Greater Miami Jewish Federation Women’s Event Celebrates and Inspires

Benefiting National YoungArts Foundation

Lion of Judah Breakfast Chair Rosi Behar, Women’s Philanthropy Campaign Chair Sara Bejar, keynote speakers Linor Abargil and Nancy Spielberg, Women’s Event Chairs Michele Baena and Terri Krasnoff, and Women’s Philanthropy President Sheree Savar

More than 800 women from across Miami’s Jewish community joined Women’s Philanthropy of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation for a day of inspiration and empowerment at the Hilton Miami Downtown.

The day began with a special Lion of Judah Breakfast chaired by Rosi Behar, which honored and celebrated the Lions of the community. The groundbreaking Lion of Judah philanthropy program was founded more than 40 years ago in Miami by Norma Kipnis Wilson and Toby Friedland, of blessed memory, and now comprises nearly 18,000 women worldwide who generously support their local Federation/UJA Campaign as a statement of their dedication to the Jewish community.

A highlight of the morning was a fascinating keynote address by filmmaker Nancy Spielberg. An accomplished businesswoman, fundraiser and philanthropist, Spielberg has in recent years turned her energy and talents to producing historical documentary films on Jewish topics. She shared clips of two films and also told stories of her childhood as sister to Steven Spielberg and her family’s commitment to Judaism.

At the afternoon luncheon, Women’s Event Chairs Michele Baena and Terri Krasnoff convened women who have committed their resources to care for those in need, support vital programs and strengthen Jewish life in Miami, in Israel and in more than 70 other countries around the world. Headlining The Women’s Event was Linor Abargil, Israel’s first and only Miss World titleholder, who suffered a brutal rape just six weeks before the Miss World competition. Since then, she has pursued a career in law and has become an advocate for rape victims and their families. With raw emotion, Abargil shared the circumstances of her attack and her fight to have the rapist brought to justice, and passionately urged members of the audience to speak out and help others in need of support. Brave Miss World, the documentary about Abargil, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2014, and is now playing in film festivals and on television around the world.

Federation General Campaign Chair Amy N. Dean and Sara Bejar

The Women’s Event Committee included Olga Blavatnik, Marie-France Bloch, Carole Redlus, Denise Shapiro and Shoshanna “Suzy” Wagner with Women’s Philanthropy President Sheree Savar and Women’s Philanthropy Campaign Chair Sara Bejar.

Federation gratefully acknowledges its 2016 Proud Business Partners for their generous support of The Women’s Event and the Lion of Judah Breakfast program. Platinum Sponsors were Bilzin Sumberg, Attorneys at Law; The Collection; Greenberg Traurig, P.A.; The Miami Herald and Wells Fargo. Gold Sponsors were Akerman, City National Bank, Crystal & Company, Kent Security Services and Sapoznik Insurance. Silver Sponsor was Meland Russin & Budwick, P.A.

For more information about the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, please visit or call 305-576-4000.

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