Founding of Ma’yan, Home for Young Women’s Resources
July 1, 1993
In 1993, community activists Eve Landau and Barbara Dobkin’s shared interests in Jewish feminism and ritual observance found expression in the founding of Ma’yan at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. The group was created to pursue a broad vision of the Jewish community as a place where the ideas and experiences of women and girls were valued, their concerns and needs attended to, and where women’s leadership flourished. Ma’yan has grown to be a catalyst for change and transformation in the larger Jewish community, recognized for its innovative and transformative vision.
Ma’yan began with a series of educational programs and research reports and soon became known for its feminist Passover seders. The Journey Continues, Ma’yan’s Haggadah, helped families incorporate feminist ritual components such as Miriam’s Cup in their household observances. For 13 years, the group focused on three program areas: Jewish Ritual and Women’s Spirituality, Jewish Women’s Leadership and Philanthropy, and Jewish Feminist Education. Ma’yan became a nationally recognized resource in the areas of Jewish feminist ritual and women’s leadership development. In addition, Ma’yan has been at the forefront of Jewish women’s and youth philanthropy and in showcasing the work and talents of Jewish feminist artists.
In 2006, Ma’yan began focusing its efforts on bringing the voices of Jewish girls to the forefront. Through its Research Training Internship program, Ma’yan generates new knowledge about the lives of Jewish teen girls and promotes girls’ leadership within and beyond the Jewish community. In addition to disseminating valuable resources for parents, communities, and youth professionals, Ma’yan’s work includes training professionals who work with Jewish youth.
This research and education incubator focuses a feminist lens on the cultural challenges and identity issues facing Jewish girls in contemporary society. Ever-evolving to meet the needs of girls and women, Ma’yan provides resources that help all youth grow into critical, curious, and committed global citizens.