Wednesday, 9 February 2011



Lion of Judah Conference
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Vicki Agron, as senior vice president of Financial Resource Development at United Jewish Communities, provides national oversight for the federation system’s Annual Campaign, Endowments, Supplemental Giving and Special Campaigns. She has been a member of the national staff of UJA and now UJC for more than 20 years. Formerly a lay leader from Denver, CO, Vicki helped found the National Women’s Young Leadership Cabinet in 1976. She chaired the Cabinet in 1981 and later became its professional director. Vicki has also served as UJA’s National Strategic Campaign Planning and Budgeting Director. An expert on American Jewish demography, psychographics and philanthropy, Vicki has been a speaker, trainer and fundraiser in communities and at conferences throughout North America, Europe and Israel.

Madeleine K. Albright was named U.S. Secretary of State in 1997, becoming the highest-ranking woman in U.S. government history. From 1993-1997, she was the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.  In 1995, she led the U.S. delegation to the UN's Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. From 1989-1992, she was president of the Center for National Policy, a non-profit public policy organization. From 1978-81, Dr. Albright was a member of President Carter's National Security Council and White House staff.  From 1976-78, she served as chief legislative assistant to Senator Edmund S. Muskie. Dr. Albright is a founder of The Albright Group LLC, a global strategy firm. Her  autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir, was published in September 2003, and her newest book, The Mighty and The Almighty - Reflections on America, God and World Affairs was published in May 2006.

Yael Azala was born in a small village in Ethiopia, one of six children. She and her family began the long, treacherous journey to Israel during Operation Moses; her mother and infant brother both died en route. In 1984, Yael and her family finally arrived to Israel, where she was successful in school and determined to receive a higher education. Despite personal and financial obstacles, and thanks to assistance from Jewish Agency-funded programs, she was accepted at Hebrew University, where she is majoring in Middle East Studies.

Tobin Belzer PhD is a Research Associate at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California and a Senior Research Associate at the Berman Center for Research and Evaluation.  She is the co-editor of Joining the Sisterhood: Young Jewish Women Write Their Lives  (State University of New York Press, 2003) with Rabbi Julie Pelc.  Belzer received her PhD in Sociology and has a joint master’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Brandeis University.  As a doctoral candidate, she was awarded the Joshua Venture Fellowship for Young Jewish Social Entrepreneurs.  Jewish Identity at Work, a book based on the research funded by this grant is forthcoming from SUNY Press.  Belzer was recently awarded the Hadassah Award for Excellence in Writing about Women from the American Jewish Press Association.

Nate Berkus is one of Chicago's preeminent decorators. In addition to the interiors of homes, lofts and condominiums, he has also designed interiors for Wolfgang Puck's Spago Chicago, Barneys New York, W Hotels and other prestigious businesses. Mr. Berkus is the recipient of the Vox/Out 2002 Design and Style Award for his contribution to American design as well as The Fashion Group International's Rule Breakers and Style Makers Award for Interiors in 2003. He was named Chicago Social Magazine's Design Editor in 2000, House Beautiful's Next Wave in Design Talent in 2003, and Crain's Business Magazine's 40 Under 40 to Watch in 2003.
John R. Bolton is the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Before his appointment, he served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from May 2001 to May 2005. Prior to this, Ambassador Bolton was senior vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit public policy center. Ambassador Bolton’s positions in public service have included assistant secretary for International Organization Affairs at the Department of State, 1989-1993; assistant attorney general, Department of Justice, 1985-1989; assistant administrator for Program and Policy Coordination, U.S. Agency for International Development, 1982-1983; and general counsel, U.S. Agency for International Development, 1981-1982.

Laurence Borot is the world president of the Keren Hayesod International Women's Division. She previously served as vice president, and as president of the Women’s Division of UIA in France. Ms. Borot participated in the Latin American Regional Conference in Peru 2004 and the European Conference in Rome in 2005. She is also active in CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, and in FSJU, the French Jewish Community central social welfare organization. She is a member of the JAFI Board of Governors.

Erica Brown is the scholar-in-residence for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the deputy managing director for Education and Leadership. In that capacity, she serves as the director of its Jewish Leadership Institute. She formerly served as scholar-in-residence for Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston faculty. She lectures widely in the United States and Israel on subjects of Jewish interest and leadership, in addition to extensive writing in journals of education and Jewish studies. She was a Jerusalem Fellow and is a faculty member of the Wexner Heritage Foundation. Erica is the author of the forthcoming book The Sacred Canvas: The Hebrew Bible in the Eyes of the Artist.

Professor Rivka Carmi is president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), and the first woman to serve as president of an Israeli university. She is a graduate of Hadassah Medical School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She served as director of the Genetics Institute at the Soroka University Medical Center at BGU, and in 2000, she was elected dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at BGU – the first woman to head a medical school in Israel. Prior to assuming an administrative role at the University, Professor Carmi's research  focused on genetic diseases in the Negev Arab-Bedouin population. Author of over 100 publications in medical genetics, her research included the identification of 12 new genes and the delineation of three new syndromes, one of which is known as the Carmi Syndrome. Her community projects were aimed at preventing hereditary diseases in the Bedouin community.
Maxine Clark is founder, chief executive bear and chairman of Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc., which will have nearly 300 stores worldwide by the end of 2006. In 2004 she launched friends 2B made®. Before founding Build-A-Bear in 1997, Ms. Clark was the president of Payless ShoeSource, Inc., and she previously worked in various divisions of the May Department Stores Company, including merchandise development, planning, research, marketing and product development. Ms. Clark is a member of the Committee of 200, a leading organization for women entrepreneurs around the world. Her first book, “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart,” was published in May 2006.

William Jefferson Clinton was born on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. As a delegate to Boys Nation while in high school, he met President John Kennedy in the White House Rose Garden. The encounter led him to enter a life of public service. Clinton graduated from Georgetown University and in 1968 won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. He received a law degree from Yale University in 1973, and shortly thereafter entered politics in Arkansas.
Clinton was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, and won the governorship in 1978. After losing a bid for a second term, he regained the office four years later, and served until his 1992 bid for the Presidency of the United States. Elected President of the United States in 1992, and again in 1996, President Clinton was the first Democratic president to be awarded a second term in six decades. Under his leadership, the United States enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. President Clinton’s core values of building community, creating opportunity, and demanding responsibility resulted in unprecedented progress for America, including moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs—more than any other administration; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest homeownership and college enrollment rates in history. His accomplishments as President include increasing investment in education, providing tax relief for working families, helping millions of Americans move from welfare to work, expanding access to technology, encouraging investment in underserved communities, protecting the environment, countering the threat of terrorism and promoting peace and strengthening democracy around the world. After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission of strengthening the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. The Clinton Foundation is focused on four critical areas: health security, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS; economic empowerment; leadership development and citizen service; and racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation. The Clinton Presidential Center, located in Little Rock, Arkansas, comprises the Library, the archives, Clinton Foundation offices and the Clinton School of Public Service. Following the 2002 Barcelona AIDS Conference, President Clinton began the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) to assist countries in implementing large-scale, integrated, care, treatment and prevention programs that will turn the tide on the epidemic. It partners with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia to develop operational business plans to scale-up care and treatment. CHAI works with individual governments and provides them with technical assistance, human and financial resources, and know-how from the sharing of the best practices across projects. CHAI is currently bringing life-saving care and treatment to over a quarter of a million people around the world. In September 2005, President Clinton hosted the inaugural meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Thirty-five current and 10 former heads of state, along with hundreds of other leaders from governments, the business community, and NGOs, contributed to innovative solutions to alleviate poverty, promote effective governance, reconcile religious conflicts, and protect the environment. Nearly 300 commitments were made to improve the lives of people living on 6 continents, with private corporations and non-profit organizations pledging almost 70% of all commitments, which are valued in excess of $2.5 billion. In the United States, President Clinton also works through the Clinton Foundation Urban Enterprise Initiative to help small businesses acquire the tools they need to compete in the ever-changing urban marketplace. He also works along with the American Heart Association on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to combat childhood obesity. Following Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, President Clinton and former President Bush led a nationwide fundraising effort and established the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund to assist survivors in the rebuilding effort. This campaign was the second collaboration for the former presidents, the first being their work on relief and recovery following the Indian Ocean tsunami. President Clinton also serves as Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, as appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2005.

William Daroff is UJC vice president for public policy, and director of the Washington Office. In that position, he serves as the chief lobbyist for the federation system, as well as their principal spokesman on issues of public policy. He previously served as deputy executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), where he had also worked as director of Congressional Affairs. Mr. Daroff has also served as deputy executive director of the Jewish Policy Center, the nation’s premier think tank of politically conservative Jewish ideas. He has managed campaigns for the United States House of Representatives and for State Treasurer of Ohio, and worked on the national presidential campaign staffs of Jack Kemp, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole. Before joining the RJC, Mr. Daroff practiced law in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

Amal ElSana-Alhjooj is the director of the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation. She is an activist in the Bedouin community and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize along with 1000 other social activists. A social worker by training with degrees from Ben Gurion and McGill Universities, she was the first Bedouin woman in Israel to attend college. Ms. ElSana-Alhoouj has founded several grassroots not-for-profit organizations to advance the status of women in Israeli Bedouin society, including a women's cooperative that creates and sells folk art.
Kenneth R. Feinberg
was the Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. In that capacity, he evaluated applications, determined appropriate compensation and disseminated awards. He has arbitrated the allocation of legal fees in Holocaust slave labor litigation. An attorney, Mr. Feinberg is the managing partner and founder of The Feinberg Group, LLP. He has taught at the Georgetown University Law Center, University of Pennsylvania Law School, New York University School of Law, the University of Virginia Law School and Columbia Law School. He is the author of numerous articles and essays and has recently published the book What is Life Worth? The Unprecedented Effort to Compensate the Victims of 9/11.

Lina Filiba was appointed the first-ever professional leader of the Jewish Community of Turkey. Since 2001, she has served as executive vice president of the community, responsible for administration, foreign relations, and designing and managing projects. Prior to her appointment, she worked as a volunteer for the Jewish community, serving as its secretary general from 1995 to 1997 and its vice president from 1998 to 2000, while also working professionally in a plastics company and a decoration company.

Rachel Gershuni is an American-born lawyer who has been practicing in Israel for 25 years. She has been with Israel's Ministry of Justice for more than 10 years and was most recently appointed Israeli governmental coordinator of the battle against trafficking in persons. Ms. Gershuni, who earned earned her law degree from Hebrew University and a Master's of Public Administration from Harvard, has lectured in academic and nonacademic settings. In 2006, she was chosen by the U.S. State Department as one of nine "Heroes Acting to End Modern Day Slavery" worldwide.

Eival Gilady is CEO of the Portland Trust in Israel, a foundation established to foster peace and stability in the Middle East by means of economic tools and mobilization of international resources. A reserve brigadier general in the Israeli Defense Forces, his military career spans three decades. He was appointed head of coordination and strategy in the Office of the Prime Minister in 2005; from 2001 to 2004, he served as head of the Israel Defense Forces' Strategic Planning Division. His responsibilities included the security aspects of the peace process and peace talks, and he was responsible for developing the Gaza Disengagement Plan. He is also president of Vanadis Ltd. and chairman of Western Galilee College.

Ambassador Dan Gillerman is Israel's 13th Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He was previously the CEO of several Israeli companies and has served on the Prime Minister's National Economic and Social Council. He has played a prominent role in helping to steer Israel towards economic liberalization and in the economic aspects of the peace process, and has been intensively engaged in furthering economic cooperation within the region. On June 14, 2005, he was elected to the position of Vice-President of the 60th UN General Assembly. The last Israeli to hold this position was Abba Eban in 1952.

Amy Goldberg is a consultant on media communications and executive presentation. She has been helping business professionals, community leaders and industry spokespeople to develop dynamic speeches, prepare for and control media interviews, and deliver successful sales presentations for the past 15 years. Her clients include UJC, the New York Times, the Capital Group, Phoenix Companies, the New York Observer, John Hancock Financial, and In 1984 Ms. Goldberg became the first New York regional director for AIPAC, where she organized community activists and delivered weekly speeches to groups of all sizes.

Karnit Goldwasser is the wife of Ehud Goldwasser, one of the Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah in July. She is a graduate student in environmental engineering. Her husband, a 31-year-old reservist who is also a graduate student in environmental engineering, only had a few hours left before wrapping up his monthlong tour of duty patrolling the Israel-Lebanon border. Karnit and Ehud were married about a month before he was abducted. Ms. Goldwasser and her father-in-law have traveled to cities in Europe and the United States to highlight the plight of the kidnapped soldiers.

Paula R. Goode is deputy director for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in the U.S. Department of State.  The TIP office coordinates U.S. government activities in the global fight against modern-day slavery, including forced labor and sexual exploitation. Ms. Goode helped establish the Office of Children’s Health Protection at the Environmental Protection Agency and coordinated the federal government’s interagency strategy to establish standard protocols for radiation protection. At the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy she worked on health and radiological issues. Before joining the TIP office, Ms. Goode served as administrator and director of international projects for a major church in the Washington, DC area. 

Nela Hasic is the project director for the Women’s Health Empowerment Project in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a non-sectarian initiative of JDC and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Ms. Hasic and her family, members of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Jewish community, fled when civil war broke out in 1992. With JDC assistance, she was flown to Belgrade with her children, while her husband stayed in Sarajevo. Over six months later, the family was reunited in Budapest, and soon afterward made aliyah. After spending a decade in Israel, Ms. Hasic returned to Sarajevo in 2002. In January 2004, she began work with JDC on this women’s health initiative. With her input, a similar project is now underway in Hungary.

Lisa Hostein is JTA's editor, responsible for direction of the agency's global coverage and supervision of its worldwide reporting staff. Before joining JTA in 1994, she served as news editor of the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia. The recipient of numerous journalism awards, she is also co-author of Your People, My People: Finding Acceptance and Fulfillment as a Jew By Choice, published by the Jewish Publication Society.

Dalia Itzik is the speaker of the 17th Knesset. In the 16th Knesset she chaired of the Labor-Meimad parliamentary group and was a member of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee; the Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women; and the House Committee. She served as minister of the Environment from July 1999-March 2001, as minister of Industry and Trade from March 2001-October 2002, and as minister of Communications from January to November 2005. Elected to the Knesset in 1992, she has served on the Education and Culture Committee, which she chaired from March 1995 to June 1996; the Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women; the Science and Technology Committee; and the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee. A teacher by profession, Ms. Itzik is a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem in charge of education.

Arlene Kaufman is president of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, and she has also held leadership positions in the Washington, DC, and Nashville federations. On the national level, she is co-chair of Operation Promise, and she chaired the UJC Israel and Overseas Pillar from 2003 to 2005. She has also been active in Major Gifts, Project Renewal, Missions and International Leadership Reunion. Ms. Kaufman is vice chair of the birthright Israel Foundation, and she is a funder and coordinator of post-birthright trip activities. She is a member of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Board of Governors. 

Gerda Weissman Klein, a speaker, writer and columnist, is a Holocaust survivor whose first public speaking engagement took place soon after her arrival in the U.S. in 1946 with her late husband Kurt Klein, the American Army intelligence officer who was also her liberator. Her first book, All But My Life, an account of her wartime experiences in Poland and Germany, appeared in 1957; her most recent book, A Boring Evening at Home, published in 2004, chronicles her life in the U.S. In 1996, she was one of five women worldwide who received the prestigious Lion of Judah Award in Jerusalem. In 1997, President Clinton appointed her to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and in 1998 she was the recipient of the Human Rights Award, given by the National Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights.

Charles Krauthammer, winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, is a syndicated columnist who appears in the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and 150 other publications. Mr. Krauthammer, who earned a medical degree, quit medical practice to direct planning in psychiatric research for the Carter administration. During the 1980 presidential campaign, he served as a speech writer to Vice President Walter Mondale. He is a regular member of "The Panel" on Fox News's Special Report with Brit Hume, and often appears as a Fox News contributor.

Ann Lewis, director of communications for HILLPAC and Friends of Hillary, served as director of communications and then counselor to President Clinton. She was director of communications and deputy campaign manager for the 1996 Clinton-Gore Campaign, and senior advisor to the Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign. As the national chair of the DNC Women’s Vote Center, she led the Democratic Party’s major initiative to mobilize women voters from 2002-2004. Ms. Lewis was appointed by President Clinton as co-chair of the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History. From 1994 to 1995, she was the vice president for Public Policy at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She has served as the national director of Americans for Democratic Action, as the political director for the Democratic National Committee, and as chief of staff to then Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski. She served on the Advisory Committee for the book Jews and American Politics and is a board member of the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Vivienne Lewis has been the CEO of World Jewish Relief, the overseas aid arm of the United Kingdom’s Jewish community, in London for the past seven years.  She has been actively involved in working with developing communities in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. During the past 20+ years, she has held various senior positions in the UK Jewish community’s not-for-profit sector. She lives in London, where the Jewish community is celebrating its 350th anniversary of resettlement.

Carol Lee Levin is the chair of the 2006 International Lion of Judah Conference. She is the founder of Women’s O.W.N. (Optimum Wellness Now), a volunteer organization dedicated to advancing education and information about women’s health issues. Women’s O.W.N. supports vital research and patient programs at NYU School of Medicine and NYU Hospitals Center. Ms. Levin has held leadership positions on the boards of charitable and civic organizations throughout the country. She has served as a trustee of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Service in New York City, Minneapolis, and Tucson; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Division of UJA-Federation of New York, United Jewish Communities National Women’s Constituency and the Jewish Women’s Foundation.

Sandra Lippy is a member of the National Women’s Philanthropy Advisory Board and serves as National Lion of Judah liaison to Israeli Lions. She has served as Central Region co-chair of NWP. She is active in the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, where she has held many titles including president of the Women’s Division, and the South Palm Beach Jewish Federation, where she is on the board of the Women’s Division. She is a registered nurse who retired as president of Phillips Health Care, Inc.
Deborah E. Lipstadt, a historian, is professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University and author of the book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. David Irving sued her and her publishers, Penguin Books, in a British court, after she accused him of Holocaust denial; Lipstadt won the case. Dr. Lipstadt has also written Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust. She was a consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where she helped design the section dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust. In 1994 she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

Kathy E. Manning is the treasurer of UJC and chairs its Budget & Finance Committee. She has been nominated to serve as chair of UJC’s Executive Committee and will be the first woman to do so. She is a past chair of the Small Federation Steering Committee and of the Public Policy and Legislation Committee of UJC’s Domestic Affairs Pillar. She is a former member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet and a recipient of the Young Leadership Award. Ms. Manning is a past president of the Greensboro Jewish Federation and has served as chair of its Annual Campaign, co-chair of the Operation Exodus Campaign, and Women’s Cabinet chair. She is an attorney who specializes in Immigration Law at Manning & Associates, PLLC, in Greensboro, North Carolina. 
Florine Mark is president and chief executive officer of The W.W. Group, Inc., the largest franchiser of Weight Watchers International, with franchises in nine states, Canada and Mexico. She established the first Weight Watchers franchise in Michigan in 1966 and was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" for Michigan in 1990 by Merrill Lynch. Ms. Mark is author of Talk to the Mirror: An Empowering Guide for Women. She is an active member of the Detroit Jewish community.

Ruth W. Messinger is the president and executive director of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), which supports more than 200 grassroots social change projects in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.  Previously, Ms. Messinger served 12 years in the New York City Council and eight years as Manhattan borough president. She was the first woman to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor in 1997.  Ms. Messinger is a visiting professor of urban policy and politics at Hunter College. She serves on the boards of Surprise Lake Camp, the Jewish Funders Network and Interaction, an umbrella organization for nonprofits engaged in international development and relief. In honor of her work to end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, Ms. Messinger recently received the Jewish Council for Public Affairs’ prestigious Albert D. Chernin Award. For the past five years, has been named one of the 50 most influential Jews by the Forward.

Rutie Oren is an Israeli Lion of Judah who is active in the Projects and Hospitality Committees. Born in N.Y., she made aliyah in 1973. She worked with children as an occupational therapist for 10 years, and she now works in her family’s real estate company.

Mara Rudman, a senior partner at Quorum Strategies, served most recently as senior vice president for Strategic Planning at the Center for American Progress, where she remains a senior fellow, focusing on national security and foreign policy issues with a particular emphasis on the Middle East. Previously, she was counselor, vice president, and general counsel at The Cohen Group. She was deputy national security advisor to President Clinton and played a role in Middle East peace efforts. From 1993-1997, she worked as chief counsel to the House International Relations Committee Chairman Lee Hamilton.

John Ruskay is executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, where he has worked since 1992. Previously he served as educational director of the 92nd Street Y and as vice chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He holds a doctorate in Political Science from Columbia University.

Ruth Salomy is chair of Lion of Judah, Israel. She has been an active Lion for the last nine years. Ms. Salomy has practiced law both in Israel and the U.S. A native of Israel, she lived in Baltimore for 22 years and returned to Israel 10 years ago.

Neil Sedaka
is a legendary pioneer of rock and pop music who has been writing hit songs and performing since the 1950s. The author of more than 1,000 songs, he has had many hit singles and earned platinum and gold records.  Although his musical career began with classical piano training, he soon began to write and perform popular music.  His concerts, often with a full orchestra, continue to be enormous draws in Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City. In June 2006, he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Daniel B. Shapiro is deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida).  He is a foreign policy specialist with particular expertise in the Middle East.  Previously, Mr. Shapiro was director for legislative affairs at the National Security Council, serving as Congressional liaison for National Security Adviser Sandy Berger.  He served from 1995 to 1999 as legislative assistant and senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), and from 1993-1995 as a professional staff member on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, under Chairman Lee Hamilton (D-Indiana).  He previously worked for the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in the United Arab Emirates.

Betsy R. Sheerr, president of Sheerr Communications, Inc., is a well-known public speaker, coach and Jewish community activist. For over 20 years she has conducted leadership training programs and public speaking seminars internationally.  Her clients include Fortune 500 corporations and start-ups, law firms, prominent public figures and business leaders in the U.S., Israel and South America.  She has held community leadership positions, including past president of the Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs, vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, national vice chair of JDC's Israel Committee, chair of JDC’s International Development Program, national vice chair of  UJA and national chair of the UJA Young Leadership Cabinet. She has traveled the country on behalf of UJC's Global Accountability program.

Lynn Sherr joined 20/20 as a correspondent in May 1986. She has covered a wide range of stories, specializing in women’s issues and social changes, as well as investigative reports on topics ranging from national politics to NASA Space Shuttle missions. She was previously a national correspondent for ABC News since 1982 and a general assignment correspondent since 1977.

Carol Shalita Smokler is a clinical psychologist with post-doctoral training in sports psychology. She has worked with athletes and teams at the collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels, as well as weekend warriors, teaching them performance enhancement skills. Her first love, however, is the volunteer work she does in the Jewish community. Ms. Smokler is the chair of the UJC Emergency Fund. She is a member of Hillel International’s Board of Governors and Board of Directors, chair of its Human Resources Committee, and serves on the Executive Committee. In her local community, she serves as chair of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s Israel-Overseas Committee and is a member of the federation Executive Committee.
Carole Solomon chaired the first International Lion of Judah Conference, which brought 500 women from the world Jewish community to Jerusalem. She was the first woman to chair UJA, and in 2003 she became the first woman to chair the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency. She is a past vice-chair of UJC, past chair of the UJC Campaign/FRD Pillar, and a former president of the UJA National Women's Campaign. Ms. Solomon is a director of UJA-Federation of New York, where she has held numerous leadership positions, including chair of the federation's Partnership 2000 program. She currently serves as vice-chair of the federation's Major Gifts Initiative.

Visions is a musical group that began when three talented bat mitzvah students in Orlando, FL, were asked by their Cantor Alan Robuck to sing a prayer at High Holiday services. Amy, Andra and Talia have created three albums together and have performed at synagogues and events throughout the country. One of their proudest moments was singing in 2002 at a synagogue in San Paulo, Brazil. All three young women balanced their singing careers with college and have now moved on to building their professional careers as well. The members of Visions are proud to be Jewish role models, united in their desire to make our world a better place.

Doris Weiser-Small is president of Spirit of Israel. In that capacity, she is the liaison between Lion of Judah-Israel and National Women's Philanthropy. She was a past chair of Lion of Judah-Israel and is the immediate past president. Before making aliya 12 years ago, Ms. Weiser-Small was very active in Montreal’s Federation CJA, where she held many leadership positions, including chair of the Women’s Division. She was a Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Awards winner in 2004. 

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