By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
Jewish life runs on the spark of volunteers. Giving that most precious of possessions, their time, volunteers provide many vital services—lending helping hands to people in need, ensuring that our many community gatherings and cultural programs are welcoming and fulfilling events, sharing their knowledge and experience, and bringing to the table bright, inspired ideas for making Jewish life even more vibrant.
Every so often, a volunteer comes along whose passion for and long dedication to community, remarkable generosity, and amazing contributions stand out. One such volunteer is Naomi Newman, who will receive the prestigious Althea Stroum Woman of Distinction Award at Connections on Sunday, January 26. In front of hundreds of her family and friends, Naomi will be honored for the indelible impact she has made and continues to make on our community. I’m excited to share that past recipients of the award—women like Naomi, who have made outstanding contributions to Jewish life—will be on hand to join in this uplifting celebration.
All of us who are privileged to know Naomi personally can attest to her passion for building community and her expansive vision for Jewish life, as well as her kindness, warmth, and humility. If you have not yet crossed paths with Naomi, chances are high that her impact has touched your life. Her volunteer service experience has a broad reach. Furthering Jewish education and women’s health in leadership positions for, respectively, Seattle Hebrew Academy and Hadassah. Sharing her family’s story as a Legacy Speaker for the Holocaust Center for Humanity. Connecting our community with Israel as a national Board member for the American Technion Society and as Marketing Chair for Israel at 50 and 60 celebrations.
Naomi’s involvement with the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has been long and deep – Lion of Judah since 2004, including two years as Chair; Women’s Philanthropy Chair, serving on the task force that created our award-winning Jewish in Seattle magazine – and, of course, Connections. Whether you’re a Connections newcomer or veteran, the sure touch of Naomi’s leadership over the years has helped make it the event of the year for Jewish women—and men too!—to build and strengthen the relationships that are at the heart of a vibrant community with many open doors to experiencing Jewish life.
To all of her volunteer commitments, Naomi has brought her remarkable talent for marketing, a gift, honed by years of experience, that has helped all the Jewish organizations she has served to put their best foot forward and to fulfill her wish for our community to sparkle.
Join me at Connections to honor Naomi and to see for yourself how she has made and will continue making a profound difference for Jewish Puget Sound. If you have not yet registered, there’s still time, but don’t wait too long. We have a seat waiting for you!