Rita Semel to receive award for leadership

The Judith Chapman Memorial Women's Leadership Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund was established in 1997, initially with memorial gifts in memory of Judith Chapman.

Chapman was past president of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation's Women's Alliance and a former Jewish Bulletin board member.

Semel, a San Francisco resident, is executive vice chair of the S.F. Interfaith Council, which she helped organize in 1980 to provide winter emergency shelters for the homeless. She also is a co-chair of the San Francisco Homelessness Board.

She formerly served as chair of the S.F. Intergroup Clearinghouse, which seeks to prevent violence against religious, ethnic and gay-lesbian groups.

She was board chair of United Religious Initiative and board chair of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

She was president of the S.F. Family Service Agency and vice president of the S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children's Services. She served on the boards of San Francisco Resource and Leadership Council, United Way of the Bay Area; Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Francisco; Family Services America; and Friends of S.F. Human Rights Commission.

Last year, Assemblywoman Carole Migden (D-S.F.) honored Semel as the California Assembly's Woman of the Year from the 13th Assembly District.

Semel won the United Way's Mortimer Fleishhacker Jr. Volunteer Award for serving 30 years with the United Way.

Four years ago the National Council of Jewish Women gave Semel its Hannah G. Solomon Award for her leadership contributions.

In 1990 she was chosen to receive the Rosa Parks Award of Women in Community Service Inc., a coalition whose sponsors included the National Council of Jewish Women. The award was initiated in 1970 to recognize the action of a Montgomery, Ala., woman who refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus.

Semel was a delegate to the fourth U.N. World Conference on Women in China in 1995. She attend the 1980 and 1985 conferences in Copenhagen and Nairobi.

Esther Jungreis, a renowned New York matchmaker and educator, will speak at the Power of One dinner, which is open to individuals who have made a $365 gift to the JCF 2000 campaign and to first-time attendees who have made a minimum gift of $180. For information, call Lisa J. Brown, (415) 512-6222.