Jewish Nevada recently held its annual Lion of Judah Luncheon and welcomed special guest Alison Lebovitz. More than sixty of our most generous, leading women philanthropists gathered to demonstrate their commitment to the 2018 Campaign for Jewish Needs. 

“Our Lions of Judah, those women who contribute $5,000 or more to the Annual Campaign, are truly passionate and dedicated leaders for our community,” noted Judy Stone, Chairwoman of the Women’s Philanthropy Council. “As generous donors, they not only provide their financial gifts to meet the needs of our community but also teach the importance of Tzedakah and philanthropy to their children and friends.” 

This year’s Luncheon co-chairs, Jennifer Sher and Jeanne Wilkins, planned a wonderful afternoon at Vintner Grill, to thank and recognize our Lion donors. “We are very appreciative of the support of many organizations in the community that make it possible for us to offer such a wonderful program,” remarked Sher. Generous sponsors included Destinations by Design, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, Nevada State Bank and Van Cleef & Arpels at The Forum Shops. “We can’t thank them enough for their continued generosity.” 

Following a delicious lunch, guests were inspired and motivated by Lebovitz’s powerful comments about her own personal Jewish journey. Lebovitz served as the past co-chair of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) National Young Leadership Cabinet and currently sits on the board of JFNA, among several other non-profits. Originally from the South, Lebovitz told a beautiful, and at times, humorous, story about some of the Jewish messages that her grandparents instilled in her and that she is working hard to instill in her own children. She also stressed the importance of giving through the Federation as Jewish Nevada and other Jewish Federations are the safety net for the Jewish world and work around the clock to ensure the continued safety, security, and prosperity of the global Jewish community. Lebovitz reminded the Lions in attendance of the importance of encouraging their friends and family to step up to the plate and join them at the luncheon next year. “There are 60 women in this room today,” remarked Lebovitz, “If each of you contributed even an additional $100 to the campaign today, you could, in essence, create a virtual Lion of Judah.” Several of the women in attendance took Allison’s words to heart and began a collection at their tables signifying their commitment to, and solidarity with, the mission of Jewish Nevada. 

Following Lebovitz’s message, Jeanne Wilkins, co-chair of the luncheon, delivered a heartfelt message about how one simple conversation with Jennifer Sher while on JFNA’s Heart to Heart Mission to Israel compelled her to become a Lion of Judah. “Together, we know so many more women who sadly are not in this room; women who can be, women who might be, if we have one conversation,” stressed Wilkins, “The only way we will continue to grow our community…and support those in need, is to grow our network. And it starts with a conversation, like the one I am grateful Jen had with me.” 

This year, luncheon co-chairs Sher and Wilkins, continued to promote the “Step Up to the Lion” program inviting women to become a Lion of Judah with a 2-year commitment to the Annual Campaign. Step Up Lions were asked to commit to $3,600 for the 2018 Campaign and $5,000 for the 2019 Campaign. Step Up Lions are invited to attend all Lion of Judah activities and will be presented with their Lion pins in 2019. 

To learn more about Women’s Philanthropy or Jewish Nevada, please contact Stefanie Tuzman (732-0556 or, Director of Annual Giving and Women’s Philanthropy at Jewish Nevada.


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