The National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland’s fall opening luncheon meeting was highlighted by a presentation from Academy Award-winning actress and activist Geena Davis with more than 600 in attendance.

A Powerful Voice of Gender Equality, Ms. Davis posed for photos during a VIP reception of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and spoke to 200 high school students about gender equality in the media. This was followed by a luncheon and presentation by Ms. Davis, including the NCJW/CLE’s presentation of the first-ever Powerful Voice Award to her.

The event was presented at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven. The program featured a welcome by Elaine Geller, president of NCJW, followed by comments from Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women. Ms. Davis provided the keynote address, expounding on the topic of her Institute, gender equality in all aspects of filmmaking. She also advocates strength in role models for girls. The motto of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is “If she can see it, she can be it.”

NCJW began the tradition of including high school students in this event beginning last year when Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman spoke of dedication and perseverance, as well as shared excerpts from her book “Fierce.”

Following the keynote, Dr. Lisa Damour, New York Times best-selling author and executive director of Laurel School’ Center for Research on Girls, did a question and answer session. The Powerful Voice Award and closing remarks were given by Cindy Glazer, vice-president of NCJW.

Event co-chairs were Debbie Kalette, Allison Levine and Marci Moses.

The NCJW is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action, inspired by Jewish values. NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY SUE REID

Kate Stuart and Toni Scherzer

Dana Darvin and Geena Davis

Judy Eigenfeld and Myrna Arlen Bloch

Allison Levine, Cathy Stamler, Amy Garnitz, Elaine Geller and Cindy Glazer

JoAnn Salon and Laurie David-Guenther

Margaret Singerman, Cindy Goodman and Wendy Kampinski