2017-11-08 / Federation

Fall Get-Together highlights inspiring program supported by JWF


Gathered at the Jewish Women’s Foundation’s Fall Get-Together were (from left), Judy Franken, founding member; Sydria Schaffer, past chair; Marge Sobel, membership chair; Ronnie Porat, guest speaker and director of Friends of Akim USA; Peggy David, chair; and Janine Sobel, founding chair. Gathered at the Jewish Women’s Foundation’s Fall Get-Together were (from left), Judy Franken, founding member; Sydria Schaffer, past chair; Marge Sobel, membership chair; Ronnie Porat, guest speaker and director of Friends of Akim USA; Peggy David, chair; and Janine Sobel, founding chair. The Jewish Women’s Foundation (JWF) held their Fall Get-Together on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at the home of JWF Chair Peggy David. Present were current and prospective members from both our Federation and the Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

Founding Chair Janine Sobel reflected on the formation of JWF in January 2011. She explained that the group formed because they decided the time had been long overdue to join other women around the country and form their own Women’s Foundation dedicated to expanding and improving the lives of Jewish women and girls in our community and abroad through strategic grant making. It was initially open to Lion of Judah women (those who make an individual gift of $5,000 or more to the Federation’s JFund campaign) or members who endow a gift with a minimum of $10,000 to JWF. Several years ago, membership was then expanded to include women from Major Gifts households. Members are asked to contribute a minimum additional $500—this creates the funding pool from which grants are awarded.

Peggy David reviewed the grant process. Letters of intent are sent from nonprofit organizations locally, nationally, in Israel, and overseas in February and are reviewed by the membership. The list is narrowed down, and then organizations that are deemed worthy of consideration by even one member of the Foundation are invited to submit full grant proposals. These full proposals are then reviewed and discussed for the merits of each, whether their project is mission-aligned, and the dollar amounts requested. This year, the women ultimately decided that $21,830 would be awarded to 10 different projects from the following organizations: Friends of Akim USA, Beit Ruth Educational Village, Israel Goldstein Youth Village, Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Jewish Federation, JobKatif, Tahel, Turning the Tables and Tzabar Parents, as well as a donation to KEEP in memory of founding member Judith Auritt Klein.

Past Chair Sydria Schaffer introduced Ronnie Porat, director of North America Akim Israel and one of the 2017 funding recipients. He spoke of their program that provides life skills training and military service support for women with special needs, thus enabling them to be integrated and serve in the IDF. His stories of those who have benefitted from their program were both inspiring and powerful, and made the women proud of their funding decision.

For information about becoming a member of the Jewish Women’s Foundation, contact Martha Karasick, director of philanthropy, at (856) 751-9500, ext. 1291, or mkarasick@jfedsnj.org

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