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Jewish Women’s Foundation Awards Record Amount to Improve Lives of Women/Girls

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 • 4:46pm

The Jewish Women’s Foundation (JWF) of New Jersey recently voted to award three grants in New Jersey and one grant in Israel for 2014. JWF is dedicated to empowering women and girls through education, advocacy, and strategic grant making. This year’s awards totaled $72,460, representing the JWF’s largest financial commitment to improving the lives of women and girls since its founding more than eight years ago.

JWF is an advisory council of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest, the planned giving and endowment arm of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.

This year’s New Jersey awards included:

  • $25,000 to Unchained At Last, based in Westfield, the only nonprofit in the United States dedicated to helping women leave or avoid arranged/forced marriages and rebuild their lives.
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  • $22,960 to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Foundation for its work at Newark’s Barringer High School, specifically for Healthy Body/Healthy Mind, a new afterschool program for overweight girls.
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  • $9,500 to JESPY House in South Orange as a challenge grant to raise the remaining money necessary to fund Twenty-First Century Technology Opportunities for JESPY Women.

In addition, JWF made its first major grant to an Israeli amuta (nonprofit organization) through the generosity of an anonymous donor:

  • $10,000 to Ruach Nashit (Women’s Spirit), the only organization in Israel that ties women victims of violence to financial independence.

Earlier in the year, the JWF made five small grants:

  • $1,000 to the National Council of Jewish Women-Essex County Section, Livingston, for One Billion Women Rising for Justice, a program convened in March with the goal of raising awareness about violence against women and girls;
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  • $1,000 to the Rachel Coalition of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest, Florham Park, to provide professional childcare services at the agency’s offices for their clients while accessing services;
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  • $1,000 to Mom2Mom, a program of  Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare, to fund a Mother’s Day Resilience Building project that brings together mothers of special needs children, who volunteer for their peer support hotline, together with those who have used the hotline for a day of respite and mutual support;
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  • $1,000 to JESPY House, South Orange, to sponsor a 12-session sex education program for developmentally disabled women to explore their sexuality and make changes in their lives and relationships that enhance their feelings of self-worth;
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  • $1,000 to the Friendship Circle, Livingston, for a four-part series, Mom’s Night Out, that provides mothers of children with special needs with much needed respite.

JWF educates women about the power of philanthropy by pooling funds and collaboratively and strategically awarding grants to address areas of need and importance to all women and girls. By highlighting what have been considered “women’s issues” — such as domestic violence; employment concerns; work/life balance; self-esteem; and education — and moving them to the main stage, JWF members empower women and girls while improving the quality of life for all. For more information, please contact Susan Friedman, director, at (973) 929-3005 or SFriedman@jfedgmw.org.

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ (Federation) stands at the center of a network of 27 partner agencies dedicated to providing comprehensive social services and meeting the educational, vocational, recreational, and social needs of Jews locally, in Israel, and in 70 countries around the world. Federation also creates ways/spaces for people to connect to a multitude of Jewish experiences in personally meaningful ways. Responding to emergency and disaster situations around the world is another important part of the Federation mission.

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