30 July 2020
Greater Washington’s Lions of Judah are stepping up and leading our community as it navigates a public health and economic crisis. Through Federation’s Lion+ campaign, Lions can showcase the power of their collective philanthropy to ensure a stronger and more vibrant Jewish community. We sat down with Shelly Kupfer, past Vice President of Women’s Philanthropy for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and current National Chair of JFNA’s National Women’s Philanthropy, to learn more about what galvanizes her commitment to support Federation, particularly during this critical moment.
What does it mean to be a Lion of Judah? How has the pandemic enhanced or shifted your perception of that role?
Being a Lion of Judah means I am connected with some of the most engaged and charitable women in the local, national, and global Jewish community. Lions are philanthropists working to strengthen their local communities and make a difference in the Jewish world. The COVID-19 pandemic has only further enhanced my belief that Lions are at the forefront of caring for our community, by contributing to support immediate relief efforts. There truly has never been a more important time to be a Lion.
How did the current public health and economic crisis influence your decision to give to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Emergency Response Fund at this time?
Emergency situations like COVID-19 stress the importance of giving to the Annual Campaign and establishing endowments, and, in this moment, to give to the Emergency Response Fund. The Emergency Response Fund has already helped more than 1,200 members of our community access basic necessities, like food assistance and rent/mortgage support. At this moment, continuing to give to the Annual Campaign and giving specifically to help meet the immediate individual needs is essential to ensuring the vibrancy of the local Jewish community. A gift to the Emergency Response Fund ensures that our community can be prepared for any unanticipated circumstances—like those we find ourselves in now—today and long into the future. I felt a deep sense of pride as a Lion investing the Emergency Response Fund in order to ensure that in real time, I could help Federation support people throughout the community.
What do you want to see the Lion of Judah community do at this moment?
There has never been a more important time for Lions to step up and lead our community. I think it is important for Lions to support to those directly in need. Lions should also be leaders in communicating to their networks about the important work of Federation, and helping to support that work by joining other Lions for the Lion+ Campaign. The steps we take right now have the power to affect what the future looks like.
This summer, join hundreds of Lions for the Lion+ Campaign by September 1— a call to elevate your philanthropy and lead our community towards a vibrant Jewish future.