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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 


 

May 20, 2011  RSS feed
Culture

Text: T T T

From jokes, springs wisdom about strength of Jewish women

By IRIS RUTH PASTOR
Special to the Jewish Press


Susan Levy, far left, and Joyce Tawil, Lion of Judah chair, far right, with three new Lions: (L-R) Gina Harris, Ellyne Myers and Eileen Goldenberg. Susan Levy, far left, and Joyce Tawil, Lion of Judah chair, far right, with three new Lions: (L-R) Gina Harris, Ellyne Myers and Eileen Goldenberg. In the 1970s, the proliferation of Jewish American Princess (JAP) jokes on college campuses and beyond was widespread.

Even though, actress Elaine Rembrandt, often laughed at some of them (since many were truly funny), she began to experience a sea change in her attitude toward the JAP jokes. “I began to regard them as very anti-Semitic,” she said. And she then set out to do something about it.

Although women are barely mentioned in the annals of Jewish history, Rembrandt found that Jewish women had contributed greatly to the survival of the Jewish people. “Yet, in every generation,” notes Rembrandt, “there were women who distinguished themselves; women from varied backgrounds – married, single, rich or poor, religious or non-religious – who had a goal far greater than that of her own immediate needs and the conviction to achieve it.”


(L-R): Women’s Philanthropy Chair Bev Tannenbaum, Lion of Judah Endowment Chair Cindy Spahn, guest speaker Elaine Rembrandt, Lion of Judah Chair Joyce Tawil and event hostess Susan Levy (L-R): Women’s Philanthropy Chair Bev Tannenbaum, Lion of Judah Endowment Chair Cindy Spahn, guest speaker Elaine Rembrandt, Lion of Judah Chair Joyce Tawil and event hostess Susan Levy Rembrandt used her considerable talents to research, create and star in a one-woman touring show. She plays the role of a variety of smart, strong, influential Jewish women throughout Jewish history, expertly donning wigs, costumes and appropriate speech dialect to impersonate these role models. In doing so, she gets her point across: Jewish women aren’t princesses. Jewish women are on the front line – advocating for change, doing good works, speaking their minds.

Those in attendance at the most recent Tampa Lion of Judah Appreciation Dinner on Wednesday evening, May 11, were treated to the wide breaDth of Rembrandt’s talents. Her crowning glory: the impersonation of Israel’s fourth Prime Minister, Golda Meir.

“It was a most impressive program and because of the dramatization it is most lasting,” noted fellow Lion Lili Kaufman. “Her message was most clear: L’ dor v’dor (from generation to generation). We as Jewish women are interconnected both through the ages and now in the present. From Deborah, La Dona Gracia, Emma Lazarus, and Golda, to our leader- ship in our community, we strive to bring about change and make a difference in the lives of the Jewish community.”

The dramatization was not all the Lions were treated to. As Joyce Tawil, Lion of Judah chair, said, “it takes a village to pull off an event like this so splendidly.”

Fellow Lion Susan Levy hired the caterer, selected the menu, donated the wine and vodka and hosted the event at her poolside home overlooking a South Tampa canal. Tawil created and donated the flowers and favors and Bev Tannenbaum, Women’s Philanthropy chair, oversaw the many details involved in planning such an event.

Another highlight of the evening was the induction of three new Lions: Eileen Goldenberg, Gina Harris and Ellyne Myers. “As I was pinned and an induction prayer said by all, tears welled in my eyes at the joy and privilege I felt in joining these committed, like-minded women,” Harris reflected. “The Lions are a force of quiet strength and integrity in our Jewish Community. It was a proud and humbling moment.”

Tawil announced that nine new Lions have been welcomed into the fold this year. For more information, about Women’s Philanthropy, contact Alissa Fischel at (813) 769-4726.


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