Chai Lighting: Lori Adelson

Lori Adelson has inspired many as she turned her journey in South Florida into her life’s mission. In her brief, experience-rich 6 years as a leader in the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Lori has been actively living her legacy by sharing her voice, mentoring aspiring leaders and unifying her philanthropic, professional and legal worlds for the strength of community.  

 Her Federation involvement has included work with JNet (formerly known as Professional Networks), Attorneys’ Division, Women’s Executive Circle, Women’s Philanthropy and her leadership roles on the Board of Directors.

This University of Michigan and Hofstra law alumni arrived to Broward 13 years ago with the knowledge that she was here to serve a bigger purpose – she just hadn’t yet identified what that might be. It was in 2013 that she embarked on her first mission to Israel and had the opportunity to experience Federation dollars at work. It was that very same trip that inspired her to do more and propelled her involvement in Federation leadership. 

Her very first contribution was given on this mission to Israel, which transformed her into a Lion of Judah, thus launching her story in the world of Jewish philanthropy. The self-proclaimed “recovering trial lawyer”, now legal consultant and mediator, committed to a life path that engages personal lives within our community and motivates professional giants to get involved in creating legacy through philanthropic giving. 

Her message inspires those who are looking to make a resounding impact within the Jewish community here in Broward County, Israel and around the world.  

It was Jill Ginsberg, and Franklin Zemel, her then law partner, who encouraged her involvement in the Jewish Federation of Broward County. Franklin’s wife, Karen Zemel, then introduced her to the women who would become her kindred social support, the professionals of the Women’s Executive Circle (WEC). It was one of the founders, Adrienne Frank, that brought her under her wing and showed her the ropes. Not long after getting involved, Frank asked Lori to Co-Chair WEC, and she wholeheartedly accepted the role because “they inspired me to do more.”

In June of 2015, a life-changing event took place in Lori’s life as her mother lost her life to lung cancer. When Federation professionals and lay leaders unexpectedly showed up to support her in her grief, that was when she knew: “This is my place; this is my family.” 

Impacted by the loss of her mother, she discovered a program that, with a little foresight and planning, could be utilized for protection down the line. Chai Care, which was in its early stages of infancy, honored her heart, values and heritage in a very tangible way. By naming the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation as the beneficiary of a planned gift, she became a member of the Legacy Society. 

Her advocacy to “stand-up and contribute” within the greater community is greatly received by many. Lori has inspired numerous community members to become committed donors and Corporate Partners of the Jewish Federation of Broward County. She shares in the vision that “we are on long-term paths to continue to contribute on a regular basis” and that strategic foresight will ensure the Federation’s ability to continue giving back to the community for many years from now, not just today, but tomorrow, and beyond.