The atmosphere was festive, the breakfast was bountiful and the room was overflowing with mutual admiration when Women’s Philanthropy of Jewish Federation & Family Services held its board installation at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach on June 1. These women get a lot done, get it done efficiently and have fun in the process, and the enthusiasm is contagious.
Longtime Jewish community leader Blossom Siegel acted as the installing officer. She complimented Ann Miller, who was sworn in as president for the second year, noting than Women’s Philanthropy raised more money than ever in the past year. Miller returned the compliment calling Siegel “one of a kind and the most generous woman I have ever known. You are a shining example of what the word tzedakah means.”
Miller also praised Eileen Garbutt, JFFS staff member in charge of Women’s Philanthropy “for her outstanding ability to get it all done, get it all right, and do it all with a smile” and thanked Molly Berger, campaign assistant for Women’s Philanthropy “for coordinating Reading Partners, setting up WP on line, and everything else you accomplish. You do it gracefully and always with a beautiful smile. Please know how much I appreciate both of you.”
Saying she was honored to begin serving her second year as president of the organization, Miller said, “When I look back at all the events, meetings, walks, food prepared, blankets knitted, books read to children, lunches shared, speakers we learned from—WOW! We are an amazing group of women who make important achievements in our community.”
Miller cited the theme of the Lion of Judah Conference in November: “WE ARE, WE CAN, WE DO.” She said, “WE ARE diverse, representing the entire county, women of all circumstances and means and committed to strengthening and repairing (Tikkum Olam) the Jewish community here and around the world. AND WE CAN do what it takes to bring in new volunteers, and a new generation of women to work alongside us. We will do what we set our minds too. Nothing can stop us. AND WE DO it all with creativity, power, persuasiveness, kindness, compassion, generosity, responsibility, and passion for everything we set out to do and who we are.”
She added that for more than 40 years Orange County Jewish Federation & Family Services has worked to meet the needs of the community. “As singles, wives, moms, and grandmas, we give of ourselves every day to family and friends,” she said. “As women philanthropists, we make our mark in so many ways. At the Israel Fair, packing food for shelters, walking for the cure, working with special needs children, collecting gift cards to brighten family holidays, supporting our Women 4 Women program, donating clothes, shoes, purses, raising much needed funds and giving back.”
Miller said that her “personal commitment continues to further focus on our bridge within the community, to get more women involved, to experience who we are and experience what we do.” She called the three words “involve, include and invest” a recipe for success and achievement., called the women in the group “an inspiration to me” and said that she wanted to “continue to grow our women’s philanthropy one person at a time and one gift at a time.”