Four to be Honored for Leasdership and Philanthropy as Hebrew College Celebrates Women


Newton Centre, MA —March 2016. Hebrew College will celebrate the impact of Jewish women’s leadership at its annual gala, Celebrate 2016: Honoring Women's Leadership and Philanthropy on March 22, 2016, at Gann Academy in Waltham.

In the story of the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim, the personal becomes political for the celebrated heroines in the Book of Esther. Queen Vashti refuses the king’s summons to be paraded about in front of his drunken court of men and is banished for her subversive act. Queen Esther evolves from a reluctant messenger into a savvy heroine who outmaneuvers the male leadership and ensures the survival of the Jewish People. Each woman reflects a different style of leadership, but in each case she steps out of her traditionally defined role and raises her voice against the status quo.

At Celebrate 2016: Honoring Women's Leadership and Philanthropy, Hebrew College will honor four outstanding women with the Esther Award for Leadership and Philanthropy for their exemplary leadership at Hebrew College, in the Greater Boston Jewish community, and beyond. 

If one or two women can make a difference through their actions, imagine the impact that many can have when working together toward a common cause. Committed to "repairing the world," Geraldine Acuña-Sunshine is a Founding Board Member of the Boston-based philanthropic foundation SheGives, an organization that has found tremendous success in providing women the opportunity to pool donations together to make a larger impact through grants to nonprofits. Through her work, Geraldine has clearly demonstrated her passion for all issues involving global Jewry, next generation/young adult programs, and using Jewish learning as a pathway to leading a more meaningful life. 

Recently retired from her career as an Assurance Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she worked with clients in privately-held and private equity backed companies as well as several prominent not-for-profit institutions in the Greater Boston area, Sari Anne Rapkin currently serves on several boards including Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), Jewish Community 


Hebrew College, founded in 1921, promotes excellence in Jewish learning and leadership within a pluralistic environment of open inquiry, intellectual rigor, personal engagement and spiritual creativity. Its programs include a Rabbinical School, a School of Jewish Music, a School of Jewish Education, and graduate degrees and courses in Jewish studies; community education for adult learners; and a supplemental Hebrew high school and middle school. For more information, visit