Ohio Woman is the First African American to Head Jewish Organization

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CLEVELAND, OH (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Women's History Month pays tribute to inspiring women of the past and those who continue to motivate and uphold that legacy today. Cookie Lommel, Executive Director of the Western Region for the Jewish Labor Committee, denotes such exemplary leadership, and is also the first African-American woman to lead such a group into the future. The Los Angeles Times referred to her as "a one-woman bridge."

The Jewish Labor Committee is an independent secular organization that helps the Jewish community and the trade union movement work together on important issues of shared interest and concern.

*(Photo Caption: Image of Cookie Lommel.)

"African-American women are at the nexus of multiple forms of oppression, which puts us in the unique position of being able to engage diverse communities, in understanding our global society, Pamela Brooks, Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH, explained. "These natural abilities stem from who we are."

Before Lommel's work with the Jewish Labor Committee, she was the founder of "Operation Unity," (, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles - its mission to promote cultural understanding in urban youth through international and national programs. "Operation Unity" uses the model of the successful Israeli Kibbutz system as a vehicle to change the lives of young people.

Lommel, born in Cleveland, has returned to her hometown to promote "Operation Unity," in a traveling exhibit called "Youth Capturing Cultural Diversity." The photos in the exhibit were taken by youth who participated in Kibbutz programs, and Parma City School students. The exhibit is being displayed in celebration of Black and Women's History Month at the Parmatown Mall, in Parma OH. The sponsors are The Samuel H. and Maria Miller Foundation and Forest City Enterprises, Inc. It will also be traveling to other locations throughout Ohio and these locales will soon be announced.

"This exhibit tells a great cultural diversity story. It paints a visual and verbal picture of how youth can help bridge racial gaps and work together, promoting harmony through diversity," explains Lommel. "In the wake of the death of Coretta Scott King, the commemoration of Women's History Month through "Operation Unity" becomes even more relevant and highlights what Mrs. King lived for and what Dr. King died for - understanding between cultures."

Lommel is also the author of several books about notable, African Americans such as Madame C.J. Walker and James Oglethorpe which can be ordered on She has earned a number of awards for her outreach efforts and has worked in various media capacities as a journalist and editor.

To tour the exhibit, visit the Parmatown Mall at 7899 W. Ridgewood Drive; Mall hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

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