Pearls of Wisdom From Seven Inspiring Women  

At the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, we believe women are changing the world and our community. We believe in lifting each other up. And we believe that in a world of likes and shares, getting together and celebrating each other in person is crucial.

The third annual Women of Intention Event is coming up Thursday, June 14, at Rush Creek Golf Course — join us to honor seven local women making our community a better place (eight if you include speaker and 2018 Woman of Intention Jana Shortal!)

We love learning from women we admire—that’s why we invite speakers like Jana to share their stories. The women receiving the Women of Intention awards this year have struggled with chronic disease while advocating for themselves and others, changed the way mainstream institutions include people with special needs, and dedicated their lives to causes they’re passionate about. These women have so much to teach us, and we’re all ears.

“The Women of Intention Event provides a chance for women whose work may go unnoticed to be honored for the important work they’ve done to better our community. It inspires me to do better,” says Rita Kelner, who chairs the event along with Barb Harris. The two were instrumental in starting the Pearl Society in 2014.

We asked our 2018 Women of Intention for a pearl of wisdom, and their answers made us admire them even more. Kol hakavod, ladies!

Sharon Fischman, Trailblazer

The darkest and worst times are actually a gift. They have helped me see things and do things that have brought me peace and joy.


Shelly Christensen, World Saver

Love yourself enough to challenge yourself. If there’s something you think you want to do with your life, take the steps to get there. And if you don’t know what that thing is, be open to the signs that will point you to it.


Lori Fritz, Flame Keeper

“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.” — John Schaar


Rhona Shwaid, Woman of Promise

Don’t wait for an invitation! If you see something that looks interesting to you, don’t be shy to ask about it and let people know that you want to be involved. More often than not, others will welcome your offer to participate (especially if you are volunteering!) and just may not have known to ask you. Several of my most meaningful experiences have come from opportunities that I created for myself by asking instead of waiting for them to come to me.


Giti Fredman, Voice of Inspiration

God doesn’t create junk. Our souls are elevated and intrinsically valuable. Never forget your worth



Carol Shapiro, Community Champion

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

— Anonymous


Linda Bialick, Community Champion

Find your passion, stay true to your convictions, and live life to its fullest.