The Jewish Museum of Florida announces the winners of the annual "Breaking the Glass Ceiling Awards" for six inspiring women who have been successful in fields generally dominated by men. The Award Reception and Ceremony features presentations made by the honorees describing the obstacles and inspirations they encountered on their individual journeys to success. The event will take place at the Museum on Thursday, March 24, 2011 beginning with a light dessert reception at 7:30 pm. The cost for Museum members is $15; non-members $20. For reservations, call 305-672-5044, ext. 3175 or by March 17.


2011 Glass Ceiling Honorees

Judy GenshaftJudy Genshaft was appointed President and CEO of the University of South Florida System in July 2000, a position achieved by few women, and even fewer Jewish women in Florida. With a $1.6 billion budget, the USF System has campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland, serving more than 47,000 students in more than 232 degree programs on the undergraduate, master's, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. Dr. Genshaft has created a synergy of academia, business and community which strengthens Tampa Bay.


During Dr. Genshaft's presidency, the USF System has been nationally recognized as a top-tier national research university. From 2000 - 2007, no university in the country grew its research funding as fast as USF.  It has established signature programs in diabetes, neuroscience and sustainable communities.


President Genshaft has also established herself as a leader for economic development, especially related to high-technology and bioscience. She has focused on partnering university research with corporate and entrepreneurial partners. Last October, Dr. Genshaft was the only university president from the U.S. to speak at the prestigious Global University Presidents Summit in Seoul, South Korea. Her presence there was an important step in the ongoing globalization of the USF System.


In addition, the board of the National Collegiate Athletic Association has recently elected Dr Genshaft to serve as its Chair, making her the first woman to hold this position.


Jacqueline Hodes is among the few female attorneys in prominent ranks in Jackie Hodesthe private equity and mergers and acquisitions arena. She is currently a partner at the firm of McDermott Will & Emery, and she was the youngest associate promoted to partner within her firm. On average, women represent only15% of the partners at the largest law firms in the country, but the number of women who are merger and acquisitions attorneys is only 7%, and those who run private equity transactions are almost non-existent. This is largely due to the challenges women face when they choose to practice in this space, which often leads to them opting out of this type of law, or sometimes even opting out of practicing law at all. Anecdotally, less than 2% of the decision makers at private equity firms are women. She has been recognized and featured in Chambers USA as one of the leading lawyers in her field. In addition, she was honored for her unwavering efforts in assisting Holocaust survivors seeking reparations from the German government, both locally and nationally. Jackie serves as a mentor to summer interns and new associates and she is active in numerous Jewish, professional and community organizations. She continues to strive to achieve more, accomplish more and pave the way for other young Jewish women to join her in succeeding.


Fleur SackDr. Fleur Sack's entire career has been a template for "breaking the glass ceiling," and she has ignored arbitrary, gender-defined limitations all along the way. She was the first female chair of a Baptist Hospital medical department, the first female physician appointed to the hospital's medical board, and, she was only the fourth female to serve as president of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians in its 55-year history. At the start of the AIDS epidemic, Dr. Sack was one of the first Miami physicians to treat HIV/AIDS patients, and recognizing the risk for females, she authored one of the first texts addressing HIV prevention for women. In 2001 she was the recipient of the prestigious Florida Family Physician of the Year Award. In 2003, Governor Jeb Bush appointed her to the Governor's Task Force on Access to Affordable Health Care. Dr. Sack is currently one of the few physicians at Miami Veteran's Association Healthcare System who offers female veterans a comprehensive women's health program. She is a lead physician in a nationwide pilot project developing a Patient-Aligned Care Team. Dr. Sack serves as a role model and mentor for female medical students and she also devotes time to the Jewish community, including serving as a board member of the Israeli Medical Association and a volunteer physician on March of the Living trips.


Samantha Steinberg left a lucrative career in advertising to serve her Samantha Steinbergcommunity as a Forensic Artist for the Miami Dade County Police Department. Samantha co-founded the Miami-Dade Police Department's Forensic Art Unit, and in 1999 she became the first person in the county to hold the title of "forensic artist." She is highly respected as one of the top forensic artists in the country, running one of the busiest units. She is often called upon by police departments and federal agencies nationwide and internationally to assist in identifications. Samantha has created a book, the Steinberg Facial Identification Catalog, which makes it easier for other forensic artists to accurately transform a victim's memory into a drawing. This book is used by police agencies around the country. She has been featured on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The Today Show and America's Most Wanted and in numerous magazines. She also produced a series of drawings for the hit television show "CSI." Samantha's work has impacted countless lives, not just by helping identify a criminal to give closure to a victim or their families, but also by helping place criminals behind bars so they cannot prey on others. She also helped form a foundation to provide resources and support for families of missing persons.


Anita StilesAnita Stiles earned her degree in Mortuary Science at New England Institute of Applied Arts and Science in Boston, MA. When she was young, her father worked in a Jewish Funeral Home in Detroit to earn his social security credits, and she used to go with him to work at night. When she was in high school she wanted to be a coroner, but her grades were not high enough, so her counselor suggested she become a funeral director. As a woman, she faced challenges all along the way, since her family did not own a funeral home. She began her career at a non-Jewish funeral home in Michigan, where the owner's mother was the first female licensed in the state of Michigan. She moved to Florida and worked her way up the ladder at various funeral homes. She has been the funeral director of Beth Israel Memorial Chapel in Boynton Beach since 2001. There are few Jewish women who are licensed funeral directors, and even fewer who are not married to the owners. Anita finds that most men are doubtful that women can handle the hours or the tasks of heavy lifting and cleaning.


Marcia ZerivitzMarcia Jo Zerivitz
, Founding Executive Director and Chief Curator, Jewish Museum of Florida has been "breaking the glass ceiling" in the Florida Jewish community for nearly 50 years. When the first National UJA Young Women's Leadership Cabinet was formed in 1974, Marcia was selected. In 1978, she was one of the earliest female presidents of a Jewish Federation (Greater Orlando).


Marcia traveled alone around Florida for eight years in the 1980s to retrieve the unknown Jewish History of Florida. She then led the evolution of the MOSAIC traveling exhibit project into the Jewish Museum of Florida in 1995, the first museum to document a state's ethnic history. Marcia Jo's primary goal has been to help ensure Jewish continuity by strengthening Jewish memories and Jewish identity. All of her energies have resulted in bringing pride to the entire Jewish community of Florida from the history that she discovered, documented, compiled and interprets.


In 2003, she led the effort to create Florida Jewish History Month, passed by the Florida Legislature and proclaimed for each January. This is a first in the nation. Marcia presents a lecture on the "History & Triumphs of Florida Jewish Women," which is the first compilation of this information, and is used as a curriculum for Florida Jewish History Month. In 2005, Marcia initiated the effort to create Jewish American Heritage Month, passed by the U.S. Congress and proclaimed for each May- another first. Marcia has served as a role model for other women in the Jewish communal and museum fields, where she continues to conduct workshops, write, lecture and mentor others: "Women in leadership positions - a daunting and achievable goal. Yes! You can!"


Sponsored by Isabel Bernfeld Anderson, Carolyn J. Kurtz, Joyce Pinn Fox and Cantor Rachelle Faith Nelson



The Jewish Museum of Florida on South Beach is housed in two adjacent lovingly restored historic buildings that were once synagogues for Miami Beach's first Jewish congregation. The focal point of the Museum is its core exhibit MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida 1763 to the Present and temporary history and art exhibits that change periodically. Current exhibits are Seeking Justice: The Leo Frank Case Revisited through August 14 and Auktion 392: Reclaiming the Galerie Stern, Dusseldorf through April 25. A Collections & Research Center, several films, Timeline Wall of Jewish history, Museum Store and Bessie's Bistro complete the experience for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the  Museum is located at 301 Washington Avenue, South Beach and is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Mondays and Civil and Jewish holidays. Admission: Adults/$6; Seniors/$5; Families/$12; Members and children under 6/Always Free; Saturdays/Free. For information:  305-672-5044 or