New Directions for Women Luncheon in Boca Raton Raises Record-Breaking $150,000 for Nation’s #1 Respiratory Hospital

Original ‘Real Housewives of New York City’ Cast Member Jill Zarin Spoke about Caring for Love Ones

MARCH 30, 2018

Boca Raton, FL — Nearly 350 people came together to increase awareness for women’s heart and lung health and raise $150,000 for National Jewish Health at the New Directions for Women Luncheon on March 16, 2018 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. 

The event broke previous luncheon records for attendance and fundraising, thanks in part to the presence of guest speaker Jill Zarin, original cast member of the Bravo reality TV hit, "The Real Housewives of New York City."

The New Directions for Women Luncheon Committee volunteered time and resources to put together a successful event. Pictured in the front row, left to right, Co-Chair Susan W. Goldstein, guest speaker Jill Zarin and Co-Chair Shirley Stern.

Zarin, who has a seasonal home in Boca Raton, offered tips on caring for a loved one, which were based on her experiences with her husband, Bobby Zarin, who passed away in January after a long battle with cancer. Her advice included to always seek a second opinion and assemble a “good team” of experts.

National Jewish Health applies its unique team-based care approach to women’s heart and lung health. Women surpass men in both diagnoses and deaths from heart and lung diseases, yet many efforts for women’s health are focused on other conditions. Physicians and scientists across many disciplines work as a team to understand why women are susceptible to certain diseases and how medical professionals can prevent illness and improve diagnoses and treatment. Through its integrative approach to precision medicine and innovative research, National Jewish Health provides unparalleled care for women with heart and lung disease.

Luncheon sponsors included Presenting Sponsor Susan and Richard Goldstein, Champion Sponsor Ethel Liebman, and VIP Patrons’ Cocktail Reception Sponsor the late Lila Siegel. Zarin attended the VIP Patrons’ Cocktail Reception the night before the event, where sponsors at certain levels could attend for a chance to meet her. See a full list of sponsors.

Siegel, a member of the National Jewish Health Council of National Trustees, was an ambassador for the hospital for more than 70 years and was founding chair of the event before she died in January.

“We miss her dearly and are so grateful that she founded this luncheon,” said Marc Krause, National Jewish Health associate vice president for development, eastern region. “We would not be here today to celebrate National Jewish Health if it were not for Lila’s dedication and commitment.”

In addition to Siegel, Luncheon Co-Chairs Susan W. Goldstein and Shirley Stern led a dedicated Luncheon Committee and Honorary Committee who helped put together the successful event. Benjamin Leis, co-founder of Comic Cure’s Mizner Park Comedy Club, served as master of ceremonies.

The luncheon featured a special text-to-give program that encouraged guests to donate money to help National Jewish Health continue its 119-year tradition of treating all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. National Jewish Health, located in Denver, began in 1899 as a free hospital for homeless people with tuberculosis and has grown into a world-renowned institution for the research and care of people with respiratory, heart, immune and related diseases.

“National Jewish Health believes in providing free or heavily subsidized care to ensure that all patients can receive the care they need,” Krause said. “No patient is turned away.”

More than 120 silent auction items and five opportunity drawing packages, including a luxury resort experience at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, were also available at the event.

To learn more about next year’s New Directions for Women Luncheon, visit or contact Stephanie Ballman 561.477.5400 or


National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 124 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

Media Resources

We have many faculty members, from bench scientists to clinicians, who can speak on almost any aspect of respiratory, immune, cardiac and gastrointestinal disease as well as lung cancer and basic immunology.

Media Contacts

Our team is available to arrange interviews, discuss events and story ideas.