As proud Lions of Judah, Nancy Ganz, Jessica Myers, and Laurie Gershkowitz will be leading a delegation of Boston Lions to Florida in January for the International Lion of Judah Conference (ILOJC).
We asked them to share their own WP stories, and their thoughts on being a Lion of Judah.
Nancy Ganz was inspired to become involved in Women’s Philanthropy on her first Jewish Federation Mission to Israel more than 20 years ago.
“From the moment I stepped onto that sacred land, I knew I would never be or feel the same,” she says. “While in Israel, I became a Miami Lion.”
Nancy believes that WP provides a unique opportunity to forge lifelong friends while participating in a larger vision committed to helping people locally and globally.
“Like loving links that together create an unbreakable bond of support, each point of outreach and engine of empowerment touches my heart in ways that often surprise me and infuse me with gratitude. WP could also stand for Women's Power: the power to make a real, transformative difference in the community and the world. Women's giving hearts, coming together with passion and purpose, can achieve anything. This legacy and promise lives through CJP’s WP, where women effect, and will continue to effect positive change. I wouldn't want to imagine a world without it.”
From Miami to Palm Beach and now Boston, Nancy feels the love and passion that connects us all through Women’s Philanthropy.
“I feel so blessed to have been able to work, learn, play, party, explore, create, and grow with some of the most remarkable women on earth. Through WP, I have seen boundless energy channeled in ways that change the world for the better and sail past the margins of what others define as possible.”
Jessica Myers got involved in Women’s Philanthropy during her tenure as the Chair of the Jaffa Society. After the Jaffa Society was absorbed by Women’s Philanthropy, she joined the WP Executive Board as the VP of Leadership Development — and has been involved since.
“Lion of Judah is important because of what it represents: an educated, involved, passionate group of women who care about their communities and put their dollars towards supporting the philanthropic goals of that community,” she says. “I think anyone who gets involved with WP and meets the women who are Lions will be inspired to get more involved overall as well as think about their philanthropy from a different lens.”
Jessica encourages women new to Women’s Philanthropy to “jump in with two feet, because the more quickly you get involved, the more impact it will have on you!
“You will meet an incredible community of women who care about issues affecting our society,” she says. “You will be able to participate in a way that feels comfortable to you to help work on these issues.”
Laurie Gershkowitz is celebrating her 25th year — her silver anniversary — with Women’s Philanthropy. She got involved when she was a young mother, seeking out other women with the same values who also wanted to give back to the community.
“I am still friends with many of these women today,” Laurie says. “We have served on many committees together, volunteering our time and energy. I have even participated in missions to Israel, Prague, and Budapest with these women who I consider sisters.”
Laurie says she is passionate about hands-on philanthropy and has worked to instill the desire to get involved in her children.
“Philanthropy has also been a reciprocal experience for our family,” she says. “I am proud to say that my three older children have volunteered their time through CJP’s partner agencies, such as Gateways and JF&CS, while my youngest child, who has special needs, receives services through these same agencies.”
Laurie says she can’t wait to co-lead the Boston cohort attending ILOJC.
“Having been a past attendee, it is so powerful to be in a room full of women from not just ONE community, but from all over the world, having the same mission and purpose to help others,” she says. “Being surrounded by Lions, listening to all the programs and projects completed solely with the intention to help those in need, reminds me that my Lion gift has meaning and purpose.”