JVS Woman To Woman Conference draws over 500 attendees to Skirball in support of agency programs serving women in crisis and transition
Los Angeles, CA (Nov. 17, 2016) —Over 500 women filled the ballroom at the Skirball Cultural Center for the 4th Annual Woman to Woman Conference on Thursday, November 17. The popular networking event featured keynote speakers Margareta Pisarska, MD, an OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist leading cutting edge research on fertility at Cedars Sinai, and award-winning documentary filmmaker Nancy Spielberg. Sponsored by the JVS Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) the conference supports a number of JVS programs that serve women in career crisis or transition, with a special focus on its signature program, WoMentoring.
The WLN is a donor support group that works to sustain and enhance JVS' programs serving women in crisis or transition, and to make these programs available to a diverse community of women in need – from the long-term unemployed to people with disabilities; women veterans transitioning to the civilian workplace, single parents and women who have come through the foster care system.
Barbara Leanse, Director of Volunteer Services and Cedars and Nancy Paul, both members of the WLN Leadership Council, chaired the event. Award-winning actress, singer and dancer Nikki Crawford was event host.
Nancy Spielberg shared how she discovered a passion to make documentary films in her fifties and overcame her self-doubt and fear of failure while making “Above and Beyond,” her first film which tells the story of Jewish-American WWII veterans who took unimaginable risks to fly for Israel in the War of Independence.
“I am still learning lessons every single day,” she said. “One of the most important is knowing that collaboration, support, and respect are the salt in every successful recipe whether you’re running a business or making a movie. There’s never really an easy road. Through the decades, there are struggles and they change with the chapters in your life. You have to learn how to roll with it; how to forge ahead. Don’t let fear stop you.”
In an insightful talk that covered the science and politics of fertility and reproductive medicine, Dr. Pisarska lauded her parents (both concentration camp survivors) and her early mentors who gave her strength and direction in navigating her career.
“We as women need to be active in issues involving reproductive health,” she said, citing that research focused on women and babies trails as the most poorly funded.
Attendees began the day with a breakfast networking reception and were treated to accessorizing tips from celebrity fashion critic, author and red carpet guru Steven Cojocaru, also known as Cojo. Diagnosed mid career with a devastating disease that lead to a kidney transplant, Cojocaru is the author of an inspiring memoir, “Glamour, Interrupted.”