Women of achievement recognized

Jewish women were in the spotlight in Washington, D.C.

A Grammy Award-winning violinst, a producer of “Borat,” the political director of CBS and the co-founder of the Foundation for Jewish Camping were among 10 women honored Monday by Jewish Women International for their legacy of leadership.

At the “Women to Watch” gala, Israeli hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari electrified the crowd with an innovative performance before accepting her award and discussing her Gedenk Movement, which raises youth awareness about anti-Semitism and racism.

Attorney Lynn Shapiro Snyder, who has devoted her life to health care law at the Washington firm of Epstein Becker & Green, asked the audience, “Who mentors the mentors? We have to mentor each other.”

Chicago social worker Mary Jo Barrett reminded the women of the importance of standing up for victims of domestic violence, while Elisa Spungen Bildner of Montclair, N.J., a co-founder of the Foundation for Jewish Camping, reminded the 1,000 women in attendance of the value of continuity of Jewish life.

Debra Neiman, a financial adviser, emphasized the importance of financial planning for non-traditional families.

Jamie McCourt, vice chair and president of the Los Angeles Dodgers, noted that work remains for women to break the glass ceiling in business. And film producer Monica Levinson drew laughter as she chronicled the logistical difficulties of filming “Borat.”

Toby Graff, vice president of public affairs at Lifetime Television in New York, reminded women to thank the angels that helped them along the way, while Big Traffic Mobile Billboards Worldwide President Marla Letizia said, in life “you only get to keep what you give away.”

CBS political director Molly Levinson was honored but was not present on Monday.

For biographies of the honorees, go to www.jwi.org/site/c.okLWJ3MPKtH/b.2790531/.

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