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Philanthropy

Barbara Dobkin

Barbara Dobkin’s philanthropy and her ability to organize support for important causes has changed the landscape of Jewish women’s organizations in America and Israel.

Shifra Bronznick

As president of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, Shifra Bronznick led the charge in demanding more women leaders of major Jewish organizations.

Rebecca Gratz

Through the schools and orphanages she created, Rebecca Gratz established a new model of religious education and made it possible for a new generation to identify as both fully Jewish and fully American.

Lois Blum Feinblatt

Born in 1921 to Baltimore's Hoffberger family, Lois Blum Feinblatt has focused her professional career, volunteer efforts and philanthropy on providing mental health, adoption and mentoring services in Baltimore.

Althea Diesenhaus Stroum

Born in 1922 in New York City, Althea
moved to Seattle with her family at age 14 in 1936. Married for 58 years to Samuel N. Stroum, they had two children, and together dedicated their lives to philanthropy and community service. Althea received the Israel Bond Woman of the Year award in 1980. In 1991, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle honored her by creating the Althea Stroum Woman of Distinction Award. In 2000 she received an honorary doctorate from Brandeis University. She is a member of many community and national boards, serving both the Jewish and larger communities with her energetic devotion.

Kathryn Wasserman Davis, 1907 - 2013

Having skied into her 80s, played tennis into her 90s, and kayaked, swum, painted, traveled and taken on all comers at croquet until this year, Kathryn Wasserman Davis remained a wonder and inspiration to those around her. Recently asked by one of her great-grandchildren to name her favorite day, she instantly replied, “Tomorrow.”

A True Leader

Jill Albert was radiant. She had an unmatched presence that could be felt by anyone touched by her warm embrace. She had a way of making all of the girls in my troop feel welcome, appreciated and unique. But her brilliance extended far beyond our small group of girl scouts: she baked cookies for her garbage men and always had a bowl full of Double Bubble in her car to give anyone who may have been having a bad day. Jill encapsulated the ultimate role model.

Hurricane Katrina: Community Responsibility and Tikkun Olam

The Kabbalah (Jewish mystical school of thought) teaches that God created the world by projecting a beam of light into the universe and then created vessels to hold the light. But the divine light was too strong for the vessels and they shattered into bits. These bits and holy sparks scattered into the world. Our job as humans is to redeem the holy sparks through prayer and action. In doing so, we act as partners with God in the work of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

Benevolent Societies and Tzedakah

How do you give tzedakah (charity)? Although Jewish women’s and men’s religious roles have differed for much of history, Jewish laws and teachings regarding a person’s responsibility to help those in need have always applied to both sexes. This Go & Learn guide explores different ways that American Jewish women historically—and we today—fulfill the obligation of tzedakah and gemilut chesed (acts of loving kindness).

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Philanthropy." (Viewed on September 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/philanthropy>.

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