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Women to Watch Colorado

  • Larimer Social 1427 Larimer Street Denver, CO, 80202 United States (map)
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Join the Denver Network to celebrate Jewish women leaders in our community!

For the past 18 years, JWI's annual Women to Watch gala has honored some of the country's most inspiring Jewish women - leaders making a difference in every professional arena imaginable. This year, JWI's Denver Young Women's Leadership Network is starting its own tradition at the local level.

Member Tickets: $18 / Non-Member Tickets: $36

Sponsorship Levels:

Friend: $180
Supporter: $360
Patron: $1,000
Champion: $2,500
Presenting Sponsor: $5,000


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Rabbi Emily Hyatt

Rabbi Emily Hyatt is the former director of Jewish enrichment for BBYO International, where she oversaw the strategy and vision around elevating Jewish content, innovated Jewish experiences and developed Jewish identity for teens around the world.
Rabbi Hyatt grew up in Denver, Colorado, where she graduated from her original alma mater, Temple Emanuel Preschool (class of 1990). She attended DJDS and then deferred a year of college to serve as international president of BBYO. Rabbi Hyatt attended American University, graduating with a B.A. in constitutional law.  After graduation, she returned to Denver and worked for BBYO as the RMR regional director and the manager of international teen leadership and BBYO’s Global Expansion Program. She graduated in 2011 from the inaugural class of BBYO’s Professional Development Institute, receiving an M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a master's in Jewish education from the Hebrew College in Boston. She then served as the network director (Young Adult Division) at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation before beginning rabbinical school in Jerusalem.
She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion: Los Angeles Campus, and is a member of class 25 of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Rabbi Hyatt recently moved back to Denver with her son, Neil, and they’re so happy to be back with family and breathing that fresh mountain air!

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Dr. Caryn Aviv

Dr. Caryn Aviv (rabbinic candidate and associate director) has had one foot in academia and one foot in Jewish entrepreneurship for over 15 years. After earning a Ph.D. in sociology and anthropology from Loyola University Chicago in 2002, she taught Jewish Studies and sociology at University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Denver. Caryn served as co-founder/director of research with Jewish Mosaic, and director of Storahtelling Colorado. Caryn has written three books, including Queer Jews, New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora, and American Queer: Now and Then. An emerging rabbi, Caryn anticipates getting rabbinic smicha from ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal in 2019.

Caryn is excited to be leading the Open Tent B’nai Mitzvah program. She teaches the 2018/19 Year One Wednesday class (starting September 2018) and she is also available to mentor Year Two students. When asked what she loves about working with Open Tent B’nai Mitzah students, she shared, “I love the deep conversations students and I share about the meaning of their lives. I love being a supportive presence and witness as students change and find their way through middle school. It’s a privilege and honor to guide students as they stretch, challenge themselves, and grow into becoming Jewish teachers in their own right on the day of their ceremony.”


Dafna Michaelson Jenet

Dafna Michaelson Jenet represents House District 30 in the Colorado State legislature. 

Her career spanned over 20 years in leadership roles across the non-profit sector. In 2009, inspired to take her community problem solving skills to the next level, she embarked on a journey traveling to all 50 states during one calendar year to find and share stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to solve problems in their communities.

Dafna and her husband, Michael Jenet, co-founded and operate the Journey Institute. They work with schools, businesses, organizations, and individuals to train in community problem solving and next level team building. Their work is focused on strengthening the community unit with the belief that only through community can you develop culturally relevant and sustainable solutions.

Dafna holds an MBA from the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business. In 2015 her book It Takes a Little Crazy to Make a Difference, based on her 50-state journey, was published by Motivational Press. 

An avid volunteer, Dafna currently serves on the Adams County Youth Initiative board, the Commerce City Quality Community Foundation, The Carson J Spencer suicide prevention foundation, and Playworks Colorado. Dafna also serves as a mentor for City Year, Goodwill, and Junior Achievement, where she teaches in a girls' and a boys' juvenile detention facility. 

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Linda Appel Lipsius

Linda Appel Lipsius is the co-founder and CEO of Teatulia Organic Teas. Since 2006, she's been working with her partners in Bangladesh to bring premium-quality, 100% organic, direct-sourced teas from a previously-unknown growing region to the United States. She has built a brand known for doing things better - from the regenerative garden itself to the beautiful and sustainable packaging to the long list of awards Teatulia has received for quality. Named one of Food & Wine/Fortune’s 20 Most Innovative Women in Food & Wine, Lipsius is a leading voice in topics ranging from entrepreneurship to women in business to sustainable business practices to clean food. Teatulia Teas are sold throughout the U.S. in leading retailers. 

Linda is also the co-founder and CEO of the mama'hood - a resource for new and expecting moms and their families) to help families find joy from conception to age 2 through expert instruction, community and the things they need - and Teatulia Tea Bar, next door to Teatulia’s Headquarters. 

Previously, Linda was VP international with Orange Glo International (OGI) - makers of OxiClean, Kaboom, Orange Glo and Orange Clean - and account manager for Young & Rubicam. A Denver native, she earned her bachelor's degree from Columbia University in New York City and her MBA in finance from New York University before moving to London, then Los Angeles, then back to Denver. She now lives in LoDo (Lower Downtown Denver) husband and two children. 

Special Guest

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Rep. Diana DeGette

Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette is serving her 11th term in Congress as Representative for the First District of Colorado. As a member of the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce, an exclusive congressional committee with vast jurisdiction over health care, trade, business, technology, food safety, and consumer protection, she is one of the leading voices in the health care debate in this country. As lead whip, she played a vital role in the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, has fought for tough food safety legislation, and was a key player in crafting a comprehensive consumer product safety bill. In 2011 she was elected the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which conducts investigations into programs within the committee’s jurisdiction.   

U.S. Rep. DeGette is also the chief architect of legislation to expand stem cell research, which has been passed twice with broad, bipartisan support in Congress. The measure was vetoed twice by President George W. Bush – including his very first presidential veto. A life-long Coloradoan, U.S. Rep. DeGette is guided by traditional Western values. She’s also the author of the landmark Colorado Wilderness Act, which would protect and preserve pristine land across Colorado for generations to come. She has fought to enhance her constituents’ access to affordable quality health care, expand mass transit, improve transportation in the Denver area, clean up environmental waste sites, and improve opportunities for small business.

Host Committee: Tracy Altman, Lindsey Baltimore, Mariel Beaudoin, Tamara Berkman, Melissa Bloom, Melyssa Feiler, Lori Hacker, Kaila Hood, Shane Kleinstein, Eve Lowinger, Masha Myslovskaya, Perri Polasek, Abby Seeb, Alyssa Swall, Austin Van Grack, Rachel Weiland, Ashly Wolf

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Earlier Event: September 16
Harvest Delight at Shemesh Farm
Later Event: September 20
Domestic Violence and Natural Disasters