Monday, April 22, 2013

Top Women Philanthropy Donors Gather to Hear an Olympian's Story

Karen James
Ninety-five leading donors were recognized for their generous support of Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy Annual Campaign at the Lion of Judah & Pomegranate luncheon on Wednesday at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. 

The annual event featured an address by Karen James, a member of Canada’s swim team at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, at which 11 Israeli athletes were taken hostage and murdered by Palestine terrorists. James, who was 19 at the time, accidentally encountered two of the terrorists when they all accessed the Olympic village late one night. It was not until the following day, when the hostages were taken, that she realized whom she had seen the night before. James shared the life-changing impact the experience had on her, ultimately inspiring her to move from complete lack of Jewish involvement to her current status as a leader in the Vancouver and Canadian Jewish communities.

The luncheon also featured a special ceremony honoring women who have chosen to endow their annual gifts, thus ensuring that their support for the work of Federation will continue in perpetuity. The ceremony concluded with candles being lit by friends and relatives of those with endowed Lion of Judah gifts who have passed away over the years. 

A highlight of the event was presentation of the prestigious Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award to Terri Bignell. The award is given bi-annually to a woman in recognition of her exceptional commitment to tzedakah and tikkun olam. Terri Bignell has been an esteemed volunteer and professional leader in San Diego’s Jewish community for thirty years. She has led and inspired a variety of organizations including the Federation, Women’s Philanthropy, Hillel of San Diego and Congregation Beth Israel.


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