Lions of Judah 2021 co-chairs Joan Winograd (in gold) and Joanne Applebaum (in black)
More than 200 attendees celebrate the impact of philanthropy on Jewish women locally, nationally, and internationally
Boca Raton, FL – When Suzi Weiss-Fischmann launched OPI in 1981, she admitted that she knew about dentures, not nail polish. Working with a young chemist, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor quickly discovered the similarities in making false teeth and acrylic nails, which enabled her to transform the sale of nail products into an international brand.
Weiss-Fischmann recalled how their traditions of faith supported their entrepreneurship in the early days of OPI as a guest speaker for the South Palm Beach County’s Jewish Federation’s annual Lions of Judah event. On January 11, 2021, more than 200 attendees heard a conversation between the brand’s co-founder / writer / philanthropist and Alison Lebovitz, former co-chair of JFNA National Young Leadership and host of the Sis and Tell podcast.
For the first time, the Women’s Philanthropy Celebration took place through Zoom. The program co-chaired by Joanne Applebaum and Joan WinogradThere was also an acapella performance by the singer Mayta Cohen and a tribute to the recently deceased Lions, including Leona Brauser, who her son Michael Brauser remembered.
“My parents were very wise people who went through difficult times,” he said. “My mother knew that the purpose of life was to help future generations. She was very proud of her contribution to the Lions of Judah. “
Each Lion of Judah is part of a worldwide sorority of 18,000 women and donates at least $ 5,000 each year to their local federation. With nearly 700 Lions, South Palm Beach County’s pride is one of the largest in the country. Additionally, South Palm Beach County continues to lead the nation with the largest number of LOJEs with 328 Lion of Judah Endowments.
As the keynote speaker at the event, Weiss-Fischmann paid tribute to her parents’ resilience, their adherence to Jewish traditions, and their desire to guide their fate and help them succeed. She also emphasized discipline, diligence, and the ability to be courageous to be a leader. If it were to launch OPI today, known for its clever paint names and marketing creativity, it would be labeled a “disruptor”. Today Weiss-Fischmann is a global icon, encouraging the next generation of Jewish entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and dreamers to think big but lean on the fundamental teachings of their legacy.
“When you are passionate and disciplined like I was, you develop the resilience to achieve something. Every day I remember where I came from and it gave me the drive to get to where I am. That’s how I live my life, ”she said.
Special thanks to Karen Dern, Chair of the Women’s Philanthropy Board, and Elyssa Kupferberg, Vice Chair of the Women’s Philanthropy Campaign, as well as guests from Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach.
The annual Lion of Judah event was generously sponsored by the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation / Baptist Health. Ivan & Co. Jewelers was the sponsor of the in-kind benefits and The Boca Raton Observer was the sponsor of the exclusive magazine.
For more information about the Federation’s Lion of Judah program and other activities and opportunities for women, visit jewishboca.org/womens or contact Janice Obuchowski at 561.852.3271 or [email protected].
About the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
Founded in 1979, the JFSPBC is comprised of Jewish and social organizations, synagogues, and schools that provide valuable services and programs to recipients in South Palm Beach County, Israel, and around the world. The JFSPBC is also composed of local residents including lay people, volunteers, donors, professional staff, rabbis, educators, event attendees, and students. Located on a 100 acre campus in West Boca Raton – the largest in the country – the JFSPBC supports more than 70 beneficiaries, works with more than 5,000 donors, and connects more than 130,000 residents. To learn more about how we are contributing to a shared vision for the Jewish community, visit www.jewishboca.org or call 561.852.3100.