Looking Back, Moving Forward with Women's Philanthropy

By Dena Schulman-Green

President, Women’s Philanthropy

There’s something exciting about the transition from one year into the next. It’s a time when one wants to simultaneously look backward and forward- backward to lessons learned and assessment of progress, and forward to new plans and possibilities. As we all did, I spent some time contemplating this transition over Rosh Hashanah.

Last year was an incredible year for Women’s Philanthropy. It started with the ideas of being inclusive, of partnering with our community organizations, and of offering a wide variety of high quality events. To implement these ideas, we needed to restructure our leadership. Yet while some pieces were moving, our fundamental goal was the same: to raise dollars to support Jews in our community, in Israel, and around the world. We felt the best way to do this was to show where our dollars go by using every event to highlight a community agency, to “Feducate” about the Jewish Federation and its mission, and to offer programming on timely issues affecting Jewish families. We thought the best way of maintaining high energy for this goal was to convene the many fabulous women in our community so we could inspire and enjoy each other.

You stepped up in unprecedented ways. In the 2017 campaign, Women’s Philanthropy surpassed its goal of one million dollars, raising a total of 1,046,000! Perhaps even more significant is the way these dollars came in - at a 10 percent increase, pledge for pledge, and from several new philanthropic leaders. We were joined by 15 new Lions of Judah (gifts of $5,000 and up), 15 new Pomegranates (gifts of $1,800-$4,999), and 39 new Sabras (gifts of $365-$1,799). We could not be more pleased with or proud of this strength of commitment. Thank you!

Our attention now turns to looking forward as we begin 2018/5778. The Women’s Philanthropy Cabinet has been making plans and imagining possibilities. As always, we invite you to join us as we start the new year. The 2018 campaign theme is “Everyone Counts.” As is evident from the last campaign year, this is true in every way. Everyone’s engagement and volunteerism counts, and every gift of every amount counts. In our communal effort, every person makes a difference.

Let’s build on our accomplishments and set new heights for where we can take Women’s Philanthropy. Check out our new video on our website (jewishnewhaven.org/womens-network). We have an array of exciting events scheduled for the coming months. Mark your calendar and move forward into the new year with us. 


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