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Women  of  Distinction  2010
Renee J. GreeneLisa LachsMarcia Sweedler, Ph.D.Ethelind Wiener
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Honoree Introductions

Renee J. Greene
Intro by Dee Sacks

I still remember, about four years ago, when Renee hobbled into the old, smoky TAO office wearing a boot cast on her foot. She came to apply for the position of administrator and was interviewed by Fred Galland, Lisa Lachs, Lee Sacks, Myrna Wolf and Rabbi Marc. You know the outcome! What a great choice they made!!! CLAP CLAP

Renee, your passions for Judaism comes alive in all you do for your family and especially for all of us at TAO. It's difficult to imagine life in the TAO office without your knowledge, your experience and your tireless efforts. Sometimes we think the job will never get done, but it always does, and if I say so myself, it gets done very well. Spending several hours each day with you has been an enlightening experience - one I will always cherish.

Today we Honor YOU, RENEE J. GREENE. Your parents raised not a Princess, but a Queen. YOU are the very best - to this I can attest. TAO welcomes your wisdom, kindness and zest.

I am very proud to call you MY DEAR FRIEND! YOU are a true Woman of Distinction.

Read Renee's bio in Keepsake

Lisa Lachs
Intro by Ana Cedeno

As the Sufi poet said, "You may make a jewelry flower out of gold, rubies and emeralds, but it will not have fragrance... for it is not real."

Lisa is above all real- authentic. It is her genuine approach to life that makes her so special. As a friend, community volunteer, mentor to a young child, organizer, she is authentically involved 100%. Her ability to help, to listen, to serve, to love, is real.

It is this real heart and soul that Lisa excels as: A magnificent mother, Wondrous friend, Supporter, Champion of community needs, Problem solver, Compassionate soul.

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy... They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Thank you for sharing yourself with this community

Lisa, You are a woman of character, courage, you bring joy, light and originality to all of us. Congratulations. We honor you! WE LOVE YOU.

Read Lisa's bio in Keepsake

Marcia Sweedler, Ph.D.
Intro by Myrna Wolf

Some people gain recognition by speaking loudly and wielding a big stick. Others, like my friend Marcia, gain recognition by speaking so Fort Lauderdale and wielding an olive branch. Anyone who has ever had a conversation with Marcia quickly realizes that someone with a great deal of compassion and intellect is in their presence.

I have the honor of being with her in two different arenas. In our Women's Spirituality Group, Marcia's deep sharings reveal a woman of integrity, sincerity, depth and understanding of how we all fit so beautifully into our world. In our book club, her words always reveal her sharp mind, her appreciation of others and how we connect with our own history.

Marcia's words are always chosen carefully and with love. Her words and her actions are a perfect indication of who she is. And why she so richly deserves this recognition today. It gives me so much pleasure to present you with this token of our appreciation of what you mean to the TAO community.

Read Marcia's bio in Keepsake

Ethelind Wiener
Intro by Dr. Lisa J. Sirota Weiner

Ethelind Altmas Wiener grew up in Seagate, New York. She learned about the importance of supporting the synagogue from her mother, who was the President of the Ladies' Auxiliary, and from her father, who served as Treasurer of B'nai K'Neses for many years. According to Ethelind, she learned the nuances of fundraising from sitting under their dining room table. Her father also taught Ethelind the importance of volunteering in the greater community, and during WWII, they spent time passing our ration cards, rolling bandages, and collecting money for the USO. Ethelind's family gave generously to Israel Bonds, UJA and B'nai Zion... a legacy of philanthropy that was not wasted on their eldest daughter.

Ethelind was married twice and raised four children. Through those years, Ethelind was very involved with the community: President of the Junior League, on the board of the Day School, involved with the temple, fundraising for everyone, volunteering for a therapist.... But when Ethelind's divorce lawyer told her she had to go to work, she walked right out the door! Work?!? Luckily, Ethelind soon found out she could get paid as a fundraiser, a skill she had been developing since her childhood. And did she ever do it well.

Through her 20-ish years with the ADL, first in New York and then in Florida, Ethelind raised millions of dollars and worked tirelessly, not just for her clients, but for her peers, taking a leadership role in the National Society of Fund-Raising Executives, representing hundreds of people, negotiating contracts and securing benefits for her co-workers.

After retiring in 2002, Ethelind devotes her time to her passions: travel, photography, family, learning, and of course Rene, her love for the last 30 years.

When Ethelind was a young girl running around temple, chasing the boys, there was no "connection." As a community member and strong supporter of TAO, Ethelind now connects on a far more spiritual level. Through the years, Ethelind has generously shared her talents with TAO, and she personally initiated Rabbi Marc into the art of fundraising. At TAO, Ethelind has been free to move forward in her faith and study with new friends. I am so proud to be one of them.

Ethelind is a woman of tremendous courage, grace and dignity. Her integrity is reflected in everything she does. She was a devoted daughter and diligently cared for her mom until her death at age 98. Her own daughter Ellen says, "She has left me the legacy that in life we must learn to 'move on' and not get stuck in the problems we face but to look forward to the next moment, which may hold the key to our happiness." In my eyes, Ethelind's personal legacy is strength at any stage of life. Ethelind's granddaughter Sydney wrote to her, "You have taught me so much about the world, and you never bore me." That says it all. Ethelind, you are a beautiful woman, a treasured friend, and it is my great pleasure to present you with the Woman of Distinction award.

Read Ethelind's bio in Keepsake

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