Women ’s Philanthropy The Lion Behind the Pin

By Ally Grubman, Women’s Philanthropy Intern 

The first in a series of articles highlighting Federation’s local Women’s Philanthropy donors.

donors. Gold lion-shaped pins adorned with radiant diamonds and colorful stones are emblematic of the international symbol of philanthropy, the Lion of Judah.

Behind every philanthropist is a story, a legacy, and a future. The Lion Behind the Pin is a newly created program to ensure leaving a legacy to a future philanthropist and the community.  

Over the last few weeks, I have spoken with several local donors who graciously shared the story of their personal Jewish journeys: Who they are, their philanthropic motivations, and what wearing the Lion of Judah pin means to them. 

Initially drawn to the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven in pursuit of like-minded individuals, these women uncovered a profound sense of community and purpose within the Jewish Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy. Their commitment deepened through the donation of their time, energy, and efforts, particularly in the realm of philanthropic aid. While the principles of tzedakah and tikkun olam are inherent in Jewish tradition, these women discovered a sense of togetherness and a collective strength in working towards a greater cause. This journey culminated in the prestigious and ornate Lion of Judah pins they proudly wear.

However, while the pins represent their philanthropic contributions and achieve - ments over the years, the pin holds a more significant meaning for each individual woman. It represents their unwavering commitment to the Jewish community and the broader Jewish world. To one woman, it embodies a “shared sense of togetherness and unity within the Jewish community,” empowering the growing community of 60 local Lions of Judah in Greater New Haven to continue on their individual philanthropic journeys.

The significance of imparting the values represented by their pins becomes even more profound when entrusting their legacy to the women of their family, ensuring the continuation of this meaningful commitment.  

The ability to both pass down the Lion of Judah pin and the values that each of these pins hold encapsulates the preservation of cherished rituals and traditions. This not only kindles a dedication to philanthropy but also imparts a sense of responsibility to contribute actively to the community. These women view this as a unique opportunity, recognizing the imperative to maximize their efforts in supporting the community and inspiring others to do likewise.

It is through these conversations that I have come to understand that the Lion of Judah is not just a pin that Jewish women in our community wear proudly; it is a powerful symbol of shared values, collective strength, and an enduring commitment to making a difference in the world.

For more info, contact Robyn Teplitzky at rteplitzky@jewishnewhaven.org



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