Susan N. Shankman (Community Leadership Award)
Rabbi, Washington Hebrew Congregation
Washington, DC

Shankman's reach spreads far beyond Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, DC; she is involved in issues ranging from domestic violence and sexual abuse to Middle East peace to efforts to pass a living-wage law. Just before Shankman was ordained, in 2001, she received the Ferdinand M. Isserman Prize, which recognized her contributions in developing community relations. Shankman is co-chair of the outreach and membership committee of the URJ Mid-Atlantic Region; vice president of the CCAR Mid-Atlantic Region, regional rabbinic advisor to NFTY-MAR, and vice president of the Washington Board of Rabbis. In addition to serving on the Israel Quest committee of the Partnership for Jewish Life & Learning, she is also a member of JWI's National Alliance advisory board as well as JWI's National Clergy Task Force on Domestic Abuse.


Carol Shapiro
Founder, The Shapiro Justice Initiative
New York, NY

Shapiro has been an innovator in the field of criminal and social justice for over 35 years. She is known largely for her integration of asset and family network tools for community and correctional use. Before the launch of The Shapiro Justice Initiative and following her year-long convalescence from total spinal reconstruction, she completed a fellowship residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio, Italy Center to write a memoir. Shapiro was the founder and president of Family Justice, a non-profit that taps the strengths of families and their social networks to break cycles of victimization and justice system involvement. She has devised and collaborated on numerous initiatives to address crime prevention, addiction, pre-release, re-entry and a broad range of related issues. Among her many awards and honors for social entrepreneurship, Shapiro is an Ashoka fellow; La Bodega de la Familia, the precursor to Family Justice, received an Innovation in American Government award. In 2012, Shapiro was awarded a social impact award by Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Service and Research.


Cindy Spiegel
Senior Vice President, Spiegel & Grau
New York, NY

Spiegel co-founded Spiegel & Grau as an imprint of Random House. Among the books she has edited at S&G are Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit’s history of Israel, My Promised Land, winner of the Natan Book Award; Sara Gruen’s Ape House; Yann Martel’s Beatrice & Virgil; and Leslie Chang’s Factory Girls. Previously, Spiegel was vice president and publisher (and founding editor) of Riverhead Books, where she edited Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and James McBride’s The Color of Water. She has also discovered a number of prominent Jewish writers, including Gary Shteyngart and Pearl Abraham. Spiegel is the editor, with Christina Büchmann, of Out of the Garden: Women Writers on the Bible. She serves on the board of directors of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, and is on the advisory council of JWI’s National Library Initiative.


Aviva Tessler
President and Founder, Operation Embrace
Potomac, MD

Tessler was inspired to create Operation Embrace, a non-profit which responds to the needs of injured victims of terror in Israel, while delivering Purim boxes to hospitalized Israeli survivors in 2001. In addition to serving as founder and president of the organization, Tessler is a licensed marriage and family therapist, teaches monthly Rosh Chodesh classes and weekly Torah portion classes, writes a weekly Torah column and lectures nationally and internationally on topics related to psychology, spirituality and Judaism. She has been a faculty member of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, and teaches at Beth Sholom in Potomac, Maryland, where her husband Rabbi Joel Tessler leads the congregation.


Lorey Zlotnik
Senior Vice President of Marketing, NFL Network
Los Angeles, CA

Prior to joining the NFL Network, Zlotnick was senior vice president of marketing, on-air promotion & creative services for the Outdoor Channel, senior vice president of marketing and on-air promotion for FOX Sports Media Group's FUEL TV, and held the same title at FOX Cable Networks' FOX Reality Channel. Zlotnick has spearheaded the promotional strategy behind hit Bravo TV show launches like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Project Runway, and has achieved incredible success launching advertising and promotional campaigns for Disney, Sony, NBC Universal and other entertainment giants. She has been honored with Promax Awards, CTAM Mark Awards, a Multichannel News Beacon Award, gold Telly Awards, and Los Angeles Times and Times Mirror Innovation Awards.

2005 Honorees

Dr. Nieca Goldberg
Author and Medical Director, NYU Women's Heart Program
New York, NY

Goldberg is a cardiologist and a nationally-recognized pioneer in women’s heart health. Her New York City practice Total Heart Care is now the NYU Women’s Heart Program, which focuses primarily on caring for women. Goldberg is clinical associate professor of medicine and medical director of NYU Women’s Heart Program, the co-medical director of the 92nd Street Y’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, and a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s "Go Red" campaign, where she has volunteered for over 15 years. Formerly the chief of women’s cardiac care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Goldberg has appeared on New York Magazine's list of "Best Doctors" nine times since 2000. She is the author of Dr. Nieca Goldberg’s Complete Guide to Women’s Health and Women Are Not Small Men, which was updated and titled The Women's Healthy Heart Program – Lifesaving Strategies for Preventing and Healing Heart Disease.


Amy B. Harris
Writer and Producer for Film and Television
New York, NY

Harris was a co-producer and writer for HBO's Sex and the City, and is now an executive producer and writer for the The Carrie Diaries, the CW network's prequel series. Harris was also a consulting producer on the CW's GossipGirl, and produced the 2005 HBO series The Comeback, starring Lisa Kudrow. Harris co-wrote the 2006 film Just My Luck, and was executive producer of the 2008 Web series Puppy Love and the 2008 film Gone to the Dogs. She wrote the series Fetching for AOL's AOL On online video network in 2012.


Rosalyn Levy Jonas
Abortion Rights Activist
Washington, DC

Since she was elected to the national board of NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2002, she has been dedicated to the organization and its mission to guarantee every woman the right to make her own decisions about the full range of reproductive choices. Jonas served for nine years on the board, three as the chair, and also served on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland. In 2011 she was elected the board chair of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, at the same time serving as chair of the board of the Community Foundation for Montgomery County, Maryland. As a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington and as its president, Roz created Sarah’s Sisters, a series of programs designed to enrich the lives of Jewish women, and worked to create a culture of receptivity to women’s involvement as agency lay leaders.


Stacy D. Phillips
Senior Partner, Phillips, Lerner, Lauzon & Jamra
Los Angeles, CA

Phillips is a Certified Family Law Specialist and founder and managing principal of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation, a full-service family law firm in Los Angeles. She is the author of the book, Divorce: It’s All About Control – How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, now in its sixth printing. Phillips represents business executives, entrepreneurs, sports, entertainment, political and religious figures, and other high-net-worth individuals. She is designated by Martindale-Hubbell with its highest AV rating, listed in The Best Lawyers in America, selected to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers as “Top 10” and "Top 50 Women,” and named to Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America”.  Phillips co-authored Senate Bill 924, which extended the statute of limitations period for victims of domestic violence to sue their abusers in civil court.


Hannah Rosenthal
CEO/President, Milwaukee Jewish Federation
Chicago, IL

Prior to her appointment as CEO/president of the Milwaukee Jewish Federationin 2012, Rosenthal served as a special envoy and head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in the Obama Administration, from 2009 to 2012. She was the founding executive director of the Wisconsin Women's Council from 1985 to 1992, and is also the former head of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), and former executive director of the Chicago Foundation for Women. Rosenthal was vice president for community relations for the not-for-profit WPS Health Insurance Corporation. Rosenthal served on the advisory council of J Street and J Street PAC, and on the board of Americans for Peace Now. In 1995 Rosenthal was appointed by the Clinton Administration to serve as Midwest regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2005, she was named one of the Forward 50.


Rabbi Amy Schwartzman
Senior Rabbi, Temple Rodef Shalom; Vice President, Washington Board of Rabbis
Falls Church, VA

Schwartzman broke ground in 1998 when she became senior rabbi of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Va., the largest congregation in the country headed by a woman rabbi at that time. She is involved in the leadership of many Jewish organizations including the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Rabbinic Alumni Association of the Hebrew Union College and was the co-coordinator of the Women’s Rabbinic Network from 1997 to 1999. Schwartzman has worked with many community organizations including the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, national and local housing organizations, and has been active in community AIDS projects. She also has served as president of the McLean Clergy Association.


Rachel Simmons
Author, Odd Girl Out; Founding Director, The Girls’ Leadership Institute
Brooklyn, NY

Simmons discovered her life’s calling as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, when she started to study aggression in girls. She withdrew from Oxford and instead of heading to Yale Law School wrote the best-selling book Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, based on hundreds of interviews Simmons conducted with girls and the universal experiences that came to light in the process. The book was adapted into a highly acclaimed Lifetime television movie. Today Simmons is a sought-after expert on the subject of female bullying among youth. She has written a follow-up book, The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence, spoken to schools across the country, appeared on television shows like “Oprah” and “Dateline NBC” and runs a two-week summer camp program, Girls Leadership Institute.


Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair
Clinical Psychologist and Researcher, Klarman Eating Disorders Center and Harvard Medical School
Cambridge, MA

Steiner-Adair is the director of Eating Disorders Education and Prevention at the Klarman Eating Disorders Center at McLean Hospital, and a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. A founding member of the International Academy of Eating Disorders, she lectures internationally on eating disorders, and was awarded the Lori Irving Prevention Award by the National Eating Disorders Association in 2005. Dr. Steiner- Adair consults widely in the American Jewish community with rabbis, day school and youth educators, health practitioners, parents, camps and non-profit organizations; has frequently appeared on television and in newspapers and magazines; and is a featured expert in several documentaries about eating disorders. She is the co-author of "Full of Ourselves: A Wellness Program Advancing Girl Power Health and Leadership."


Susan W. Turnbull
Co-Founder, Emerge Maryland
Bethesda, MD

Turnbull has dedicated the last 35 years to community activism through both political and philanthropic efforts. A spirited advocate committed to furthering Jewish and feminist values, she served as the Chair of The Jewish Council for Public Affairs 2014 - 2016 and two terms as Chair of JWI's board of trustees. She joined JWI’s Board of Directors in 2006.  A long-time member of the Democratic National Committee from Maryland, she served as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, chair of the Maryland Democratic Party and chair of the DNC Women’s Leadership Forum and Caucus. In 2012 Turnbull co-founded Emerge Maryland, an innovative program that trains women to run for political office. In her “spare time” she serves on the board of the University of Maryland Institute for Citizenship and Politics and is enjoying time creatively in the silver studio. 


Debra Weinberg
Board Member, The American Friends of Melitz and Hand in Hand
Baltimore, MD

Silberman Weinberg is a leader in a number of organizations both locally and internationally. As the former chair of the THE ASSOCIATED’s Annual Campaign, she worked alongside a team that raised $31 million for local and overseas needs. She is currently a board member of The American Friends of Melitz and Hand in Hand. Silberman Weinberg served as the international chair of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, which explores fresh ways of thinking about Judaism and gender worldwide. Since 2005, Silberman Weinberg has served as the executive director of ACHARAI: The Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Development Institute, a community-wide bridge-building program for incoming presidents of boards of Jewish organizations. Prior to ACHARAI, she served for ten years as the director of The Darrell Friedman Institute for Professional Development. She was named a Woman of Distinction-Baltimore Chapter of Hadassah in 1999,  received the Zelda Miller Award of THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore in 2000, and was recently honored by Israel Bonds of Maryland.


Ivy Zelman
CEO, Zelman & Associates
Moreland Hills, OH

Zelman is a housing analyst and CEO of housing industry research firm Zelman & Associates. She speaks frequently about the housing and homebuilding industries and is often quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and on CNBC. Previously she was a stock analyst and managing director at Credit Suisse First Boston covering 22 home-building, building products and furniture companies. The May 2005 issue of Forbes magazine ranked her number one among 3,300 analysts in all of Wall Street. She has been rated the number-one analyst in the housing industry by the Institutional Investors All American Research Team eight times since 1999, and by the Greenwich Associates Institutional Research Services Poll six times since 2000. In 2005 and 2006, she was ranked 14th in Builder Magazine’s Power Broker list of the 50 most influential people in homebuilding, which included President George W. Bush and Alan Greenspan.

2004 Honorees

Bonnie Bernstein
Sports Journalist; Vice President, Campus Insiders
New York, NY

Bernstein is a sports journalist and executive, named one of the most accomplished female sportscasters in history by the American Sportscasters Association. She is vice president, content and brand development, of Campus Insiders, as well as the on-air "face" of the network. Additionally, she freelances for The Dan Patrick Show (where she is the only female fill-in host), ESPN, espnW and DirecTV and serves as a guest commentator on several news networks, including MSNBC, NBC and FOX News Channel. Bernstein is a national ambassador for school-based running program ING KiDS ROCK, and in 2010 co-chaired the coalition supporting congressional passage of the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, which raises funds for childhood obesity initiatives. Bernstein is also a national spokesperson for the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis, raising awareness about the disease she was diagnosed with in 2006.


Dr. Joslyn (Joey) Fisher, MD, MPH
Physician and Domestic Violence Activist
Houston, TX

Fisher is a physician and an associate professor of medicine and medical ethics at Baylor College of Medicine. She practices and teaches medical students and residents at Ben Taub General Hospital, the largest provider of indigent care in Harris County (Houston, Texas). Her academic focus is on women’s health and in particular domestic violence. She is the founder of the VIVA (Volunteer Initiative vs. Violent Acts) Project, which teaches healthcare professionals how to identify and intervene in cases where patients have experienced domestic violence. She also is the co-founder and president of the Texas Medical Center Women’s Health Network, a non-profit dedicated to advancing women’s health through inter-disciplinary, inter-institutional collaborations.


Zehava Gal-On
Member of Knesset
Jerusalem, Israel

Gal-On is a member of Knesset for Meretz, known for her very liberal and pluralist views. In February 2012, she was elected chairperson of Meretz. Gal-On immigrated to Israel at the age of four from Vilnius in the Soviet Union (today Lithuania). She served as general secretary of the paper Politika, of the Human Rights organization B'Tselem, and of the Ratz party. Among her main activities are the struggle for human and civil rights, women's rights and the fight for social justice. She was elected to the Knesset in 1999, and served as chairwoman of the Knesset committee for the struggle against trafficking in women. She was also a member of the Knesset law and constitution committee and the Knesset committee. In 2007, Gal-On launched an unsuccessful bid to become the leader of Meretz. She believed that Meretz must reinvent itself and promote a civilian agenda, which encompasses human rights and civil liberties in order to remain politically viable. She lost to Haim Oron, and later lost her seat in 2009, but returned to the Knesset after Oron retired in 2011.


Lauren Greenfield
Photographer and Documentary Filmmaker
Venice, CA

Greenfield is considered a preeminent chronicler of youth culture, gender and consumerism, as a result of her monographs “Girl Culture,” “Fast Forward,” “THIN” and other photographic works, which have been widely published, exhibited, and collected by leading museums around the world. Her latest feature-length documentary film, “The Queen of Versailles” was selected as the Opening Night film of Sundance 2012 where it won the Best Director Award in the U.S. Documentary Competition. Greenfieldhas previously directed three – “THIN,” “kids + money,” and “Beauty CULTure.”  Her work appears regularly in the New York Times Magazine, The London Sunday Times Magazine, and GQ, and was showcased in the Getty Museum’s historical exhibition, “Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography Since the Sixties” (2010).  In 2009, she and her husband, Frank Evers, founded the Institute for Artist Management, representing some of the world’s best documentary photographers from around the world. 


Rabbi Karyn Kedar
Author; Senior Rabbi, Congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim
Glenview, IL

Kedar is the senior rabbi and spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in the Chicago area.  She was ordained in 1985 from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Her ordination certificate hangs in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, having had the distinction of being the first woman rabbi to serve there. Rabbi Kedar teaches and lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence around the country and is widely recognized as an inspiring speaker who guides people in their spiritual and personal growth. She is the distinguished author of God Whispers: Stories of the Soul, Lessons of the Heart and most recently, Bridge to Forgiveness: Stories and Prayers for Finding God and Restoring Wholeness.


Dr. Amy Kossoff
Staff Physician, Healthcare for the Homeless; Founder, Womenade
Chevy Chase, MD

Kossoff is a Washington, DC internist and founder of Womenade, a charitable organization that raises charitable funds through potluck gatherings. After graduating from George Washington University Medical School with a specialty in internal medicine, Kossoff began working at agencies that served an indigent and homeless population, such as Healthcare for the Homeless, where she is the staff physician. She frequently gave small amounts of money to patients who needed it, and her generosity began adding up. Discussing this with a group of women gathered for a potluck dinner in 2000, one friend suggested that the next time the group got together, each member should make a small donation. The group cotinued to raise money that, with no administrative costs, went directly to needy individuals, most of them referred by social workers. Since an article appeared in a national magazine in 2002, Womenade groups have formed across the country.


Laura Heller Lauder
Venture Philanthropist; Founder, DeLeT: Day School Teaching Through Leadership
Atherton, CA

Heller Lauder founded DeLeT: Day School Teaching through Leadership, a national Jewish Teach for America, modeled on her experience as a fellow in the Wexner Heritage Foundation. She is vice chair of the $1.6 billion Jewish Community Endowment Fund of San Francisco and Chair of its Foundation Council. She also serves on the board of SV2, a venture philanthropy “giving circle” in Silicon Valley; and on the advisory boards of Stanford University School of Education and Challenge Success, a program of Stanford. She is active with the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), a global leadership network, and is a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. Lauder joined her husband Gary in their venture capital partnership in 1992, Lauder Partners, specializing in Internet and media investments. The couple also co-founded the Socrates Society of the Aspen Institute. Lauder has also won numerous awards, including Volunteer of the Year from the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation in 2011.


Stacy Madison
Co-founder, Stacy's Pita Chip Company
Randolph, MA

Madison founded Stacy's Pita Chip Company in 1997, a top-selling natural snack food brand. In 2006, with sales topping $65 million, Stacy's Pita Chip Company was sold to PepsiCo as part of the health and wellness movement of the Frito Lay division. Currently, Madison has been working with Fireman Capital Partners as an operating partner and most recently on the Evolution Juice deal.  Since the 2011 sale of Evolution (to Starbucks), she has moved on to work with The Chia Co., an Australian chia seed company that has relocated and expanded to the USA. She is an active member of the board of directors for Peeled Snacks and The Chia Co.


Dr. Deborah Marin
Chief Medical Officer, The Mount Sinai Medical Center
New York, NY

Marin attended The Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai Psychiatry Residency. Upon completion of her residency, Dr. Marin completed a research fellowship in mood disorders at Cornell Medical College. Since her return to Mount Sinai in 1992, Dr. Marin has held several leadership positions, including chief of geriatric psychiatry, medical director of the Department of Psychiatry, dean for clinical research, and chief medical officer. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Marin’s research focus has been is in the area of memory disorders. She has been principal investigator in NIH-funded grants that have investigated the clinical and biological correlates of normal aging and dementia. She has published several articles related to these topics. Dr. Marin’s clinical interests include the treatment of memory disorders and depression; her teaching interests include not only psychiatry but also improving physician-patient communication.


Julie Bender Silver
President, Bender Foundation, Inc.
Washington, DC

Silver is president of the Bender Foundation, Inc., the Washington, DC family foundation started by her grandfather that annually contributes to over 70 nonprofit groups. In 1986 she became president of the Service Guild of Washington, a group of Jewish women who volunteer their time to projects important to the community. As a member of the Jewish Community Center Board, she led the creation of the Bender-Dosik Parenting Center, and was instrumental in launching the second site at Glen Echo for Discovery Creek Children's Museum. Bender Silver has also supported many other groups, including the Women's Auxiliary of the Hebrew Home of Washington, Second Genesis (a drug/alcohol rehabilitation group), and Hebrew University Vet School. Her skills as a fundraiser have benefited numerous institutions, such as the Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, the Jewish Social Service Agency, the National Children's Hospital, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.


Linda Kaplan Thaler
Chairman, Publicis Kaplan Thaler
New York, NY

Chairman of advertising agency Publicis Kaplan Thaler,  Kaplan Thaler is responsible for some of America’s most recognizable advertising campaigns and jingles – including the Aflac duck and “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid.” She has won 13 Clio Awards. Previously, Kaplan Thaler was CEO and chief creative officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group, which she founded in 1997 and grew to a company with over a billion dollars in billings, then merged with Publicis New York in July 2012. Kaplan Thaler also co-authored (with Robin Koval) The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference and two other bestsellers. In 2005, she hosted the Oxygen television series “Making It Big,” where young professionals competed for their dream job. She has also appeared on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” as a judge.

2003 Honorees

Gila Bronner
President & CEO, Bronner Group, LLC
Chicago, IL

Chicago-based Bronner Group is a management and technology consulting firm that helps improve the functions of state, federal and local governments. She was previously with the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and Peat Marwick (now KPMG). Bronner is a recognized thought leader who writes and lectures extensively on numerous public sector issues. She serves on the board of directors of the Illinois Finance Authority (as Audit Committee Chair), the Data Board of Advisors for the Washington-based Data Transparency Coalition, and CJE SeniorLife’s Administrative Services Committee, and was a board member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (appointed by President Clinton). Accounting Today magazine named Bronner one of the 100 most influential people in accounting for two consecutive years.


Shifra Bronznick
Principal, Bronznick & Co., LLC; Founding President, Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community
New York, NY

Bronznick collaborates with social change organizations on deepening their impact. Leadership consultant to the White House Project for a decade, Bronznick has provided strategic counsel to dozens of organizations including Catalyst, National Council for Research on Women, Auburn, Keshet, IKAR, Hebrew Union College–JIR, the Revson Foundation and American Jewish World Service. Her groundbreaking action research for the Nathan Cummings Foundation fostered powerful collaborations in the Jewish social justice field and led to the establishment of the Jewish social justice roundtable. Founder and president of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, she is co-author with Didi Goldenhar and Marty Linsky of Leveling the Playing Field. Bronznick has been selected three times by the Forward newspaper as one of the 50 most influential Jews. A senior fellow at NYU’s Research Center for Leadership in Action at the Wagner Graduate School, she teaches strategic leadership in the Executive Masters in Public Administration program.


Diana Cantor
Partner, Alternative Investment Management, LLC
Glen Allen, VA

Cantor, a certified public accountant, is a partner of Alternative Investment Management, LLC, an independent privately-held investment management firm. In addition, she is the co-founder and managing director of Hudson James Group LLC, a strategic advisory firm. Cantor – who is married to Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va.) – previously served as a director of The Edelman Financial Group, Inc., managing director with New York Private Bank and Trust, and founder and executive director of the Virginia College Savings Plan. She serves on the board of directors of Domino's Pizza, Inc., Media General, Inc., and Revlon, Inc. She is also chairman of the Virginia Retirement System, and is a member of the Audit Committee and the Pension Investment Committee.


Ruth Faden   
Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Founding Director, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute
Baltimore, MD

Faden is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the American Psychological Association, and is the author and editor of many books and articles on biomedical ethics and health policy. She has served on numerous national advisory committees and commissions, including President Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, which she chaired. She is a co-founder of the Hinxton Group, a global community advancing ethical and policy challenges in stem cell science, and the Second Wave project, an effort to ensure that the health interests of pregnant women are fairly represented in biomedical research and drug and device policies. In 2011, Dr. Faden received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) and Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIMR).


Cherie Kirschbaum
Founder, City Projects, Inc.
Denver, CO

Kirschbaum founded City Projects, Inc., a leader in providing real estate development services to nonprofits, philanthropic foundations and businesses that positively impact people, places and their communities. As a pre-teen, Kirschbaum started her first nonprofit in Chicago to raise money for a school for developmentally disabled children. Her sensitivity to others evolved from a challenging home life, which set the path for her to share a deep understanding that nurtured compassion for oneself and others. Kirschbaum is the former president of Mercy Housing SouthWest, where she led the development, acquisition and management of more than 2000 units of multifamily affordable housing in Colorado and Arizona. A recognized community leader, Kirschbaum founded the Jewish Community Response to Family Violence and was board chair of the Mile High Community Fund. In 2011, the Denver Business Journal selected her as one of Denver’s “Outstanding Women in Business.”


Sherri Mandell
Founder, The Koby Mandell Foundation

Mandell is an American Israeli author and activist. She is best known as the mother of Koby Mandell, a thirteen-year-old American boy who was murdered near their home in the West Bank in May 2001. Mandell and her husband, Rabbi Seth Mandell, founded the Koby Mandell Foundation, which runs healing programs for families that have lost an immediate family member to a terrorist attack or an act of war. The Foundation sponsors Camp Koby for children that have lost a parent or a sibling in an act of terror; Mothers' Healing Retreats for women bereaved by terrorist violence, and similar retreats for widows who have lost a husband to terror or war. Mandell wrote a book about the murder, The Blessing of a Broken Heart, which won a 2004 National Jewish Book Award.


Maria Ramos-Chertok
Attorney & Consultant on Multiculturalism
Mill Valley, CA

Ramos-Chertok is an organizational development consultant for nonprofit organizations and a writer. She is currently working on her debut novel, Rosie’s Blues, a story about friendship, race, redemption and oneness. Ramos-Chertok facilitates social identity storytelling workshops.  In 2012, she piloted her workshops at the First LIMMUD – Bay Area Conference and at Bechol Lashon Family Camp. In 2008, Ramos-Chertok joined the training team of Rockwood Leadership Institute, where she leads workshops for social justice activists.  She has also worked with Selah Leadership Program, the first leadership training designed specifically for Jewish leaders across the social change field.


Rochelle Shoretz
Founder, Sharsheret
Teaneck, NJ

Shoretz founded Sharsheret, a national not-for-profit organization supporting and educating Jewish women of all backgrounds facing breast cancer and ovarian cancer, following her own diagnosis at age 28. Shoretz, a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, lectures about cancer in young women and in the Jewish community before audiences across the country and was named a member of the Forward 50 and a Yoplait Champion in the Fight Against Breast Cancer. A graduate of Columbia Law School, Shoretz served as a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


Audrey Weiner
President & CEO, Jewish Home & Hospital Life-Care System
New York, NY

Audrey Weiner, DSW, MPH is president and CEO of the Jewish Home & Hospital Lifecare System in New York, a multi-site continuum of long-term care serving 10,000 elders a year. She also serves as chair of LeadingAge, the national umbrella organization representing 6,000 not for profit providers of services and housing for elders. Weiner has served on several other boards including the Greater New York Hospital Association and the Continuing Care Leadership coalition. She is a past president of the Jewish Communal Services Association, former vice president of the World Council of Jewish Communal Services, a member of the Advancing Women Professional’s Board and served as co-chair of the Women’s Executive Circle of UJA-Federation of New York from 2003 to 2005. She has presented at numerous conferences and has many publications. In 2006, she edited the first special issue of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service on aging in the Jewish community.  She is presently editing, with Dr. Judah Ronch, a two-volume text on person-centered care for seniors.


Jennifer Weiner
Philadelphia, PA

Weiner is the bestselling author of the novels Good In Bed (2001); In Her Shoes (2002) (which was turned into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine); Little Earthquakes (2004); Goodnight Nobody (2005); the short story collection The Guy Not Taken (2006); Certain Girls (2008); Best Friends Forever (2009); Fly Away Home (2010); and Then Came You (2011). She is also the co-creator and executive producer of the ABC Family show "State of Georgia," which ran during the summer of 2011. Weiner is a frequent public speaker who has appeared on "The Today Show," "The CBS Early Show," "The Martha Stewart Show," "The Rachael Ray Show," and others. Her work has appeared in Seventeen, Salon, Redbook, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, In Style and Elle. She writes occasionally for the Huffington Post and on her own blog. In 2011, Time magazine named her as one of its 140 Best Twitter feeds.

2002 Honorees

Linda Addison
Global Head of Dispute Resolution and Litigation, Norton Rose Fulbright
Houston, TX

Linda Addison is Global Head of Dispute Resolution and Litigation for Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the world’s largest law practices, and serves on the Global Executive Committee and U.S. Management Committee. Described “as one of the nation’s smartest, most respected litigators” (Lawdragon), she was named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” (Crain’s New York Business), one of the 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America and one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by National Law Journal. The American Bar Association awarded her its prestigious Margaret Brent Award, which recognizes women lawyers who have excelled in their field and paved the way for other women. She is a trustee of the University of Texas Law School Foundation, and serves on the boards of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Foundation and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR).


Ruth Bar-On
Founder, SELAH—Israel Crisis Management Center
Tel Aviv, Israel

Ruth Bar-On and her organization, SELAH, The Israel Crisis Management Center, have sought to fill the void in couseling and social services for Israeli immigrants since 1993. SELAH helps the families and children of those killed in terror attacks and the injured themselves. They assist the children left behind in an unfamiliar country and also help new immigrants affected by fire, flood, car accidents or family violence. Bar-On is a lifeline for those victims who live without a support network. The mother of five, Bar-On spent nine years in England and has also held the executive directorship of the Israel Public Council for Soviet Jewry.


Dr. Rachel Brem
Director, Breast Imaging & Intervention, George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Owings Mills, MD

Dr. Rachel Brem is a professor of radiology and the vice chair of radiology at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, where she is also the director of Breast Imaging & Intervention. Dr. Brem arrived at GWU in 2000 from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, where she was director of Breast Imaging. She is the principal investigator of numerous clinical trials including molecular imaging approaches for the improved detection of breast cancer. Dr. Brem has published more than 80 journal articles and manuscripts related to breast cancer, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. She also is the director of the GW Mobile Mammography Program, which focuses on screening mammography in the underserved community in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Dr. Brem works extensively on Capitol Hill to further education, awareness and legislature to optimize breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. As a breast cancer survivor herself, she understands and is committed to the science and the personal aspects of breast cancer.


Deborah Drattell
Brooklyn, NY

Deborah Drattell trained as a violinist before turning to music composition at age 19. Her orchestral compositions have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St Luke’s, the Seattle Symphony and other major American orchestras. Since the turn of the millennium, she has devoted herself principally to opera, creating several well-regarded works for the theatre. These include Nicholas and Alexandra – written expressly for Plácido Domingo, who performed the title role in its première production – and two collaborations with the lauded American playwright Wendy Wasserstein as librettist.


Pearl Gluck
Documentary Filmmaker, Palinka Pictures
New York, NY

Pearl Gluck is a filmmaker who was raised in and eventually left Hasidic Borough Park, Brooklyn. Her first film, "Divan" (2004), was a Hasidic tale that tracked her Hungarian ancestry through her search for a certain couch – a divan – considered a religious icon for Hasidic rabbis. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and broadcast on the Sundance Channel. Gluck was the first to receive a Yiddish Fulbright to Hungary. Her commercial work includes directing and producing documentary shorts for The Covenant Foundation, the Heritage Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries, the American Committee for the Weitzmann Institute of Science, and editing radio and 30-second TV ads for Oxygen Advertising. Gluck has spearheaded community arts programs and curated literary and film events from Hungary to Israel to New York City. As part of her ongoing commitment to educational outreach, she has appeared on numerous college and university campuses, and acted as writer/mentor at the MacArthur-granted program, The Harlem Writers Crew.


Andrea Kalin
Documentary Filmmaker
Washington, DC

Andrea Kalin is a documentary filmmaker as well as principal and founder of Spark Media, Inc. and founder and executive director of nonprofit foundation Stone Soup Productions, Inc. Kalin’s films have received industry awards and nominations including prime time Emmys and a Gracie Allen Award. In 2005, Kalin produced and directed "Too Brief a Child," about child brides around the globe; in 2006, she directed and produced "The Pact," about inner-city young teens who made a pact to go to college and then medical school; in 2007 she produced, co-directed and co-wrote "Prince Among Slaves," about African Muslim-prince-turned-American-slave Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori; and in 2008, she co-produced and co-directed "Talking Through Walls," about a struggle to build a mosque in New Jersey. In 2009, Kalin made "Soul of a People: Writing America's Story," a documentary on the Federal Writers Project, as well as "Worlds of Sound: The Ballad Of Folkways" on the Smithsonian Folkways record label.


Rabbi Yael Ridberg
Congregation Dor Hadash
San Diego, CA

Rabbi Yael Ridberg is the spiritual leader of Congregation Dor Hadash in San Diego, California. Prior to moving West, Rabbi Ridberg served for 12 years as the rabbi of West End Synagogue, in NYC. A 1997 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, she served for two years as the first Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York. She is the immediate past president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and the vice president for education for Waters of Eden Mikvah and Education Center. Rabbi Ridberg is a commentator for the forthcoming Guide to Jewish Reconstructionist Practice, to be published by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and is a chapter author for the 2007 URJ publication Life, Faith and Cancer.


Col. Michelle Ross
U.S. Army
Edgewood, MD

Col. Michelle Ross became one of the Army’s pivotal point people working to protect us from further terrorist attacks in the wake of 9/11. As director of the Medical Chemical Defense Research Program of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, Md., she was a key military figure in planning countermeasures to chemical and biological warfare. She supervised a host of Army scientists developing smallpox and anthrax vaccines and antidotes to nerve agents and “mustards.” Ross coordinated counter-terrorism efforts among allies, briefed senators and representatives, and haggled with the FDA for approval of treatments that cannot be definitively tested until something terrible happens. She began her military career as a veterinarian and was the first Jewish colonel in the Army Veterinary Corps. Early on she was the the physician of dolphins, whales, and sea lions at the Marine base at Kaneohe, Hawaii, then earned a doctorate in human physiology at the University of Hawaii and moved to Fort Detrick to work in chemical defense research.


Maggy Siegel
President, Siegel Strategic Consulting
New York, NY

Maggy Siegel is president of Siegel Strategic Consulting, a new endeavor informed by a long and successful career in high-end retail. Siegel has previously served as president and COO of Dylan's Candy Bar, President – Delman and Nina Kids Shoe Divisions at Nina Shoe Corp., CEO of Judith Leiber, International Vice President of Coach, and vice president – merchandising at Tiffany & Co. Siegel's passion for retail was ignited during childhood in her father’s children’s clothing store in Indiana. Recognizing how hard it is to be a working mother, she mentors young moms in the workplace and helps them dovetail work and family life. Siegel also finds time to volunteer for causes she cares about, such as raising money for Cancer Care Inc., a nonprofit that provides free social services to patients.

2001 Honorees

Susan Bressler, M.D.  
Professor of Ophthamology, Wilmer Eye Institute

Dr. Susan Bressler is the Julia G. Levy Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute – the second woman to hold that position. She is a board-certified ophthalmologist and has subspecialty training in vitreoretinal diseases and retinal surgery. In addition to her large national and international referral practice at The Wilmer Eye Institute, Dr. Bressler has published 195 peer reviewed articles and 54 book chapters. Editorial board positions have included American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, EyeNet Magazine and Health After 50: The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter. She has received honors from the Macula Society, Research to Prevent Blindness, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, The American Society of Retina Specialists and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, among others.


Amy B. Dean
President and Founder, ABD Ventures, LLC
San Jose, CA

Amy B. Dean is president and founder of ABD Ventures, LLC, a consulting firm that works with social change organizations to develop new and innovative organizing strategies that link advocacy and public policy reforms. She is also a social entrepreneur, author, and progressive activist, with roots in the American labor movement. Dean co-authored A New, New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement in 2009. From 1993 to 2003, she was president and CEO of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, representing more 90 unions and 110,000 members, and was the youngest person and first woman to lead a major labor federation of the AFL-CIO.  During that time, she established Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA), a nonprofit that connected economic research with community organizing. In 2005, she founded Building Partnerships USA (BPUSA), which increases civic and political participation to strengthen democracy and advance social and economic justice.


The Honorable Nanci J. Grant
Chief Judge, Sixth Circuit Court
Oakland County, MI

Hon. Nanci Grant is the chief judge for the 6th Circuit Court in Oakland County, Michigan, appointed in November of 2009. She was elected to the court in 1996, and re-elected in 2002 and 2008. Judge Grant has achieved the Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rating, a recognition by peers as the highest standard of professional ethics and legal abilities. She has served as president of the Michigan Judges Association and currently is vice-chair of the Judicial Conference of the State Bar of Michigan. She has served on the State Community Corrections Commission, the advisory board of the Michigan Judicial Institute, and the Michigan State Bar's Representative Assembly. She is also a board member of the Women Officials Network, and has been a member of the Michigan Cancer Foundation, Common Ground Advisory Board, Bloomfield Youth Assistance and the Women's Survival Center.


Laura E. Kaufman
Founder, Partners in Effective Philanthropy
Chicago, IL

Laura E. Kaufman is the founder of Partners in Effective Philanthropy, where she consults on strategic approaches to giving and raising funds. Kaufman has 27 years of experience running foundations and non-profits, with expertise in women's giving, giving circles, social media fund raising and small development offices.  As executive director of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago from 1998 to 2008, Kaufman increased the organization'sendowment to $6.65 million and gave away more than $1 million to projects benefiting Jewish women and girls in Chicago, Israel and around the world. She is a frequent speaker and trainer on philanthropy and fund raising.


Hilary Rosen
Political Advisor; Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker
Washington, DC

Hilary Rosen, a veteran of Washington and Capitol Hill, is an expert on the legislative and public affairs process and a sought-after advisor to Democratic candidates for federal and local offices. She is a managing director of the Public Affairs and Communications Practice of SKDKnickerbocker, formerly managing partner of Brunswick Group's D.C. office and chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, where she was widely regarded as one of the most influential executives in the entertainment industry and appeared regularly on year-end power lists. During the 2008 election Rosen was political director and Washington editor-at-large for the Huffington Post. She is a regular an on-air political contributor for CNN, and her articles on business, politics and media appear in CNN.com, Huffingtonpost.com, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Wired magazine, and other publications. She was a founder of Rock the Vote, and currently serves on several non-profit boards including the Center for American Progress, the Creative Coalition and The Human Rights Campaign Foundation.


Michal Rovner
New York, NY

Michal Rovner studied cinema, television, and philosophy at Tel Aviv University and subsequently at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem in 1981, receiving a BFA in photography and art. In 1978, with artist Arie Hammer, she co-founded the Camera Obscura School of Art in Tel Aviv, the city’s first school for photographers. Rovner’s work in video, sculpture and installation creates a chain of associations from the poetic to the political. Her works about time and the human condition touch on processes of archeology and science. Rovner's work has been exhibited worldwide in over 50 solo exhibitions including a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York, and Histoires (2011), a solo exhibition in three parts at the Musee du Louvre in Paris. She has created site-specific video installations at the Tate Gallery, London and Castello di Rivoli, Turin. Rovner lives and works between New York City and a farm in Israel.


Dr. Yael Sternhell
Assistant Professor of History and American Studies, Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv, Israel

Dr. Yael Sternhell earned both a master's degree and a PhD in history from Princeton University, specializing in the history of the American South and the cultural history of societies at war. Before becoming an academic, she worked as a radio and television journalist in her native Israel for several years. Sternhell is the author of Routes of War: The World of Movement in the Confederate South.


Elizabeth Shammash
Cantor, Tiferet Bet Israel
Blue Bell, PA

Elizabeth Shammash began as an opera singer, and now serves as the cantor at Tiferet Bet Israel in Blue Bell, Pa. Her performance credits include the role of Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo with the Wolf Trap Opera, an all-Bernstein program with the National Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Seattle Symphony. In addition to her responsibilities as a cantor, Shammash continues to perform with chamber music groups and symphony orchestras. She started a classical concert series at her synagogue, and recorded several contributions to the Milken Archive of American Jewish music.


Susan Sygall  
CEO/Co-Founder, Mobility International USA
Eugene, OR

Susan Sygall is the CEO and co-founder of Mobility International USA, and serves as a trainer, presenter and consultant worldwide on a variety of topics related to leadership, international exchange, inclusion and services for people with disabilities. She has directed international exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and spearheaded several international meetings including the First, Second and Third Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability. She has received several awards, including the President’s Award from President Clinton in 1995. Sygall was among the 1,000 women nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize


Miriam Weintraub
Bethesda, MD

Miriam Weintraub spent 13 years producing segments for CBS's 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes II, and is now a senior media consultant for numerous national and international PR firms, advising clients about the news business and helping them secure high profile, in-depth media coverage. Weintraub is also a freelance producer, working with non-profit organizations to develop videos for fundraising and outreach. She has won two Emmy awards and an RFK Memorial award for her part in a three-hour documentary on violence in America and a profile of opera diva Denyce Graves.

2000 Honorees

Aliza Sherman
Advocate for Young Women’s Empowerment
New York, NY

Aliza Sherman, aka "Cybergrrl," started the first full-service, woman-owned new media company (Cybergrrl, Inc.) in the mid-90s and the first global women's hybrid online/offline tech organization (Webgrrls International). That year, Newsweek magazine named her one of the “Top 50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet.” Since then, Aliza has authored seven books including PowerTools for Women in Business and Streetwise Ecommerce. She also freelances for national publications including Entrepreneur. In 2000, Aliza left New York to RV solo around the country for over a year before relocating to Wyoming after 9/11. She currently lives in Alaska and consults, speaks, writes and blogs about Web strategy, blogging, social networking and virtual worlds. Her work can be found at www.mediaegg.com.


Myla Goldberg
Novelist, Bee Season
Brooklyn, NY

Myla Goldberg is the author of Bee Season, which was a New York Times Notable Book for 2000, was awarded the Harold U. Ribalow Prize and the Borders New Voices Prize, and was a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award, the NYPL Young Lions award, and the Barnes & Noble Discover award. Myla’s essay collection, Time’s Magpie, explores her favorite places in Prague, where she lived in the early 1990s. Her novel Wickett’s Remedy explores the nature of human ambition and the frailty of individual and collective memory.  Her short stories have appeared in McSweeneys and Harpers. Her book reviews have appeared in the New York Times and Bookforum. Myla’s latest book, Catching the Moon, was published in May 2007 and is her debut children’s book.


Hilary Price
Cartoonist, “Rhymes With Orange”
Florence, MA

Hilary Price creates the syndicated daily comic strip Rhymes With Orange, which appears in 150 newspapers internationally and has made cameos in People magazine and Forbes. Her third collection of cartoons, titled Pithy Seedy Pulpy Juicy, is a behind-the-scenes look at her cartoons and their funny or trouble-making background stories. The collection is being released in October 2007.  Rhymes With Orange won “Best Newspaper Panel” from the National Cartoonists Society in 2006. When Rhymes With Orange began 12 years ago, Hilary, then 25, was the youngest woman ever to have a daily comic strip. Hilary is also a playwright, and her first full-length play, a farce called “Santacide,” will be staged this December in Northampton, Mass.


Sara Bloomfield
Executive Director, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, DC

Sara Bloomfield became director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1999 after serving in a number of positions. Under her direction, the Museum created a series of innovative leadership training programs for law enforcement, the military and diplomats, and launched its Academy for Genocide Prevention. She also established the National Institute for Holocaust Education and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Sara has led several complex negotiations on behalf of the Museum in order to rescue endangered artifacts and archives that document the Holocaust in Croatia. For the Museum’s 10th Anniversary, she secured the first-ever loan of a variety of Anne Frank’s original writings, including parts of her world-famous diary. Sara has become a valued advisor to museums around the world.


Susan Bass Levin
First Deputy Executive Director, Port Authority of NY & NJ

Susan Bass Levin was appointed first deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by Governor Jon S. Corzine in July 2007.  She is the senior New Jersey official on the agency’s executive management team that oversees more than 7,000 public employees. Her career as a public servant in New Jersey started as Mayor of Cherry Hill, which she held for 14 years, and has included Cabinet member positions in the administrations of three New Jersey governors, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, and a current position on the New Jersey Local Finance Board.  As a cancer survivor, she is especially proud of her work in establishing an Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.


Nancy Lublin
CEO, Do Something
New York, NY

Since August 2003, Nancy Lublin has overseen Do Something’s growth and led the effort to begin awarding more grant money to young people who want to change the world.  An organization that encourages volunteerism among young people, Do Something produced America’s first televised award show about changing the world this year. The BR!CK Awards aired on The CW Network on April 12.  Nancy also is the founder and former Executive Director of Dress for Success, which provides low-income women with interview suits and career development training in more than 70 cities in four countries.  She was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2007), one of Glamour magazine’s Women of Worth (2006), received Fast Company’s Fast 50 Award (2002), and was named the NYC Women’s Commission Woman of the Year (2000).


Gisele Ben-Dor
Musical Director and Conductor, Santa Barbara Symphony
Santa Barbara, CA


Jane Ira Bloom
Soprano saxophonist/composer
New York, NY

Soprano saxophonist/composer Jane Ira Bloom is a pioneer in the use of live electronics and movement in jazz. She has recorded and produced 13 albums of her music. Her latest CD, “Mental Weather,” is due for release in Jan. 2008.  Jane is the winner of the 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition; the 2007 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Award for lifetime service to jazz; the 2006 Jazz Journalists Association Award; the Downbeat International Critics Poll for soprano saxophone; and the Charlie Parker Fellowship for jazz innovation. She recently premiered “The 5th Wheel” at the New York City Center’s ”Fall for Dance” series, a new work for dancer/ choreographer Carmen deLavallade and jazz quartet. Jane serves on the faculty of the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music. 


Dr. Ann Pulver
Medical Researcher
Baltimore, MD

Rabbi Susan Grossman
Rabbi, Beth Shalom Congregation
Columbia, MD

Rabbi Susan Grossman has served as spiritual leader of Beth Shalom Congregation in Columbia, Md., since 1997.  She currently serves on the Committee for Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement, for which she has authored responsa (rabbinic decisions) on women and mikveh, women serving as witnesses in Jewish law, and the definition of birth and the permissibility of “partial birth abortion.” She also co-edited the anthology Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue.  Rabbi Grossman served as one of the editors of the Conservative Movement Humash, Etz Hayim and Torah Commentary for which she co-edited, with Rabbi Elliot Dorff, the Halakha L’ Maaseh section and worked with Rabbi Harold Kushner on the Derash section. Currently, she is the Conservative voice on Beliefnet.com’s Virtual Talmud blog.

1999 Honorees

June Beallor  
June Beallor Productions, Dream Works SKG  
Universal City, CA


Ilene Busch-Vishniac
Provost and Vice President Academic, McMaster University
Ontario, Canada

Ilene Busch-Vishniac is the Provost and Vice-President Academic at McMaster University in Ontario. She started her term at McMaster on August 1st, 2007, following nine years at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she was a professor of mechanical engineering and also served as the dean of the Whiting School of Engineering from 1998-2003.  She has received many teaching and research awards, including the Achievement Award of the Society of Women Engineers; the Curtis McGraw Research Award of the American Society for Engineering Education; and the Silver Medal in Engineering Acoustics of the Acoustical Society of America. Her research work has focused on transduction and on noise control, including designs of highway noise barriers and controlling noise in hospitals.


Stella Cohen
Culinary Expert and Cookery Writer
Harare, Zimbabwe

Sephardic culinary expert and cookery writer, artist and textile designer, Stella Cohen is a passionate ambassador for the Jewish community.  She dedicates her life to the celebration and preservation of the Sephardic cuisine and culture.  Stella is the honorary Life Chairlady of the Sephardic Congregation of Zimbabwe and has been very active in philanthropic works in her country.  She worked with the J.D.C. of New York to establish the first eye clinic in Bindura, Zimbabwe.  In 1986 Stella co-authored “Sephardic Cuisine”, a spiral cookbook published under the auspices of the Sephardic community of Zimbabwe, which soon became an international success.  In 2012 “Stella’s Sephardic Table: Jewish family recipes from the Mediterranean island of Rhodes” was published.  Deeply inspired by her roots, Stella set out to record not just her family’s rich gastronomic heritage from Moorish Spain and the Ottoman Empire, but all the legacy of this fascinating yet vanishing world of the Sephardim from Rhodes Island.  The book received two Gourmand Awards, the Independent Publishers Award, Winner of the International Book Award in the U.S. and was the Finalist of the National Jewish Book Awards.  Stella lives in Zimbabwe with her husband, and frequently travels to New York to visit her two children and grandchildren.


Ruth Dreifuss
President of Switzerland


Debbie Friedman
Great Neck, NY


Margie Goldstein-Engle
Champion Equestrian
Wellington, FL


Cheryl Halpern
Chairman of the Board, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Livingston, NJ

Cheryl Halpern, Chairman of the Board for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, has a long record of public service in broadcasting, women's issues, education, and international affairs. In 1990, Cheryl was confirmed as a member of the Board for International Broadcasting and as a director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). From 1995 through 2002, she served on the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) overseeing Voice of America, Radio and TV Marti, RFE/RL, Worldnet, Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Iraq. In August 2002, Mrs. Halpern was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a director of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). In September 2005, she was elected to be chairman of the CPB.


Amy Langer
Executive Director, NABCO
New York, NY


Laura Scher
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Working Assets
San Francisco, CA

Laura Scher is chairperson and CEO of Working Assets, an independent wireless, long distance and credit card company dedicated to building a world that is more just, humane and environmentally sustainable. Under Laura’s leadership, the company has donated more than $50 million to progressive nonprofit groups. She has taught "Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship" at the undergraduate level at Stanford University and has authored chapters in several books, including The Business of Changing the World, edited by Marc Benioff and Hands On! 33 More Things Every Girl Should Know, edited by Suzanne Harper. She serves on the boards of eScrip, SalesForce.com's Foundation, Lightfull Foods and the Rosenberg Foundation.


Wendy Selig-Prieb
President, Milwaukee Brewers Baseball
Milwaukee, WI

1998 Honorees

Allegra Goodman
Cambridge, MA


Judith Helfand
Documentary Filmmaker
New York, NY


Tamara Jacobs
Tamara Jacobs Communications
New York, NY

Tamara Jacobs, Founder and President of Tamara Jacobs Communications, Inc. is an internationally-recognized authority in the field of marketing communications, presentation and media training as well as etiquette and image consulting. Tamara and her staff of veteran trainers specialize in helping pharmaceutical, fashion, consumer, medical, and financial company executives and employees become more articulate, approachable and credible. She is the creator of the popular CD-Rom, Effective Presentation: The Power of Organized Conversation, and has recently authored the definitive “how to” guide for establishing and leveraging the power of your personal equity entitled, “Be the Brand.”


Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
Founder & President, The Israel Project
Annapolis, MD

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi is the founder and president of The Israel Project (TIP), an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. An expert on Middle East issues and communications, Jennifer meets regularly with top Israeli, American and other world leaders. She has published more than 300 columns on politics and/or public policy and has been profiled in The Washington Post and interviewed on CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS and “One-on-One With John McLaughlin.” She has twice been listed in The Forward newspaper’s “Forward 50” most influential Jews in America and her previous work earned Jennifer recognition as a “Point of Light” by President H. W. Bush.


Ruth Owades
President, Calyx & Corolla
San Francisco, CA


Jane Perlov
Corporate Security, Bank of America
New York, NY

After 26 years in law enforcement, Jane Perlov joined Bank of America as a Senior Vice President in Corporate Security in April 2007. She is responsible for the physical protection of all bank assets, customers and employees. Jane has an extensive and diverse background in law enforcement and public safety and has served several jurisdictions, including: the New York City Police Department (1981-1998), rising from rookie to Deputy Chief; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1999-2001), as the Secretary of Public Safety; and Raleigh, N.C. (2001-2007), as Chief of Police. Jane is a recognized authority on community policing and crime fighting strategies. In Raleigh, she initiated a district policing system and introduced the use of technology and data to provide accurate and timely information to fight crime and disorder.


Alice Rothchild, M.D.
Physician, Author, Activist

Dr. Alice Rothchild is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School and is also a staff member of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. She is active in several social justice organizations and speaks and writes on topics ranging from childbirth to menopause to caring for underserved populations. In 1997, she joined the Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Health Care, now The Alliance to Defend Health Care, and until June 2007 was president of the Alliance Board. She also co-founded and co-chairs Visions of Peace with Justice in Israel/Palestine, now Jewish Voice for Peace, Boston and co-organized the Jewish American Medical Project, now the JVP Health and Human Rights Project.  In April 2007, Dr. Rothchild published Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience.


Pella Schafer
Graduate Student; Founder, Jewish Youth for Community Action
San Francisco, CA

Pella Schafer founded Jewish Youth for Community Action (JYCA) in the Bay Area in 1994 after graduating with honors from UC Santa Cruz.  She recently left her job at UJA-Federation of New York and her position on the Board of Directors at Jewish Funds for Justice in order to pursue her graduate studies; previous positions include associate director at Joshua Venture and interim executive director at Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. Pella is currently studying toward her master’s degree in Drama Therapy at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA.


Hon. Janice D. Schakowsky
Congresswoman (IL-D)
Washington, DC

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky is serving her fifth term in the U.S. Congress, representing Illinois' 9th Congressional District. She is a leading advocate for women's issues in Congress, sponsoring legislation that would prevent violence against immigrant women, establish transitional housing for women and children who are victims of abuse, and commemorate International Women's Day. Congresswoman Schakowsky serves in the House Democratic Leadership as Chief Deputy Whip and as a member of the Steering and Policy Committee. She also is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, serving as Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection and as a member of the Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Speaker Pelosi recently appointed Schakowsky to serve on the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

Shelli Segal   
Fashion Designer  
Los Angeles, CA