Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations hosts convention

It was a beautiful, sunny day for the 97th annual convention of the Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations of Maryland. The theme this year was "Strong Women: Know Them, Raise Them, BE THEM." The venue was Temple Oheb Shalom, located in Pikesville.
Founded in 1916, Federation is an umbrella group of 30 nonprofit organizations and sisterhoods committed to leadership training, support of the Jewish community, Jewish military, Israel and advocacy of issues of major concern. The Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations is the oldest Jewish Women's Federation in the country.
This annual convention is a day-long meeting, beginning early morning with numerous chairwomen giving their annual reports.
Concluding the reports was a very interesting program named "Visions of Strength" featuring three dynamic women, introduced by personable Joanne Goldsmith. Jill Moss Greenberg, Executive Director of The Women's Heritage Center was the moderator.
The three impressive panelists included:
- Michaele Cohen who became involved in 1999, and has been the very effective Executive Director of Maryland Network against Domestic Violence, the statewide coalition dedicated to the elimination of domestic violence through education, training and advocacy.
There is state and federal funding, 20 comprehensive programs, 98 laws are now in effect to benefit victims of violence. Plus there is judicial awareness, health care and other benefits to help those that have endured domestic violence.
- Dr. Bernice (Bunny) Sandler, well known and respected as the "Godmother of Title IX" legislation to prohibit discrimination in schools, colleges and universities. Dr. Sandler has endured over fifty dynamic years advocating for women's rights. This eliminates discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying.
Last year was the 40th anniversary of legislation passing Title IX.
This was very difficult legislation to get approved but feisty and determined Dr. Bernice (Bunny) Sandler thankfully succeeded.
- Honorable Nancy Kopp, Maryland State Treasurer, elected in 2002, re-elected to consecutive four year terms 2003, 2007 and 2011. Honorable Kopp is the second woman to serve as Maryland's State treasurer and the only woman serving Maryland in a Constitutional office.
Maryland, one of the wealthiest states in our nation, is a Triple A rated state.
After lunch, the convention continued with the release and installation of Federation officers 2013-2014 - listed at the conclusion of this column. Following this was the presentation of the prestigious E.B. Hirsh Lifetime Award to prominent Ellen Lightman, a co-chair of Baltimore Israel Coalition; a past president ACHARI, the Shoshana Cardin Leadership Development Institute; a past chair AIPAC's Leadership Council of Baltimore. Ellen Lightman serves on AIPAC's National Council plus other outstanding endeavors too numerable to list due to space limitations.
She is a child of Holocaust survivors and is keenly aware of atrocities to Jewish people during the horrific holocaust.
The afternoon program continued with presentation of 27 "Women of Strength" awards. So named, this is an annual presentation to one outstanding woman in each of Federation member organizations/sisterhoods. This year's recipients receiving this very prestigious honor includes:
Tina Asher, Adat Chaim Sisterhood; Beatrice (Bede) Shapiro, Amit, Sarah Ribakow/Tikvah Chapter; Phyllis G. Lederman, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood; Barbara Berkowitz, Beth El Sisterhood; Gloria Friedman, Beth Israel Sisterhood; Charlene Schimberg, Beth Tfiloh Congregation Sisterhood; Rose Miller, B'nai Jacob/Shaarei Zion Sisterhood; Rose (Oakie) Miller; Eva Silversmith, Brandeis National Women's Committee, Baltimore Chapter; Ruthanne Kaufman, Chizuk Amuno Sisterhood; Phyllis Glassman (of blessed memory) Covenant Guild, Inc.; Tami Fruman, Dorothy Friedman Caplan Guild, Inc.; Marcia Greenfield, Hadassah of Greater Baltimore; Elaine Friedman, Har Sinai Congregation Sisterhood; Liz Lefkowitz, Jewish Caring Network.
Plus Mildred Tannenbaum, Jewish Women International, Lillie Straus/Hope Chapter #839; Marianne Wolff, Kappa Guild, Inc.; Rochelle Bohrer, Levindale Auxillary, Inc.; Jodie Silver, Mildred Mindell Cancer Foundation, Inc.; Eileen Caplan, Miriam Lodge, K.S.B., Inc.; Sylvia Stone, Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Sisterhood; Sheryl Reicher, National Council of Jewish Women; Estelle Kellson, Ner Tamid Sisterhood; JoAnn Nagy, Sinai Hospital Auxillary; Linda Leffman, Temple Emanuel Sisterhood; Arlene Mazer, Temple Oheb Shalom Sisterhood; Beverly Kalus, The Associated Women; Iris Littman, True Sisters, Inc. Baltimore #35.
Congrats and Mazel Tov all.
Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations of Maryland slate of officers May, 2013-May, 2014 include:
Harriet L. Meier, M.D., president; Sheila K. Derman, 1st vice president; Sheila Mentz, vice president; Hilda Yankelov, vice president; Rochelle Bohrer, recording secretary; Rae Shalowitz, corresponding secretary; Sheila Stern, corresponding secretary; Arlene Mazer, a past president, is treasurer; Lynn Lichtig, auditor; Lynda S. Weinstein, immediate past president is community representative.
Congrats and Mazel Tov all for a successful tenure in office.
Convention committee included Dr. Harriet Meier, president; Joanne Goldsmith, Sheila Stern, co-chairs; Rochelle Bohrer, Carol Caplan, Janice Gold, Marcia Bornfriend, Elissa Ness, Eve Vogelstein, Lynda Weinstein, Lynn Lichtig, Sheila Mentz, Jane Davis, Fran Gimbel, Miriam Lavender, Vera Mitnick, Arlene Mazer and Sheila Derman.
Gargantuan thanks all for your sincere and dedicated involvement for this mega successful 97th Annual Convention. Todah Rabbah to the entire Convention Team, the interesting guest speakers and recipients of the prestigious "Women of Strength" honorees.
Approximately 400 people attended this years 97th annual convention.
Among the many politicos, Izzy Patoka, representing Governor Martin O'Malley; Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County Executive; Vicki Almond, Baltimore County Councilwoman; Jon Cardin, Dana Stein and Dr. Dan Morhaim, delegates, plus others too numerable to list due to space limitations.
Reminder: Federations opening meeting is Thursday, October 3, 2013. Guest speaker will be Dr. Dan Morhaim, Maryland House of Delegates. Place and time, Levindale, at 9:45 a.m.
Another reminder: Labor Day is Monday, September 2nd, Rosh Hashanah begins several days later, at sundown Wednesday, September 4th.
Memorium: Eve Vogelstein and family on the sudden and untimely demise of her beloved husband, Dr. Barry Vogelstein. Barry a beloved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, survived also by his grieving parents, three brothers, sister additional family members and many friends.
Eve is a past president Federation of Jewish Women of Maryland and has continued to be very involved and active for many years.
Our community and this columnist extend our heartfelt deepest and sincerest condolences to the Vogelstein family and their many friends.