On April 19th the first annual Woman of Valor Awards was launched with a flower-filled High Tea at the Villa in Woodland Hills. Approximately, 100 Jewish women from all around the city attended the meaningful event. The first ever honoree was Lisa Kodimer. Kodimer had owned a boutique for 17 years, but when she sold it, she found her real purpose…giving back! A recipient of the 2011 JWRP and JWI scholarship, she has gone on to create multiple chesed programs.
Champions is one of the organizations that was inspired by her son’s Bar Mitzvah Project, which was to create a special needs baseball program. After many years of hard work, the program has now blossomed and includes over 40 special needs kids, over 80 volunteers and involves numerous families within the community. Kodimer’s mentoring has created a ripple effect and has changed the lives of many young people.
Another organization that Kodimer created is called Cupcakes and Wishes. This group raises funds and delivers birthday fun to patients at Children’s Hospital, all funded by the sale of cupcakes. Kodimer oversees the program which has now raised $1,500 that was donated this month to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Kodimer explained that, “With One Cupcake at a Time we can make a difference in the life of a hospitalized child.”
Finally there is Good Deeds in Motion, another local based company that creates and executes Mitzvah projects for teens. “We custom create each project based on the interests and passion that our clients have. We believe that if you are passionate and believe in something, you are more likely to continue doing it long-term, rather than one time out of obligation. We tie in an idea to an interest, for example: Jake’s Dream Team came from an idea of a young boy who loves baseball who wanted to make a difference. Good Deeds in Motion created an opportunity for Jake to raise funds through his passion, baseball. Jake raised over $12,500 for an eight year old autistic boy who desperately needs a therapy dog.”
Kodimer inspires so many people who are lucky enough to meet her. Her organizations are creative and successful and have established her as an icon of community support. Lisa is a proud member of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, JWRP and the local Jewish Women’s Institute, JWI and continues to help these organizations grow. She also inspires Valley moms to apply for their Momentum® journey to Israel.
Raised in Woodland Hills, Kodimer has lived in the Valley most of her life. She married the boy-next-door who she knew from the age of two, and is now the proud parent of two beautiful boys who keep her husband and herself very busy. She graduated from Cal State Northridge with a degree in Child Development with an emphasis in Special Education.
The Woman of Valor Awards in a non-profit organization founded in 2015 by Sheri Levy and Lauren Dromy to recognize and celebrate outstanding Los Angeles women who tirelessly give of themselves through charitable efforts for the greater good of our communities. Levy explained that, “Our goal is to celebrate in gratitude the efforts of these exceptional women in hopes of inspiring other women to follow”. The event fully hosts the recipient and her family and is open to approximately 100 community guests to attend. The Woman of Valor Awards is purposely unaffiliated with any specific charity so that the recipient is not “working” the event but instead is being truly spoiled and honored.
The Woman of Valor Awards has been established as an annual event and beginning in August 2015 the Awards team will investigate the possibilities for the 2016 award; please send in your suggestions and look to the Jewish Home in August for full details on how you may nominate the next possible Woman of Valor in your community.
For more information about the Women of Valor Awards, contact Sheri Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org. To reach Lisa Kodimer visit the Good Deeds in Motion site, www.gooddeedsinmotion.com
Photography by Woodland Hills based Lifestyle photographer Deborah Kolb www.DeborahKolb.net