"I would like to think that some day when our dreams have been fulfilled they will say it was Jewish women giving of their time and money; giving truly of themselves that made the difference." - Source Unknown
The above quote encapsulated the reason why approximately 296 women gathered on Thursday, April 27, 2017 for the 21st Arlene Solomon Visions dinner.
The event celebrated the women in our community, starting with a special tribute to our community's dear Arlene Solomon, who passed away earlier this year. Arlene had been an integral part of Women’s Philanthropy at the Jewish Federation for many years. Arlene saw the importance of having women of all ages around the table and was inspired to endow the Women’s Jewish Federation Annual Campaign event, Visions. The Arlene Solomon Visions event has been an important program for bringing women together with a common goal to help others both here in Long Beach and around the world. Arlene also provided funds for women’s leadership. She delighted in being a mentor to the younger women and knew the value of making sure that the next generation would carry on our philanthropic work.
At Visions, we came together to celebrate the power we have as women to care for the vulnerable, to be committed to the survival of the Jewish people, to invest in the future of our children and to rescue those in need no matter where they live. We also came to honor Women of Vision, who were nominated by their agencies and synagogues.
Wendy Manasse Wiese explains, “For the past three years I have had the privilege of coordinating the Women of Vision portion of the evening. Every honoree has had such an incredible story regarding her Jewish journey. It occurred to us that the women here are so inspirational that we need to tell more of their stories. We took this idea to this year's Women’s Philanthropy Cabinet, chaired by Leslie Kern, and the cabinet loved the idea. Alicia Friedmann and I truly believed that everyone who attended were moved by the stories of our honorees.
"Keeping with our theme of Let’s Gather, we designed the event to reflect the communal nature of the evening." Alicia Friedmann continues, “We served dinner Family Style at long tables. There were a variety of dishes to choose from and each woman enjoyed what she liked to eat. We felt this truly promoted sharing and conversation”.
The evening was opened to all women and benefitted the Jewish Community Partnership Agencies: Alpert JCC, JFCS, The Hebrew Academy, Long Beach Hillel, Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation. Contributions to the Annual Campaign also provides grants to Birthright Israel, PJ Library and many other programs in Israel and around the world.
Wendy Manasse Wiese
Photos Credit: Jessie Butler & Hyra George