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 Council Board member.
The JWF Council 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. The full Council Board periodically holds annual summer retreats.
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 Council Board, and acts as the Nominating Committee.
- Executive Committee (EC): Membership is comprised of JWF chairs, current committee chairs, and the immediate past JWF chair. The EC meets monthly to oversee the management of the JWF and to develop recommendations on key operational and strategic policies for consideration by the full JWF Council Board.
All Grant Committee meetings are open to any Council 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 small, large, and Israel grants.
• Sign up to go on site visits to applicant agencies.
• Volunteer to lead a site visit team.
• Vote on grant funding for small grants in the fall and at the end-of-the-year Council Board meeting.
JWF holds events in support of membership recruitment and member education, and to provide members with opportunities to socialize and network with each other.
JWF-Sponsored & Co-Sponsored Events
- Sponsor of opening night premiere of The Zookeepers Wifestarring Jessica Chastain 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 Learncommemorating 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 members are encouraged to:
• attend Council Board meetings and Council Board retreats
• join JWF committees
• participate in JWF’s grants process
• join a JWF Special Initiative workgroup
• attend JWF events
• attend educational programs sponsored by JWF and by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ
Grants Committee: Develops and recommends to the full Council Board grant policy and procedures, and oversees grants management including the full grants application process. Review and approval of all JWF grant requests — small grants in the fall, the Israel grant, and Letters of Intent (LOI’s), large grants — take place at committee sessions that are open to the full JWF membership.
Membership Committee: Recruits prospective JWF members and works with the Program Committee to sponsor membership recruitment and retention events.
Program Committee: Develops and executes programs in support of membership and JWF’s special initiatives.
Communications Committee: In conjunction with the JWF Director, JWF co-chairs, JCF, and Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ’s Marketing Department, the committee develops and executes a comprehensive communications strategy for JWF.
Special Initiatives Committee: A special pilot grant initiative was approved by the JWF Council Board in October 2014. That initiative focused on issues facing New Jersey’s female veterans as they transitioned from the military to civilian life. The committee is sunsetting its work on female veterans and has identified a new area for its next special initiative — the challenges facing women and girls who are legal immigrants living in our communities. All JWF members are encouraged to participate in the special initiatives process of identifying new areas of interest and developing opportunities to address the identified area of focus.
Grants may be given to local, regional, national, Israeli, or global organizations; they need not be a Jewish organization to receive funds.
Small Grants: Offered in the fall with a maximum request of $2,000 in support of programming for women and girls. In 2019-2020 a total of $13,700 was awarded.
Israel Grant: For the past two years, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, one grant of $10,000 a year has been provided to an organization in Israel for a project benefiting women and girls. For 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 this funding supported JWF’s participation in a national Jewish Women’s Funding Network Collaboration Grant Initiative.
Large Grants: Each spring, area agencies apply for grants of up to $30,000 for a project or initiative that addresses a key area impacting women and girls. At our Council Board meeting (generally in June) we vote to award to these large grants. For the 2019-2020 fiscal year, $151,640 in total was awarded.
Special Initiative Grant: A special grant of up to $25,000 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 grant making for greatest impact. Past initiative: Issues Facing new Jersey’s Women Veterans. For the coming year the focus of JWF’s Special Initiative will be on the challenges facing women and girls who are legal immigrants living in our region.
JWF is a donor-advised fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ (JCF). A donor-advised fund is a separately identified fund that is maintained and operated by a sponsoring organization. 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.