How to raise money in the midst of a global pandemic? How to keep folks engaged while confronting a novel coronavirus? These are the struggles we are confronting now while trying to maintain our meaningful and philanthropic presence in our community.
After taking a brief pause, the Women’s Philanthropy Cabinet met and reinstituted our fundraising efforts. We have a script, devised by our professional staff, to coach our volunteer solicitors. But our job was made so much easier thanks to the dedication of the aforementioned staff and the loving and caring phone calls made by them and their cadre of volunteers; they checked on our constituents, offering help and kindness. I believe the community feels that we care and are happy to help fulfill our mission of tikkun olam by contributing financial help. At the time of this writing, Women’s Philanthropy has raised $1,005,723. Yasher koach to all of the Women’s Philanthropy volunteers and donors!
Remember, we are more than a fundraising organization. We are a community-building and outreach organization, known for our continuing education opportunities and social events.
In preparation for Passover, Women’s Philanthropy hosted a series of online classes. Passover in Place, hosted by Lauren Hass, covered organizing and decluttering. We also held cooking lessons hosted by Chaya Hinda Holtzberg and Julie Fleischman. These classes were made available for streaming afterwards for anyone who was interested. We have hosted a Friday afternoon virtual happy hour. Zoom book clubs were hosted by the talented Stacey Dworkin and Julie Katz. We hosted a presentation by JScreen: What’s in Your Genes, The Importance of Jewish Genetic Testing (More than Just Tay Sachs), as well as a Nourishing Our Souls panel discussion moderated by Judy Alperin with panelists Rabbi Michael Farbman, Stacy Wyner and Dr. Alan Siegel. These sessions were both recorded and are available for viewing.
The realities of the time have forced us to reschedule our signature Cool Reads event for now. We are hoping to be able to have it live in the future. We are still looking to host the famous Bingo and Baubles (aka Handbag Bingo) event in the fall as our kickoff event (fingers crossed). We are exploring other summertime programming, like picnics, concerts, movies and other events that can be held outdoors with social distancing.
We may not be able to gather in groups, but as a community, we support each other. We are stronger together. This crisis has proven that time and again.
For more information on the Women’s Philanthropy, visit jewishnewhaven.org/womens-network.