Jewish Family Service Announces Keynote Speaker Change for Luncheon

on Wednesday, May 25: HELEN HUNT to replace Kristin Chenoweth

An award-winning actress, accomplished writer, director and producer, Helen Hunt is known for an extensive and diverse body of work including roles in film, theater, and television


DALLAS, TX – May 24, 2022 – Jewish Family Service announces Helen Hunt, an award-winning actress, accomplished writer, director, and producer, will headline the 10th Anniversary Woman to Woman Luncheon on Wednesday, May 25, at noon, at the Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel, 15201 Dallas Parkway. The previous speaker, Kristin Chenoweth, canceled her appearance due to illness.


The luncheon, a biennial celebration of the power, influence, and impact of women, will feature Hunt in a fireside chat with WFAA’s Cynthia Izaguirre. Founding Legacy Co-Chairs Ethel Zale and Linda Garner join 31 honorary chairs, representing all past luncheon events, in promoting this important fundraiser, which enables JFS to provide comprehensive mental health and social services to anyone in need regardless of age, race, religion, or ability to pay. Last year JFS served 39,000 individuals.


“We are delighted to welcome Helen Hunt as our keynote speaker and know this luncheon will be an incredible celebration of all that has been made possible by our donors of this event the last two decades,” said Jewish Family Service CEO Cathy Barker. “We know that Helen’s message will be inspirational and fun for our attendees. We look forward to bringing friends together who make such a difference in our community on this special day.”

Over the years, the luncheon, which first began 18 years ago as a garden party with 100 attendees, has raised $4.6 million, helping to triple the number of clients served. Past luncheon speakers have included Joy Behar, Dr. Jill Biden, Goldie Hawn, Marlee Matlin, Bette Midler, and Diane Von Furstenberg.

With a career that spans film, theater, and television, Hunt is not only an award-winning actress, but also an accomplished writer, director, and producer. She is widely known for her role as Jamie Buchman in the hit show Mad About You opposite Paul Reiser – a role she revived for another season in 2019. In this role, Hunt garnered four Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards (three as lead actress and one as a producer for best comedy) and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She was also named Best Actress for her role in the film As Good as It Gets, for which she won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Oscar. Most recently, Hunt can be seen as Rainey in Blindspotting, a show based on the film with the same title. On the big screen, she can last be seen in How It EndsThe Night Clerk, and the thriller I See You. Recently she also played Nancy Campbell in BBC’s World War II drama World on Fire. She has also starred in the inspirational drama The Miracle Season and the Fox drama Shots Fired. Her 2012 performance in The Sessions earned her multiple awards.

Additional film credits include Netflix’s comedy Candy Jar, Ride (which she co-wrote, produced, and directed), Decoding Annie Parker, Soul Surfer, Every Day, Bobby, Then She Found Me (which she also co-wrote, produced, and directed), What Women Want, Castaway, A Good Woman, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Dr. T. and The Women, Pay It Forward, and Twister.

As a director, Hunt helmed an episode of the new Netflix show The Politician and the FX anthology series Feud: Bette and Joan. Additional credits include CBS’s Life in Pieces, NBC’s This is UsSplitting Up Together, For the People, ABC’s Revenge, Showtime’s House of Lies, Californication, Mad About You, and the Paul Reiser Show. Hunt is also an equally accomplished theater actress with numerous credits across the United States, including “Twelfth Night” and “Life X Three” on Broadway.


The luncheon will feature a wine pull and luxury raffle which will award a ladies’ getaway for two at the Lake Austin Spa Resort, a private wine tasting for ten at the 55 Seventy private wine club, and a $1,500 Ylang23 gift card. Raffle tickets are $25. There are also raffle tickets at $100 each for a chance to win a 2022 Lexus RX 350. Winners do not need to be present. For the raffle and wine pull, visit jfs

Individual tickets may be purchased on-site for $250, and sponsorships begin at $1,800. Attendance at the luncheon will require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test at the event registration.

Luncheon Event Committee members are Rachel Biblo-Block, Beverly Goldman, Julie Gothard, Marcy Kahn, Julie Liberman, Staci Rubin and Laura Weinstein.

Honorary Co-Chairs are Susan Bendalin, Kim Chapman, Sara Efune, Susan Frapart, Eileen Franklin, Sherry Goldberg, Julie Gothard, Diane Hopson, Beth Konig, Caryn Kboudi, Julie Liberman, Cara Mendelsohn, Esther Meyers, Sheryl Lilly Pidgeon, Laurie Platt, Nicole Post, Kimberly Ross, Beverly Rossel, Melanie Rubin, Robin Sachs, Debbie Steckler, Monica Susman, Dollie Thomas, Cindy Ray Yablonsky and Laura Weinstein. Honorary chairs timeline.

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Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas is nonsectarian mental health and social services nonprofit that has served anyone regardless of age, race, religion, or ability to pay for more than 70 years. Its mission is to provide effective, accessible, and comprehensive mental health and social services that promote lifelong self-sufficiency and well-being for the Greater Dallas community. JFS Dallas offers programs to the community such as individual age-appropriate counseling, family violence intervention, support for older adults, transportation services for disabled or homebound, a client choice food pantry, and emergency financial assistance. The agency’s comprehensive services impacted over 39,000 lives last year.