As co-chair of the 2019 International Lion of Judah Conference, longtime Milwaukee-area volunteer Joan Lubar has been working to shape a gathering for Jewish women from all over the world.
The Jewish Federations of North America is putting on the conference with National Women’s Philanthropy, which is a board of Jewish Federations of North America. The conference runs every other year.
Lubar, co-chair Marcie Orley of Detroit, and a handful of other leading Lions of Judah – women who make a gift to their federation’s Annual Campaign of $5,000 or more – have been planning an event of learning, sharing and celebration.
The work started about a year and a half ago, Lubar said, and it has included making plans for the various plenary and forum sessions that will make up the conference.
Lubar noted a desire to keep the conference small enough to be an intimate experience for attending women, though the roster is expected to hit well over 1,300. The conference – typically held annually around October – is to be held this year in January of 2019 in Miami.
Issues on the agenda include Israel-U.S. relations, pluralism, power women, cybersecurity in the Jewish community and women’s issues. New York Times Journalist Bari Weiss and Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman are both expected to attend, amongst other notables.
“This will be more about Aly’s Jewish journey and how that has influenced her life and her views,” Lubar said. “We’ve got some really great plenary sessions planned.”
The conference comes amid an ongoing Lion of Judah Endowment initiative, which was launched by JNFA. This is an effort among federations across North America to sign up women to endow their Lion of Judah donations with a charitable gift of at least $100,000. This endowment is designed to provide continuous, long-term support of federation efforts.
The endowment allows for perpetual funding of a woman’s Annual Campaign gift. “It will allow your gift to continue on after you’re gone,” Lubar said.
“I’m passionate about our Jewish community and I’m very committed to the work I do for the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and JFNA,” Lubar said.
“That’s why I give to our community!”