by Sherrie Saag, Communications Specialist, Jewish Federation of Omaha
Nancy Noddle, philanthropist, dedicated volunteer and an active board and committee member in our community, received the Jewish Federation of North America’s Kipnis-Wilson Friedland award Sept. 12 in New York City.
The recognition took place during the International Lion of Judah Conference, where National Women’s Philanthropy celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Lion of Judah. (note: Lions of Judah are a special group of dedicated women giving $5000 or more in their own names to their local Federations.)
Nancy is one of a distinguished group of women worldwide recognized for making a significant impact in their communities and motivating other women to take an active role in philanthropy and Jewish community involvement.
Accompanying Nancy to New York City were close friends and fellow Lions: Maxine Kirshenbaum, Sharee Newman and Jan Schneiderman.
Maxine said of her friend of more than 45 years, “Nancy is a superb choice. With all that she does and as deeply as she cares for our community, she is very deserving of this special designation. I celebrated at her wedding and I was thrilled to celebrate with her now.”
In Omaha, previous Kipnis-Wilson Friedland award winners include Zoe Riekes, Anne Shackman, Maxine Kirshenbaum and the late Dorothy Riekes.
The biennial event gathers hundreds (in this year’s case, a record breaking 1,700) top Jewish women philanthropists from North America, Israel, and around the world to motivate, inspire and show their support for the Jewish Federation of North America’s Annual Campaign.
Sharon Kirshenbaum, Jewish Federation of Omaha (JFO) Campaign Director said of Nancy’s work, “she exemplifies the spirit of the Lion of Judah in every leadership role she takes on.” Nancy has chaired major gifts dinners with well-known speaker — Tom Friedman and Abba Eban. She has chaired the JFO’s Lion of Judah division as well as the Women’s Campaign.
Currently, she serves on the Federation’s Campaign Advisory Committee and the board of Jewish Social Services. Nancy is also a trustee for the University of Nebraska Foundation.
Nancy chaired the interiors committee for the renovation of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home and chaired committees for the 100th anniversary celebration of Jewish Family Service. “Nancy is a quiet person, but very thoughtful and insightful. She is loyal and hardworking and, in turn, garners the respect of fellow committee and board members with whom she works,” said Kirshenbaum.
There are close to 70 Lions of Judah in Omaha and their gifts to the 2012 Annual Campaign represented 21 percent of Campaign dollars. There are more than 17,000 Lions of Judah worldwide.
The three day 2012 International Lion of Judah Conference (ILOJC) featured speakers including Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey; Nancy Lublin, founder of Dress for Success; Larry A. Silverstein, President and CEO of Silverstein Properties, developer of the World Trade Center site and Dr. Einat Wilf, a member of Israel’s Knesset and chair of the Independence faction.
The award was established in 2004 in recognition of Norma Kipnis Wilson and Toby Friedland, the founders of the Lion of Judah pin. It recognizes extraordinary women who have set a high standard of philanthropy and volunteerism in their communities.
Gail Norry, chair of Federation’s National Women’s Philanthropy, shared her excitement about the history-making event, “It was incredible to stand in a room with 1,700 women who are among the most caring, committed Jewish leaders in the world,” she said, “and feel the excitement and inspiration, knowing that together we can change the world.”
Nancy and her late husband, Harlan, have two children and three grandchildren.