JWFNY, Shifting Direction Toward Deeper and Accelerated Impact

By Jamie Allen Black

Originally published in eJewish Philanthropy, December 5, 2018

 

The news, first, is that the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York (JWFNY) is changing direction.

For nearly 25 years, we’ve worked to highlight and empower women and girls and create an environment of equality, possibility, and self-actualization for them in economic, social, religious, and political spheres.

By increasing opportunities for women and girls and challenging barriers to gender equality, we help form the prosperous and just societies we all so desperately desire and recognize as imperative. We are proud of our influential role in moving issues to the forefront and investing in women and girls throughout the world.

Still, we are acutely aware of a changing environment, one in which we see and hear and sense that the voices, visions, dreams, and integrities of women and girls are emergent but very far from guaranteed in both the Jewish and wider worlds.

While we stay focused on that dream, that end, that craved reality, we are compelled to leverage progress and momentum in new ways we believe will lead to deeper and more accelerated impact and create a model to be replicated and sustained by other philanthropies committed to similar issues and goals.

Beginning in 2019, JWFNY is redefining its scope and its relationship with its valued, visionary, and change making grantees, the greater pool of female entrepreneurs focused on uplifting women and girls, and financial and creative supporters passionate about such interests.

We aim to mold a thriving community of social innovation, incubation, engagement, and support in expansive and emboldened ways.

  • • Women will be empowered through an active, ongoing community wherein Jewish women social entrepreneurs and leaders collaborate with one another and offer each other strategic support and advice. Visionary leaders will be provided a wide range of offerings, including funding, professional development, leadership opportunities, community events, and more.
    • An international network of donors, supporters, activists, innovators, and initiators will together create the foundation for a pipeline of talent prepared to take the reins and effect change in our communities.
    • Education is central to JWFNY’s mission and a vital part of the work we do and we will continue to provide experts and leaders in the field a forum in which to share their experiential knowledge around philanthropy and innovative ideas for change.
    • JWFNY will amplify women’s voices through an annual convening of Jewish philanthropists and social entrepreneurs who gather to network, learn, and celebrate our work together. We promote advocacy for social entrepreneurship by providing women leaders – inside our network and beyond – with a place to meet, deepen our collective knowledge, and strengthen our relationships.

The essence of JWFNY is women supporting women. We support women whose Jewish values, ingenuity and expertise compel them as social innovators to face intractable problems head on. They are change makers, activists and game shifters.

With our new direction toward harnessing the innate power of community, connection and development, we are throwing the full weight of this foundation behind them in new and innovative ways. We are creating the women leaders the world needs right now.

 

Jamie Allen Black is CEO, Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York.

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