Claire Ellman Honored at the Lion of Judah Conference

We send our most heartfelt congratulations to Past Federation Board Chair, Claire Ellman, who was honored with the prestigious Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award at this year’s International Lion of Judah Conference. Claire’s work in San Diego, in Israel, and around the world has impacted countless lives and she serves as a model for which every person should strive to emulate. We consider ourselves honored to have her in our San Diego Jewish Community.

Claire Ellman of San Diego was honored on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 by The Jewish Federations of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy with its prestigious Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award. The award was announced at the 2016 International Lion of Judah Conference (ILOJC), held Sept. 11-13 in Washington, D.C.

More than 1,300 Jewish women from the United States, Canada, Israel, Mexico and the United Kingdom are attending ILOJC to discuss the influence of the individual and the collective. The Lions of Judah are philanthropic Jewish women of all ages, uniting as an international sisterhood of global advocates who care deeply about the Jewish future.

The prestigious, 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.

Claire Ellman was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and as a young adult became involved in the Jewish community. After moving to the United States in 1987, Claire became very active in local and national Jewish causes. Today, her leadership extends from San Diego to around the world!

Claire served on the board of Jewish Federation of San Diego County and was Board Chair from 2011 until 2013. Claire serves on the Israel Steering Committee and is very involved with Women’s Philanthropy.

Claire has served on the national boards of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) United Jewish Communities (UJC), and the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA). Passionate about Jewish Day Schools, Claire served as President of the San Diego Jewish Academy and Board member of UCSD Hillel. Claire was also a board member of the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF), the Jewish Women’s Foundation, and President of the Agency for Jewish Education.

Internationally, Claire is Co-Founder and current advisor of ChaiSouthAfrica, an international fund for Jewish institutions in Southern Africa. She is a Wexner Fellow graduate. 

Claire is married to David Ellman. They have three children and a growing number of grandchildren.

The award was established in recognition of Norma Kipnis-Wilson and Toby Friedland (z”l), co-founders of The Jewish Federation of North America’s Lion of Judah program. Each winner is recognized at the biennial ILOJC. Claire Ellman is one of 75 women to receive this year’s award.

Since 2004, the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award has honored extraordinary women who have set a high standard for philanthropy and volunteerism.


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