SALT LAKE CITY — The local chapter of the Nation Council of Jewish Women honored former NCJW president and longtime community advocate Esther Landa on Sunday, ahead of her upcoming 100th birthday in December.
The event — which included a dinner, remarks and skits in Landa's honor — was held at the I.J. and Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center. Landa will turn 100 years old on Christmas Day.
Pat Jarvis, a friend of more than 50 years, said that she loved the celebration. She described Landa as warm, but direct, and someone who truly cares about people.
"She deserves every good thing that can be said about her," Jarvis said. "She's done so much good in the world."
In addition to serving as national president of the NCJW between 1975 and 1979, Landa has been president of the B'nai Israel Sisterhood, the League of Women's Voters co-founded the Utah Head Start Program and served on the Utah State Board of Education from 1970-1974. In her lifetime she has received several honors and awards from community and political engagement organizations, including being named to President Jimmy Carter's Advisory Commission on women.
McGillis described Landa as a mentor, saying the nonagenarian introduced her to — among other things — politics, community and organizational engagements and humanitarianism.
"She has been a phenomenal community leader," said Joanne McGillis, a member of the tribute committee. "She's been an inspiration for every woman in this community."
- President Monson rededicates Ogden Utah Temple
- Bingham High students walk out over dress code
- Little Emmanuel's journey home a tale of...
- The ghosts under our feet: 88...
- Mourning family of Mormon missionary finds...
- Mountain lion caught in Foothill neighborhood...
- Mothers of kidnapped Bountiful girls speak out
- 5 reasons why Utah is a great place to live
- Supporters for traditional marriage... 164
- Pro same-sex marriage group responds to... 84
- 5 reasons why Utah is a great place to... 38
- Police release names of officers... 37
- Mitt Romney to campaign for Mia Love in... 18
- Can Utah solve its surprising binge... 17
- Bingham High students walk out over... 17
- Debates ready to start, third-party... 12