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Jill Zarin Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas


Jill Zarin has found herself in the crossfire again. It seems that ever since her friendship with Bethenny Frankel fell by the wayside, Jill can do nothing right. The most recent controversy surrounding the red-headed former reality star centers around an appearance at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Women’s Event at Night. Jill was billed as the keynote speaker, and along with her sister, Lisa Wexler, and her mother, Gloria Kamen, they were to discuss their advice book Secrets Of A Jewish Mother.

Somewhere along the way a few people were offended by comments Lisa allegedly made, insulting stay-at-home mothers, rumors began circulating that women stormed out or left in “droves.” One lone tweeter with an agenda (an agenda as she self-admittedly loathes Jill) decided to claim Jill and her family were “hot messes” and “disastrous”, offending many of the 700 guests in attendance. Well, of course, the blogs and then the media picked up on the alleged controversy, which prompted the organizers of the event to send a formal email apology letter to all the women who attended.

Jill is finally speaking out giving her side of things and claiming that very few people were actually upset, and the supposed mass walk-out was largely comprised of women who needed to leave, as the event ran long. She claims no one was behaving as if they were upset during or after Lisa’s comments.

“They completely lied,” Jill tells Naughty Nice Rob. “They didn’t have their listening ears on and misunderstood what she said. No one walked out. It was running one hour late and was already 10:00 PM after dessert, so a few left. I have it all on tape.” Indeed, Jill does have it on tape – and the videos are up on her YouTube channel!

“From the minute we got on stage, we had mic issues,” Jill recounts. “So bad that they took off all our individual mics and gave us only one big handheld mic — so unprofessional. No one could really understand us.”

Jill adds, “We were thrown under the bus. We were never asked to be funny. We were asked to talk about subjects in the book, which we did.”

Lisa is also speaking out about what happened, taking to her radio show, and not backing down from her comments. Lisa describes the episode as a miscommunication. And she is not willing to apologize to the Federation or the women who attended the event, but she is sorry that Jill is taking the heat from her comments. She is also sorry she chose the wrong forum to express her feelings.

Lisa insists she was not insulting stay-at-home mothers, but merely discussing the quandary any professional woman faces once she decides to become a mother, which is a subject broached in their book, and very few people even noticed her comments during the event. Lisa blames herself saying she did not prepare adequately for the program and essentially admitted to ad-libbing. She says the controversy was started by people on Twitter that don’t like Jill and attack her from multiple aliases.

Jill also appeared on her sister’s show, both women both claim there was no dispute between the Federation until the twitter/media episode blew it out of proportion, and the Federation issued the letter as damage control. Jill believes the Federation had “no right” to send that letter and “hurt their livelihood,” particularly without discussing the matter with them first. Jill doesn’t feel anything said was so egregious it warranted so much upheaval and she defended Lisa’s comments as “lessons.”

Jill is still disappointed by the “atrocious” handling of the situation and the lack of communication by the Dallas chapter – apparently, they found out about the letter through the internet! Jill explains they have spoken at many chapters across the country with no controversy, and they have been asked back repeatedly. Jill is also offended that her participation as a member (a Lion of Judah) was not considered in the Dallas chapter’s handling of said negative reaction from attendees.

Unfortunately, in the radio broadcast, emotions got out of hand where Jill is concerned, and she released the name of the woman who sent the email apology (which is already all over the internet thanks to the prolific posting of the letter). Jill is furious and hopes she will suffer consequences for the letter. Jill point-blank mentioned that she thinks the woman should be fired.

Jill continues to speak of how the event was mismanaged and she had no idea the event was a fundraiser or that they were billed as the “entertainment.” Jill maintains that many people left simply because the time management issues, and the Federation attempted to blame her and her family for their own poor organization skills.

Lisa astutely points out that Susan (the author of the letter), a full-time working mother, should be understanding of Lisa discussing the challenges working mothers face. Jill says the Federation benefited from the controversy since it gained national attention and she made front-page news over the “nonsense.”

Jill also talked about learning to deal with negative reactions from the media – a lesson learned from appearing on Real Housewives of New York. Jill cautions viewers about the editing process, which vilified her in favor of Bethenny. Jill believes “somebody” on RHONY (whose name she did not mention) paid a select group of people to besmirch her reputation and continue to slander her in the press through the internet.

According to Jill, she has subsequently received a lot of apologies from fans who feel they misjudged the situation initially, and she says, “haters will be haters.” All in all, a lot of huff and puff over what seems like a simple miscommunication!

[Photo Credit: Johnny Louis/WENN.com]

THOUGHTS ON JILL AND LISA’S REACTIONS TO THE CONTROVERSY? DO YOU THINK THE ENTIRE THING WAS BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION AND HANDLED INAPPROPRIATELY BY ORGANIZERS OR DID LISA’S COMMENTS WARRANT THE REACTION?

Former reality villainess, Jill Zarin is in heaps of trouble after a disastrous and embarrassing appearance at the Jewish Federation of Dallas’ Women’s Event at Night. Jill, along with her sister, Lisa Wexler, and her mother, Gloria Kamen, were booked to speak about Jewish mothers, because as you know, they wrote a little book about the subject, Secrets of a Jewish Mother.

Things were apparently a mess from start to finish and went so awry the organization issued an apology letter to attendees! A copy of that letter is below!

Apparently, the event got off to a rocky start when the fired, Real Housewives of New York star claimed she couldn’t actually speak because she forgot her glasses, and therefore was unable to see her notes. Gee, how about thinking and planning ahead Jillzy? Then according to a guest, Jill, Lisa, and Gloria bickered the entire time, under the pretense of being amusing. The real issue occurred when Lisa, a renowned radio host, began lecturing the audience about the importance of women working outside the home.

According to an anonymous attendee, who communicated her experience to LynnNChicago, it all began when Lisa and Jill staged some sort of a mock Q&A session where they imagined things the audience (a large crowd) would inquire about. Jill would then answer how she would handle a given situation. Lisa, allegedly, took that opportunity to speak at length about the feminist movement, and the importance of women having careers; chastising them against being full-time stay at home mothers once their children are no longer babies. Lisa implored women to have a job outside the home because that is the only way to be fulfilled and happy!

Lisa, supposedly, informed the audience that being out of the workforce for more than five years to focus on motherhood is preposterous, rendering your career all but dead. Apparently, many of the audience members had more than one child, stay home full-time to raise them, and consider motherhood their primary responsibility. Audience members began to leave as Lisa was speaking and Jill looked horrified and uncomfortable by her sister’s comments. As she should be! “Women were walking out in droves,” the source reports.

Jill and her family were reportedly described as “hot messes” by guests, who were terribly offended by the comments made at the event. The anonymous attendee further complained that their speech was not “well planned.”

Jill’s mother also, allegedly, referred to Jill’s first husband, as a “dwarf” then a “little person” during an anecdote where she shared why she advised Jill against marrying him. Jill’s ex-husband is merely short, but nevertheless his height is a ridiculous reason to advise Jill not to marry him! That man is also Jill’s daughter, Ally Shapiro‘s father. “No one was pleased,” the woman adds, claiming when they later saw Jill in the lobby it was uncomfortable and awkward.

After the speech was allegedly cut short by organizers, because of the exodus, Jill, Lisa, and Gloria set up a table to sell and sign books. “Then it abruptly ended- Jill said they brought plenty of books for people and she would sign them and take pics,” an attendee describes. “There were 2 people buying books when I left and 2 people at the signing table. Everyone else was getting out of there as fast as they could!!” Yikes.

Jill claims they donated the books, but an event insider says organizers actually bought the books to give to table hosts as a token of appreciation.

Event organizers issued a formal apology letters to attendees for the comments made by Jill’s sister. “We also realize that our entertainment after dinner was a true and complete disappointment,” read the apology letter. “Their presentation was not what we had planned with them and certainly did not meet our expectations of a funny and poignant take on Jewish motherhood.” You can read the letter in its entirety below.

Lisa seems to have a completely different take on what happened, claiming the organizers were pleased with her contribution! “I spoke from my heart. I spoke of my values as expressed in our book and on my radio show every day,” she retorted in a statement to RadarOnline. “In a group of 700 women, some will agree with me and others will not. As to the specific allegation that I spoke against stay at home moms, that is an absolute lie.”

“We have presented to numerous groups throughout the country with very positive feedback. We are disappointed to hear that some members of the Dallas audience did not feel that way,” Lisa added. “The sentiment of the person who wrote that letter is not reflective of the very positive audience feedback we personally heard after the event as well as emails we received.”

Indeed, a woman who did attend the event claims she enjoyed it and had a wonderful time. “I got invited by @lisawexler and I thought they did a great job! I don’t know why people would take offense to what she said,” twitter user rings33 remarked.

Jill has not commented on the controversy directly, but she did speak to blogger, Ilana Angel to give her perspective about what happened. According to the conversation they had, Jill is “disappointed” by the response circulating around the blogs and feels the event was disorganized from the beginning, which reflected poorly on their presentation.

“Jill was billed as the entertainment, but was not assigned a wrangler and left on her own to meet and great the guests. She was told she was the keynote speaker, yet she did not appear until the end of an event that was running long and already losing guests,” Ilana writes.

An attendee contacted Ilana and said they had a wonderful time and enjoyed Jill’s contribution to the platform. One guest claims the treatment Jill received by the Federation was “mortifying” and was a disservice to the organization.

Apparently, the Dallas chapter has also acknowledged that Jill’s involvement garnered them many new members that evening and helped them raise a significant amount of money, but the Federation has still not issued an apology to Jill or her family for what happened. Jill is a proud member of the Jewish Federation.

Jill will be speaking about her experience at the event on her sister’s radio show this Thursday, if you care to listen! Quite the mess!

[Photo Credit: Johnny Lewis/WENN.com]

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT HAPPENED? WHO IS TO BLAME: JILL AND HER FAMILY OR THE ORGANIZATION? WERE GUESTS RIGHT TO BE OFFENDED BY LISA’S WORDS?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO VIEW THE FEDERATION’S APOLOGY LETTER!

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