Women’s Giving Circle Grants $40,000 to Benefit Women and Children in Israel; This Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee initiative consists of area women who are dedicated to funding projects designed to improve the lives of women and children in Israel

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Women’s Giving Circle Grants $40,000 to Benefit Women and Children in Israel

This Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee initiative consists of area women who are dedicated to funding projects designed to improve the lives of women and children in Israel.

(Sarasota-Manatee) The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s Women’s Giving Circle (“Ma’agal Nashim”) recently awarded $40,000 in grants to 10 organizations in Israel benefiting women and children.

Now in its third year, the Women’s Giving Circle is made up of women in the Sarasota-Manatee area who are dedicated to funding projects designed to improve the lives of women and children in Israel.

The origins of this initiative are personal. Three years ago, Ros Mazur, a JFSM board member and co-chair of the organization’s women’s division, visited a community of at-risk women and children in Odessa, Ukraine. Mazur was deeply moved by their needs and vowed to help. Her goal? To find a way to make her dollars count to provide support for these—and other— women and children in need.

When Mazur returned to Sarasota, she related her experience to Karen Bernstein, an active JFSM participant and philanthropist. They put their heads together and came up with a concept that brings women together who share common philanthropic goals. They put a plan into action and the Federation’s Women’s Giving Circle was born.

“Its mission is to practice tikkun olam (improving the world) through a circle of caring women in order to enhance the lives of Jewish women and children in Israel,” says Mazur. She explains that voting participation in the group requires a donation of $500 per year. Overseas not-for-profit projects in Israel affecting women and/or children are eligible to submit grant proposals for consideration. After the proposals are received, members review them and determine how to distribute the funds for the greatest impact.

According to Mazur, the group’s intention is to give back by strengthening the lives of others. She defines the Women’s Giving Circle as, “a place for women to explore how we can make a difference and discover how our leadership and philanthropic passions can build a stronger world for women and children. As a group we’ll find the causes that stir our hearts and then devise plans of action to help.”

The following organizations and programs were awarded grants totaling $40,000 in 2016.

·         Friends for the Community in Israel

·         American Friends of the Jordan River Village Family

·         NATAL: Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War

·         First Hug Association

·         Orr Shalom

·         Yad Ezra V’Shulamit

·         Ethiopian National Project

·         Tenufa Bakehila (Building Hope)

·         The Jewish Agency for Israel

·         Health and Community Service

·         Crossroads Jerusalem

“It’s very exciting to be a part of Ma’agal Nashim,” says Karen Bernstein. “It is a great way to be with like-minded women and it is my hope that more women will join. We can make a difference in the lives of women and children.”

To join the Women’s Giving Circle or for more information, contact Ilene Fox at 941-343-2111 or [email protected]

About The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen Jewish life and identity in the Sarasota-Manatee community, provide for Jewish people in need, and to promote support for Israel. In addition, the Federation is responsive when worldwide catastrophes occur. For more information, call 941-371-4546 or visit www.jfedsrq.org.

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