SPRINGFIELD — Betsy Gaberman has been selected as the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts’ honoree to receive the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award at the International Lion of Judah Conference, to be held in New York City on Sept. 10-12, 2012.
Each Federation chooses a woman from their community who exemplifies the spirit of the Lion of Judah by proven commitment, leadership and her impact on the Jewish community locally and in Israel and/or abroad. (A Lion of Judah is a woman who gives a minimum of $5,000 annually to the Federation Annual Campaign.)
Gaberman has a long history of service to the Western Massachusetts Jewish community. She served as Federation President from 1987-1990, chaired Israel Bonds of Western Massachusetts from 1990-2010, chaired the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western Massachusetts from 2009-2011, chaired the United Way of the Pioneer Valley’s Leadership Division, and chaired Heritage Academy’s Capital Campaign which raised $800,000, among many other accomplishments. Nationally, she served on the Board of the Jewish Council of Public Affairs (JCPA), an umbrella organization for Jewish Federations that promotes advocacy on social service issues including poverty, housing, food deprivation and health care, along with security and support for Israel.
Gaberman was one of the JCPA’s representatives at the Women’s Conference in China. She has been on the National Advisory Board on Admissions and Chair of the Secondary School Committee for the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she chaired Operation Moses (a fundraising campaign for the covert evacuation of Ethiopian Jews from Sudan in 1984), Bosnian relief, and hosted a variety of political fundraisers and programs on Headstart, interfaith issues, AIDS, domestic violence, and community relations.
“Whether it was rebuilding black churches destroyed by arson, helping Cambodian refugees, raising funds for Israel or the University of Pennsylvania, chairing building campaigns for Heritage Academy, or lobbying in Washington and Boston to affect change, I know I’ve grown and learned so much from my involvement and have gained far more than I could possibly have given. I only hope that I can continue to be an advocate for these same issues,” said Gaberman, who will join a contingent of other women to represent Western Massachusetts at the conference. For more information, contact Women’s Philanthropy Director Debbie Peskin at (413) 737-4313, ext. 121.