Ten remarkable Jewish women – all social entrepreneurs and each exemplifying the power of women to envision and make impact – have been selected for the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York’s inaugural cohort of the “Collective.”
The Collective, a new JWFNY initiative, is an incubator for Jewish women change makers who combine vision, innovation and leadership to address critical societal needs and issues primarily affecting women and girls locally and around the world – from sexual exploitation and economic empowerment, to prison reform and legal justice.
Each member of the Collective will receive three years of capacity building and general operating support, professional development funding, skills-building opportunities, and access to a formal and dynamic network of Jewish women visionaries for idea exchanges, support and collaboration.
“These women are leaders in their fields and their work creates a ripple effect, improving not only the lives of individuals they touch, but also wider communities,” said Jamie Allen Black, JWFNY’s CEO.
JWFNY’s 2019 Collective includes:
- Gabrielle Fondiller, Co-Founder and Director of Hatua Likoni, a community-based organization promoting education and employment among youth in Likoni, Kenya. Through scholarships, mentoring and career guidance, the organization helps students gain skills, credentials and networks they need to achieve economic security and contribute to Kenyan society.
- Lauren Hersh, Founding Co-Chair and Director of World Without Exploitation, a consortium of organizations and individuals working and advocating to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation around the world, and ensuring that survivors have comprehensive support to exit exploitative systems and rebuild their lives.
- Miryam Kabakov, Executive Director and Founding Board Member of Eshel, Inc., an organization that supports and advocates for the full participation of LGBTQ Orthodox Jewish individuals and their families within their faith and community.
- Tania Laden, Co-Founder and Executive Director of LivelyHoods, a nonprofit social enterprise training and employing disadvantaged youth and women in Kenyan slums to distribute clean energy products in hard-to-reach slum neighborhoods.
- Rabbi Benay Lappe, Founder, President, and Rosh Yeshiva of SVARA, a Chicago-based yeshiva dedicated to inclusive and accessible Talmud study through the lens of queer experiences and creation of a pluralistic community for all – queer, trans, straight, beginner students, experienced Talmudists, secular or religious Jews, and non-Jews.
- Evie Litwok, Founder and Executive Director of Witness to Mass Incarceration, an organization elevating public consciousness about prison conditions, advocating for reform, and creating community partnerships to ease the transition of released inmates – especially women and LGBTQ individuals.
- Yavilah McCoy, CEO of DIMENSIONS Inc., an organization working extensively with multi-faith communities and partnering specifically with the Jewish community to engage issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.
- Mazal Shaul, Executive Director of WePower, a non-partisan organization promoting and training women to assume public and political leadership positions and to run for office in Israel. The organization also raises public awareness of gender gaps in Israeli society and advocates for gender equality legislation.
- Susan Weiss, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Women’s Justice, which utilizes legal advocacy, professional training of attorneys, and community outreach to end injustices perpetrated against women by rabbinic courts in Israel.
- Rachel Zaslow, Executive Director of Mother Health International, a nonprofit working to reduce perinatal mortality rates by educating midwives and creating sustainable birth centers in areas where mortality is high due to poverty, war or disaster.
The ten members of JWFNY’s first Collective were selected after a rigorous vetting and interview process by over 50 of JWFNY’s visionary philanthropists and activists. They focused on broad program areas, including building of communities and movements to create social change, amplifying young voices to unlock the potential of emerging generations, and uplifting underserved and marginalized populations.
The Collective is one element of JWFNY’s redirection, announced last year, toward investing in Jewish women showing both promise and potential to make great societal impact on some of the most intractable issues and challenges, and whose successes stand as inspiration to other women and girls to view their communities and the world through a similar lens.
On September 17, 2019, members of the Collective will participate in JWFNY’s first-ever annual Convening. A broad group of Jewish philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, change makers and other women leaders will gather to network, share knowledge and learn how to sustain impact.
For complete bios of each member of the Collective visit: