Many Good Choices to Serve People With Limited Choices


By Miriam Libove


I never knew there were so many inspiring nonprofits run by Jewish women. However, I had the good fortune to learn about a sample of them last Monday when JWFNY Executive Director, Jamie Allen Black, asked me to prepare a list of potential grantees for the approaching Isha Koach meeting.


Jamie and others from the team had identified approximately 70 candidates that would be presented at the next Isha Koach meeting for potential funding. My assignment was to review some of their websites, summarize their missions, and fill-in details on a spreadsheet that would be given to each of the Isha Koach decision-makers.


As I approached this task, I felt the weightiness of the responsibility. How could I boil down a complicated and painstakingly-constructed mission statement into the two or three sentences that would fit neatly into a spreadsheet? Would it be fair to summarize the website’s mission statement and leave out the bullet points describing the implementation process? Would my brief overview really do justice to people who had devoted time, energy, and perspiration to developing a multi-faceted program that served thousands?


In my brief survey, it seemed that many of these organizations were taking different creative approaches to the same problem. If I had to summarize it, the overarching theme might be “things I like to take for granted–like access to food, healthcare, and human dignity.”


Shouldn’t everyone be able to take those things for granted? Apparently that is not the reality.


With so many worthy organizations to choose from, the Isha Koach participants are going to have their work cut out for them. I don’t envy them the challenge, but I respect them tremendously for taking it on, and I feel privileged and honored to play even a small part in its facilitation.


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