The mission of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New Jersey (JWF) is to transform the lives of individual women and girls through collective grantmaking while improving the quality of life for the entire community.
JWF’s policy of “one woman, one vote” makes every member an equal stakeholder in a transparent and democratic grants decision-making process. Once you join JWF you are automatically a Trustee Board member.
The JWF Trustee Board is comprised of the full JWF membership and meets four times a year from September to June. Board meetings include presentations by JWF grantee agencies, JWF Committee reports, and interactive discussions on policy and planning issues.
There are two committees that are only open to members who are currently in or have been in leadership positions:
- Governance Committee: Comprised of current and former chairs of the JWF, this committee explores governance issues, makes recommendations for changes to the Trustee Board, and acts as the Nominating Committee.
- Executive Committee (EC): Membership is comprised of current JWF chairs, committee chairs, and past JWF chairs. The EC meets quarterly and as needed to oversee the management of the JWF and to develop recommendations on key operational and strategic policies for consideration by the full JWF Trustee Board.
All Grant Committee meetings are open to any Trustee Board member. By regularly participating in the granting process, you are able to:
• Review the Letters of Intent (LOIs) and proposals JWF receives from applicants for its grants.
• Sign up to go on site visits to applicant agencies.
• Volunteer to lead a site visit team.
• Vote on grant funding for Impact grants in the fall and for large grants at the end-of-the-year Trustee Board meeting in May.
JWF holds events in support of membership recruitment and education, and to provide trustees with opportunities to socialize and network with each other.
A sample of JWF-sponsored & co-sponsored events
- Sponsor of opening night premiere of The Zookeepers Wife at the New Jersey Jewish Film Festival, JCC of West Orange. The screening was preceded by a cocktail hour for JWF members and guests and followed by dessert. (March 19, 2017)
- Co-sponsor of the NCJW Special Lunch and Learn commemorating the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Decision. (January 26, 2017)
- Special guided tour of Greenwood Gardens (a 28-acre public historic garden in Short Hills, NJ) and the Betty Woodman bronze and hand-painted bench exhibit. (November 2, 2016)
- Screening of the movie Queen of Katwe at the AMC East Hanover, followed by dinner and discussion at a JWF member’s home. (October 5, 2016)
- An evening tour of Teddi Dolph’s home art collection plus a presentation by the WAE Center on the importance of art in the lives of the developmentally disabled. (April 6, 2016)
All trustees are encouraged to:
• attend Trustee Board meetings and retreats
• join JWF committees
• participate in JWF’s grants process
• join a JWF Special Initiative work group
• attend JWF events
• attend educational programs sponsored by JWF and by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ
Grants Committee: Develops and recommends grant policy and procedures to the full Trustee Board, and oversees the grants application process.
Membership Committee: Recruits prospective JWF members and sponsors membership recruitment and retention events.
Education and Enrichment Committee: Runs programs to educate the trustees on topics of interest that may impact and inform future granting decisions.
Grants may be given to organizations in Northern and Central New Jersey and beyond; an organization need not be Jewish to receive funds.
Impact Grants: Offered in the fall with a maximum request of $5,000 in support of programming for women and girls. (Note: Prior to 2022, small grants for a maximum of $2,500 were offered in the fall.)
Large Grants: Each spring, area agencies apply for grants of up to $25,000 for a project or initiative that addresses a key area impacting women and girls in a local community.
Special Initiative Grant: In some years, a special grant is available to not-for-profit organizations with programs supporting work in the targeted area of focus. Topics are selected by JWF membership based upon members’ interest, opportunity for increased visibility for JWFNJ, and the ability to leverage grantmaking for greatest impact. Past initiatives: Issues facing New Jersey’s women veterans; Challenges facing women and girls who are legal immigrants living in our region.
JWF is an advisory council fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ (JCF). JCF provides portfolio management, makes office space available, and provides limited administrative support for JWF’s operations. JWF’s director is an employee of JCF. One JWF Council Board member currently sits on the JCF Board of Directors.