21 August 2020
Through their commitment, generosity, and vision, generations of Lions of Judah have laid an invaluable foundation for our community. Among these inspiring women are Lions Dede Feinberg and Rise Ain—both longtime leaders of The Jewish Federation and our community. The two joined us for a broad conversation, during which they reflected on their decades of involvement and leadership.
With gratitude to Dede and Rise, we are pleased to share a few of the pearls of wisdom from that discussion.
On being part of and building community:
“Friendship is at the center; if I knew certain people were going to be present, I wanted to be in that room with them. I still do.”
On the meaning of lay leadership:
“The work was fun. From it I got mentorship, empowerment, friendship and from that, I continued to develop myself. How could I not want to give back to an organization that helped me develop the skills that I find myself using in every part of my life?”
On becoming a Lion of Judah:
“On my 40th birthday, my gift to myself was becoming a Lion and it is now a piece of my personal identity.”
On how mentors can inspire an increasing commitment to Federation’s Annual Campaign:
“The Elder Stateswomen would walk into a room and we would think ‘oh my, they are still giving after all these years.’ For us, that was inspirational. We were following them and knew that after 40 years, if they were still giving to the Annual Campaign, then there must be a reason.”
“We got it. We understood all that Federation was making happen. While some things may have changed over the years, what has remained the same is that the critical work the Annual Campaign supports would not be possible without our Lions of Judah and their collective power.”
“Thank you to the many brave and strong women who came before us, blazing trails and setting examples for us to follow, who selflessly taught and championed me and many others. Thank you to the many women I currently work with who offer much support, inspiration, and encouragement daily. And a nod to the future generations of women, including my daughters, who will do much greater things because of the women who have come before them. “
Rise and Dede have continued to be examples for the community to follow, showing us what it means to be a leader and philanthropist. Today, the two are looking to the next generation to continue building this community they were so instrumental in shaping.
Our conversation made it clear that legacy, friendship, and passion are at the core of what it means to be a Lion. We thank Dede and Rise for highlighting a vital lesson for all Lions: none of us are doing the work alone; together, we build a strong, vibrant, and committed Jewish community.
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.