Margie Perilstein Wargon, co-chair of the recent Women's Philanthropy Lion of Judah luncheon along with Sheree Bloch and Rosalie Goldberg, credits the event's extraordinary success to the passion conveyed by guest speaker Mona Golabek, founder and president of Hold On To Your Music, an organization that she created to share the story of her mother and other Kindertransport survivors.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the audience as Mona related how her mother, a musical child prodigy, was forced to leave her family and her dreams of becoming a concert pianist behind and seek safe haven in London at the outset of World War II," Wargon said, explaining that "the intergenerational audience related to Mona's warmth and sincerity and the power of their story."
The Oct. 5 program at the Arts Ballroom in Philadelphia raised $1,116,000 for the 2012 Federation annual campaign, plus an additional $73,000 for Women's Philanthropy designated-giving projects, which address several of Federation's key funding priorities. These projects include: One Happy Camper incentive grants, which enable children to build Jewish identity and leadership skills through participation in Jewish overnight camps; the Mitzvah Food Project's efforts to transform its food pantry at the Klein JCC into a "Choice Pantry" where clients can choose which products best meet the needs of their families; and therapeutic overnight camp experiences for Israeli teens served by Orr Shalom Family group homes.
This year's luncheon was attended by a record-breaking 171 women, the largest attendance in the event's history. Forty-five women responded to President Sara Minkoff's inaugural invitation to bring a friend who might be interested in learning more about the power of women to make a difference through philanthropic giving.