From Pushke to Power Suit

How the new Jewish women's foundations are changing Jewish philanthropy and women's lives By Susan Weidman Schneider [eJP note: The following article appeared in the Spring 2002 issue of Lilith Magazine. It is reprinted as a response to Women’s Philanthropy - Change Is In the Air, published on eJP yesterday.] Ten years ago, a Jewish woman with a feminist consciousness and a checkbook had to read carefully and listen hard to support Jewish women’s and girls’ causes. Writing those checks required both research and decision-making. To give to education or to anti-violence work? To give to a women’s film project which might change minds or to a program for home bound elderly women which would keep their spirits alive? And our feminist philanthropist faced all this alone. But not anymore. … [Read more...]

Women’s Philanthropy – Change Is In the Air

By Phyllis Teicher Goldman and Nancy Schwartz Sternoff We read with great interest the re-printed piece by Susan Weidman Schneider that appeared in Lilith in 1993; we have applauded Susan for many years for her outspoken and determined advocacy for Jewish women. Yes, the Jewish community is still plagued by structural inadequacy, the “Male Model” described by Susan, that inhibits both women’s giving and women’s leadership. The recent 2014 CEO salary survey issued by Jane Eisner of The Forward attests to egregious gaps in leadership roles and compensation by gender. However, there have been significant advances that we hope Lilith will examine and publicize. The most promising shift has been promulgated by the proliferation of Jewish women’s funds and foundations across the spectrum of … [Read more...]

The Readers Respond: Two Unique Takes on #GivingTuesday

By Robert Evans In my last post, I addressed the continued success of the #GivingTuesday idea. I pointed out that several Jewish organizations, such as The Associated: Jewish Community Federation in Baltimore, have made #GivingTuesday their own. I asked readers of to share other examples of organizations adopting creative #GivingTuesday proposals in order to give other ideas for next year. I received some interesting responses and wanted to share two with readers. One response came from Adam Brill, Director of Communications for the Jewish National Fund. Interestingly, Mr. Brill happens to be a retired New York City Police Detective. JNF raised $250,000 on #GivingTuesday: Through matching grants, that number has been doubled to $500,000. Many older donors sent in … [Read more...]

Jewish Community Foundation of LA Awards $1m in Israel Grants

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) has awarded approximately $1 million in grants to meet Israel’s emergency needs, as well as for initiatives to support that country’s economic development and to strengthen Jewish identity. Monies this year were awarded to nine programs in total and reflect an increase of approximately 65 percent from $600,000 granted in 2013 under its Israel Grants program. The Foundation awards its multi-year Israel Grants annually to organizations that have the potential to create meaningful change in the country, have achievable short-term outcomes, affect a significant number of people or regions, and offer opportunities for partnerships with other funders. Since 2006, The Foundation has made 43 Israel Grants for a total of more than $6 … [Read more...]

Jewish Women’s Philanthropy

women's philanthropy

[eJP note: The following article appeared in the Winter 1993 issue of Lilith Magazine. Twenty-one years later, it is still meaningful and relevant.] By Susan Weidman Schneider Part One: Women’s giving to “mainstream” Jewish organizations Jewish women today control more wealth than ever before - as wage-earners, beneficiaries of estates, directors of companies, board members of foundations and women’s funds, and as the ones in charge of running family foundations while their brothers, fathers or husbands manage the family businesses. Despite their potential to use this money for Jewish causes, Jewish women are giving a smaller percentage of their tzedakah [charity] to Jewish organizations than ever before. While secular organizations are examining women’s patterns of philanthropy and … [Read more...]

Kevah Receives Major Grant to Fund Educators and Young Adult Learning Groups

Kevah - an organization empowering individuals and organizations to build Jewish learning communities - has received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, which focuses on creating effective and compelling Jewish learning experiences for youth and young adults in the United States. “The Jim Joseph Foundation was an early champion of Kevah’s grassroots approach to organizing and supporting ongoing Jewish learning experiences for adults. This new grant will allow us to strengthen and expand our current work as we prepare to bring the Kevah model to additional communities” said Kevah’s Executive Director Sara Bamberger. Kevah plans to expand from 50 to 125 adult Jewish study groups over the next three years in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and Denver. Kevah was … [Read more...]

#GivingTuesday and The Shmita Year

Kibbutz Lavi, near the Sea of Galilee, preparing for the shmita year. Photo courtesy Kibbutz Lavie.

By David Eisner We have reached an exciting time of the year. The air has turned crisp and the leaves vibrant shades of red and yellow. The holiday season, with its family gatherings and festive mood, is just around the corner. For many, the old song’s adage rings true: “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But in today’s busy world, with its onslaught of advertisements blaring messages of consumption from all corners, it can be all too easy to lose touch with the season’s deeper meanings. It is all too easy to forget to stop, truly give thanks and, most importantly, to give back. At Repair the World, we work to make giving back a defining part of American Jewish life. We aim to inspire people in the Jewish community and beyond to make service to others a priority in their lives. Our … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday & The Morning After


By Avrum Lapin As we approach and are guided by the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, and Giving Tuesday to follow, I am struck by the many things that we as Jewish leaders might be thankful for and the “arrows” we have in our “quivers.” We have power; we have opportunity; we have resources; and we have the capacity to touch and to improve the lives of so many. … [Read more...]