Federation’s Women IN Philanthropy MaIN Event Shows Strength, Solidarity

Tags: Federation, Israel, Overseas, Women

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Judy Immerman Payne accepts flowers and the Irene Zehman Volunteer Award from Jennifer Cohen. CJN Photo / Courtney Byrnes


Article reprinted with permission from Cleveland Jewish News

About 340 women gathered together Nov. 29 in the auditorium of the Mandel Jewish Community Center for the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Women IN Philanthropy MaIN Event.

While the event supports the annual Campaign for Jewish Needs, this year it had a focus on the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel and how the community can have an impact through supporting the Federation and its partners working with impacted families. Featured speakers included Keren Flash, a survivor from Kfar Aza kibbutz, and Danyelle Neuman, chief of sales strategy for The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Erika Rudin-Luria, Federation president, and Beth Wain Brandon, general campaign chair, also recounted their Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 solidarity mission to Israel where they met with families of some of the hostages taken on Oct. 7 and those now displaced in Israel.

“We are here together in strength, solidarity and support for our community,” Jennifer Cohen, Women IN Philanthropy chair, told attendees. “Our strong and growing Jewish Cleveland community is made possible by your ongoing commitment to the annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. Your support enables essential programs and services throughout our community and across the globe to continue addressing evolving needs without interruption.''

“At the same time, we stand with Israel and are committed to supporting the urgent and critical needs that have arisen since the horrific terror attacks in Israel on Oct. 7.”

As Cohen completes her term as chair, she took a moment to thank the Women IN Philanthropy team and all those involved. She led the evening as she introduced the speakers, including vice chairs Hallie Bram Kogelschatz, Jennifer Tramer and Rachel Weinberg who led HaMotzi, and Adena Klineman, who led a misheberach.

Cohen also presented the Irene Zehman Volunteer Award to Judy Immerman Payne, the founder of Goods Bank NEO.

On their mission to Israel, Rudin-Luria and Brandon had met Neuman and Flash, leading them to be invited to speak at the MaIN Event. Flash shared her story of hiding in her safe room with her husband and daughter until they were rescued late in the night. She lost her parents and many in her community on Oct. 7. Neuman discussed JAFI’s efforts that began Oct. 7 to protect those under its care and provide humanitarian aid to those most impacted.

While the Federation launched an Israel Emergency Fund to support Israel following Oct. 7, Brandon stressed the importance of supporting the annual campaign, which led to the partnerships in Israel now and supports the community year-round.

Learn More: Federation, Israel, Overseas, Women