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Federation Celebrates 13 Extraordinary Women

13 Extraordinary WomenSPRINGFIELD — Nearly 150 people from throughout the community attended “13 Extraordinary Women Share Their Secrets” on Wednesday, June 5 at Mill 1 at Open Square in Holyoke.  At this unique event, sponsored by Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, 13 women were celebrated for their diverse talents and accomplishments. Each woman was introduced by Master of Ceremonies Sue Kline, who read a poem that was personalized for them, describing their background and achievements.  Following each introduction, the honoree had just three minutes in which to share her secrets for success in her personal, professional, and Jewish life.  This added an interesting challenge!  Wendy Webber served as the gracious “timekeeper,” and did an outstanding job in keeping the women (mostly) on time. The 13 Extraordinary Women included:  Amy Dane, global photographer, lecturer and travel agent; Dalia Davis, Jewish educator, dancer and choreographer, founder of Beit Midrash in Motion; Susan Weiss Firestone, President of Plastic Packaging, local and national Jewish community volunteer; Betsy Gaberman, community activist and volunteer; Cynthia Gensheimer, economist studying 19th century women’s benevolence; Susan Jaye-Kaplan, co-founder of Link to Libraries Inc.; Esther Kosofsky, Jewish educator; Lynne Krushell, “foster” mom; Joy Ladin, teacher, writer and first openly transgender employee of an orthodox Jewish institution; Catherine Portuges, Director/Festival Curator, Film Studies and Professor, Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; Emily Rosenfeld, designer of jewelry and Judaica; Laraine Shore-Suslowitz, LICSW, licensed Phoenix Rising Yoga therapist, and vice president of the Pioneer Valley Project; and Diane Troderman, philanthropist. Each participant was presented with a citation signed by their Massachusetts State Representative in recognition of being honored at this event. 
Attendees enjoyed a delicious kosher dessert buffet, which added the finishing touch to a tremendously successful and inspiring evening.




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