Joyce Strelitz wins prestigious award at International Women’s Conference

by | Oct 5, 2016 | Other News

Joyce Strelitz, a longtime Tidewater leader and philanthropist, was honored by The Jewish Federations of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy with its prestigious Kipnis- Wilson/Friedland Award on Tuesday, September 13. The award was announced at the 2016 International Lion of Judah Conference, held in Washington D.C.

The Lions of Judah are women donors of all ages, united in their devotion to work as global advocates who care deeply about the Jewish future.

The internationally recognized Kipnis-Wilson/ Friedland Award is given to Lions of Judah who have demonstrated the highest ideals of leadership and involvement. Winners are chosen by their communities as “women of valor” with a lifetime of commitment to the Jewish world.

Joyce Strelitz’ dedication to strengthening and providing resources to the Tidewater and worldwide Jewish communities spans 50 years. From the very beginning of her involvement and continuing today, she has improved the lives of an infinite number of people.

Strelitz was among the first members of the UJFT Women’s Campaign division in the late 1960s, where her influence and presence is still valued. She was considered a fearless groundbreaker in 1982, leading a mission of Jewish and Christian women to Israel, and again in 1988, when she led a women’s mission to Russia and visited “Refuseniks” before bringing news to their families in Israel.

Her effective leadership style, participation in community events, and positions on the boards of a variety of organizations serve as a model for emerging and established leaders.

With her sister-in-law Marcia Hofheimer, Strelitz heads up Tidewater’s biennial Tom Hofheimer Young Leadership Mission, named for her late brother. The trip takes 20 young adults from Tidewater to Israel as the culmination of a two-year leadership program. Many who have attended the mission are current Jewish community leaders.

An advocate of inclusivity and building bridges between faith groups, Strelitz has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors outside the Jewish community, forging strong, lasting ties between the Federation and leading local Christian organizations.

Strelitz is one of 75 women to receive this year’s award. A group of Tidewater Lion of Judah leaders were at the conference to offer immediate congratulations, along with more than 1,300 other Jewish women philanthropists from the United States, Canada, Israel, Mexico and the United Kingdom.