Heather Adelson

Women's Philanthropy President, 2013-2015

Women's Philanthropy Campaign Chair, 2012-2013

Being asked to be President of Women’s Philanthropy was a gift that I initially declined, thinking the timing wasn’t right for me, that I could never follow in the past presidents’ footsteps and do the job justice. This was a turning point for Women’s Philanthropy as we had just rebranded. So much good had been done-what could I add?
People saw me differently then I saw myself. Sometimes in life we have to push ourselves to do things. Be it for our family, friends or our community. I decided that I didn’t want to lose all the good we had done, and that I wanted all the women to feel the energy and excitement I felt by walking through the doors of Federation CJA. I pushed myself to forge ahead with the thought that I always have had and will have a great, dynamic group of women to work alongside me. Life is filled with opportunity – Grab it!

Being involved with the Combined Jewish Appeal has opened the door to travelling to Moscow, Israel, Ethiopia, Odessa, Poland, Morocco, Chicago, New York, Washington and Ottawa. The people with whom I travelled with and who I met have changed my life. Each Mission, conference or fly-in has had a different impact on me. Moscow was my first where I was asked to choose 4 young adults to accompany me. The decision was made with thought and deliberation; I selected two who were adamantly involved and a couple who had never walked through the doors of our Federation. The sense of community and doing for one another was overwhelming. The profound impact was apparent when one of these young adults –who was new to Federation, but not to community— became the President of our Federation: David Cape. The other, Adam Goldberg, is still involved today, making a difference.

To all the women: take a chance on yourself and your abilities. You can move mountains!! Sometimes it takes seconds to push yourself into an uncomfortable position. But in your mind, you should know that there are so many of us here to catch you, help you and make a difference. Together we can accomplish whatever we desire. The power of women is like no other. One good deed may not seem like a lot to you but to the people you have affected – you will never know how grateful they are. Volunteer and get involved with amazing, dynamic, giving women. My life has changed and I am so grateful for the gift of being able to help others.

With spirit, fun and excitement, I want to ensure that the next generation has a community here – safe strong and continuously helping others. L’Dor Va’Dor, to my children, my friends and those who I may never meet. Let them know that our community strives for a better tomorrow. To not only help ourselves but to help others. Yesterday has passed, tomorrow is uncertain but today is a present – let’s use this gift to make a difference together!

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