Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

JFGO launches Pomegranate Society


Ronni Mendelsohn, Rhonda Forest and Lauren Bloom

The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando (JFGO) recently inaugurated a new "sisterhood" for women's philanthropy in Central Florida: the Pomegranate Society.

The Pomegranate Society recognizes women who give $1,800 to $4,999 to Federation's Annual Campaign. Women who give at that level receive a beautiful silver pin in the shape of a pomegranate. The silver beads in the opening of the pin can be replaced with ruby "seeds" each year the woman increases her gift until she reaches the highest giving level for women, the Lion of Judah ($5,000-plus).

Created in Allentown, Pa., in 1981, the Pomegranate Society is present in 125 Federations with about 7,000 members nationwide. The Pomegranate pin has become a symbol of a woman's commitment to the Jewish people, representing Federation's goal of bringing together like-minded donors to benefit Jewish causes.

JFGO Board Chairwoman Rhonda Forest spearheaded the effort to create a Pomegranate Society in Orlando, announcing plans for the new group during Choices 2016 in February. Volunteers Lauren Bloom and Ronni Mendelsohn co-chaired the initiative and recruited the inaugural "Pomegranates," culminating in the launch reception held March 15.

The Pomegranate Society pin, given to women who give $1,800 to $4,999 to Federation's Annual Campaign.

During the reception, new members of the Pomegranate Society were honored in a Pinning Ceremony. Women in attendance were then treated to a presentation by Rene Brent, who masterfully weaved together her passion for the community, Federation and Israel with the personal story of her journey to a new career as a hypnotherapist, author, speaker and teacher.

Forest commended the work that Bloom and Mendelsohn did to ensure a successful launch.

"It is heartening to see this kind of energy and genuine enthusiasm in our Federation's Women's Philanthropy Division," Forest said. "The generosity of the women in our community has long been the lifeblood of our mission in so many ways, and I'm so proud that we are now able to offer this second, meaningful sisterhood to join our wonderful Lions of Judah. These women care deeply about the Jewish future, at home and all over the world, and they demonstrate it every day through the way the live and the way they give."

Women interested in finding out more about the Pomegranate Society may contact JFGO Executive Director Olga Yorish at oyorish@jfgo.org or 407-645-5933, ext. 235.


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