SPRINGFIELD – Twelve women from Western Massachusetts attended the International Lion of Judah Conference in New York City in September, where Betsy Gaberman was honored with the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award.
Gaberman, along with women from communities across the country, received the award from Norma Kipnis-Wilson, founder of the Lion of Judah Society. These women were honored for their volunteer work on behalf of their local and worldwide Jewish community. Members of the Lion of Judah Society, known as “Lions,” give a minimum of $5,000 per year to their federations’ annual campaign.
During the conference, participants heard a wide variety of speakers, attended workshops focusing on improving the lives of Jews in the U.S., in Israel and around the world, and participated in hands-on community service projects on Sept. 11.
“Probably the most meaningful message one brings home from a Lion conference is the incredible number of women who work tirelessly to ensure a Jewish future in their local community, who sustain and support Jews throughout the world wherever Jews need help or are threatened, and who travel to Israel with support, love and financial commitment,” Gaberman said. “The concept of peoplehood—we are one people—bridges all differences, be they political, geographic or regional. Women from Canada, South America, Israel and the U.S. came together for K’lal Yisrael. With many workshops and great speakers, we shared learning, laughter and, with great worry as we continued to hear of the escalating hostilities in the Middle East and the threat of the nuclear capability of Iran. Serious issues which we will tackle, not alone, but as a community—a community of women returning to their home base to instill and energize, to create and build for our Jewish future.”