Honoring an Extraordinary Leader

Every year, the Federation honors a female role model in our community with the prestigious Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding Jewish volunteer leaders who go beyond just dedicating their time, energy and resources. These women are mentors, modeling and motivating others to express their Jewish values by supporting the overall well-being of their Jewish community.

The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund is proud to announce that Lynn Sedway is the recipient of the 2013 Judith Chapman Memorial Women's Leadership Award.

Lynn was born in Washington, D.C. and spent much of her youth on Chicago’s North Shore.  As a Bay Area resident for 50 years, she has utilized her skills as a highly notable consultant in urban and real estate economics to enhance her communal work.  An active adult learner, Lynn took it upon herself to become a bat mitzvah, and followed up with an adult confirmation.

Committed to diverse Jewish causes, Lynn has stepped up to daunting challenges facing local Jewish organizations and synagogues, serving as a young woman on the boards of the San Francisco, Marin, and United Jewish Community Centers, Jewish Vocational Services, New Israel Fund, and Congregation Sherith Israel. As president of Sherith Israel she led an 8 million dollar campaign to retrofit the synagogue.

“Lynn’s devoted work in raising over 8 million dollars to rehab Sherith Israel shows her dedication and ability to lead in the Jewish community. It also demonstrates her values regarding the key role of synagogues in Jewish life.” – Mimi Gauss, friend

This commitment to preserving and enhancing one of San Francisco’s major Reform synagogues led naturally to an increasing involvement in the Jewish Community Federation.  Lynn embraced the Synagogue Federation Partnership¸ which she now chairs.  The initiation and support of this program by the JCF has brought synagogue leaders in the Bay Area and JCF closer together.  In addition, Lynn serves on the Capital Planning Committee of the Federation, the Board of Governors and the Newhouse Fund.  Lynn also serves on the American Jewish Committee board and is involved with real estate issues at the Jewish Home.

Lynn’s reach expands beyond the Jewish community, as evidenced through her work with organizations like BRIDGE Housing and the International Women’s Forum.

Federation is one of many who recognize Lynn for her service to our local community.  She was named by San Francisco Business Times among its “100 Most Influential Women of the Bay Area” for five years in a row, and received the Women of Achievement Award by Legal Momentum.  She has also received the Silver Spur Award from SPUR, was named to Who’s Who in America, selected as Lambda Alpha’s Member of the Year, and received a junior leadership award from the San Francisco Jewish Community Center.

 “It is difficult to fathom where Lynn finds the hours to successfully cultivate members and supporters of organizations she cares about, attend and lead meetings, study, and demonstrate acts of loving kindness and mentorship each day!” – Barbara Rosenberg, 2007 Judith Chapman Award recipient

Lynn’s tireless work to better our Jewish community is a testament to her passion and sacrifice, distinguishing her as an exceptional leader. She and her husband Paul Sedway, an urban planner, have three children and three grandchildren. Congratulations Lynn on receiving this well-deserved recognition!

Lynn Sedway will receive the Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award at the Power of One on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.



February 27, 2013


The Federation