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Paula Abdul Comes To Sarasota To Talk About Her Fighting Spirit, Overcoming Obstacles and Her Jewish Roots at JFED’s Women’s Day 10th Anniversary Luncheon

In December, an event many local women look forward to all year will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s Women’s Day event has been an opportunity for women to enjoy gathering together around a common theme and to be entertained, enlightened, moved to tears, and inspired by a high-caliber speaker. This year’s event featuring award-winning singer, dancer, choreographer, and TV personality Paula Abdul, will be no exception. Women’s Day (jfedsrq.org/941.371.4546) will be held on December 7 from 12 to 2 p.m. at Michael’s on East.

Past speakers have made it a memorable 10 years for Women’s Day and have included such luminaries as last year’s speaker Marlee Matlin, the only deaf actor to receive an Academy Award, national television news reporter and anchor Campbell Brown, multitalented Steve Gutenberg, who is a producer, director, actor and author, the Daytime Emmy Award-winning Judy Gold, and actress Camryn Manheim, who spoke movingly about “Mitzvah Therapy: Living Life Generously.”

This year, Abdul will share stories about her connection to her Jewish roots and aligning oneself with passion. Having beauty and talent doesn’t mean that life also cannot have challenges, and she also will speak about overcoming obstacles. Abdul is a two-time Emmy Award winner, Grammy Award winner, American Music Award winner, and multi-platinum recording artist who has hit 60 million in sales worldwide. Starting with her first job as a Lakers cheerleader, Abdul will reveal behind-the-scenes anecdotes of her rise to stardom as a major pop music sensation, her stint as a reality TV star, and her time on American Idol. She also shares powerful lessons on aligning yourself with passion, overcoming fear, bouncing back from rejection, and living in the moment.

Previously, Abdul has talked about how she remains connected with Jewish tradition as the daughter of a Syrian Jewish father and Canadian Jewish mother and the profound impact of her first trip to Israel several years ago, according to chabad.org, a website whose purpose includes uniting Jews worldwide and fostering a deeper connection to Judaism’s rituals and faith. She also has spoken about the fighting spirit she developed overcoming physical handicaps as a child, which included overcoming severe lung issues as a result of being born at less than 3 pounds and wearing leg braces growing up, according to chabad.org.

Barbara and Sepi Ackerman are co-chairs for this year’s Women’s Day. “The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee believes passionately in strengthening Jewish identity within the Sarasota-Manatee community. Paula Abdul was chosen as our guest speaker for Women’s Day because she is the embodiment of a Jewish woman who has shown strength and courage in her personal journey,” says Sepi Ackerman. “She has a fascinating history and has changed pop culture in ways we know, and don’t know about, and has the power to inspire others in where her journey has taken her. Barbara and I are thrilled to have her in Sarasota to share her history and connection with Judaism.” Tickets are $80 plus a minimum gift of $100 to the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s development efforts.

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