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Women of Vision Grants Effect Change for Women and Girls

July 13, 2011 By:
Lynn B. Edelman
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Renée G. Sackey

The 401 members of Women of Vision, the Jewish Women's Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, have voted to earmark $58,000 in support of two organizations offering programs that have a positive impact on Jewish women and girls both locally and in Israel. The organization, which is part of the Federation Endowments Corporation, marked its 16th anniversary of inspiring philanthropy to benefit the lives of Jewish women and girls by awarding its first multiyear grant in the Philadelphia region to Jewish Family and Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia.

Women of Vision members decided to fund a two-year pilot program developed by JFCS to address the growing problem affecting Jewish girls and teens who are victims, perpetrators and/or bystanders to acts of relational aggression, including cyber-bullying.

The program, a five-part workshop series entitled "Rumors, Secrets and Cyberspace," will begin in September, and will target mothers of girls in grades four through six in year one, and mothers of girls in grades six through eight in year two.

The series is adapted from the Ophelia Project, a national non-profit organization that serves youth and adults who are affected by relational and other non-physical forms of aggression by providing them with a unique combination of tools, strategies and solutions. It will help to empower more than 90 mothers to become positive role models to their daughters.

"Relational aggression among girls is a hot-button issue, in part because of the barrage of images through reality TV and the Internet, Women of Vision Chair Renée G. Sackey, said, adding that "JFCS' innovative program addresses this important issue by reaching out to both mothers and their daughters to define the problems and find solutions." She explained that Women of Vision decided to award a multiyear grant to the project "so that JFCS can carefully set the parameters, roll out the program to the target population, and evaluate its impact."

Women of Vision has also renewed its support of New Family, an Israeli organization that performs groundbreaking work to improve the lives of women of all status. The organization's Empowerment for Women At-Risk initiative disseminates information, provides legal consultation and aid, advocates for legislation and policy reforms and other initiatives that create systemic improvements for the status of women in Israeli law and institutions. The Women of Vision support helps New Family provide legal information to 9,000 women and their families and an estimated 180,000 additional women through its online Family Rights Center.

Suzanne Feld, the group's Grants chair, expressed her enthusiasm for New Family's "broad reach among Israeli women through its legal services, website, hotline and newsletter." Feld said that several members met Irit Rosenbloom, the founder of New Family, during their spring mission to Israel. "They were so impressed by New Family's efforts to help so many women battle economic and social discrimination and stand up for their legal rights," she said, adding: "Their great work fulfills our organization's mission" to "effect social change and social justice for Jewish women and girls."

Throughout its history, Women of Vision has distributed more than $400,000 to innovative programs benefitting more than 1,000 women and girls locally and in Israel. It is the only Jewish giving vehicle in the Greater Philadelphia area that offers women a voice and a vote in supporting causes that impact the lives of Jewish women and girls.

For more information, contact Susan Lundy at 215-832-0849 or visit:

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