The JWF celebrated its 10th anniversary on November 2, honoring past and current chairs, and bringing together 65 of its committed members for a reception at the home of co-chair Penina Barr. The evening provided the opportunity for all to reflect on the achievements of the Foundation and its grantees, and the impact JWF NJ has made in the extended Greater MetroWest community and in Israel.
Two extraordinarily talented young women and one of their instructors from Jazz House for Kids’ Chica Power Program, a JWF grantee, infused the 10th anniversary celebration with their musical gifts. Bass player Chloe Raichle, of Freehold; and vocalist Claudia Nkieta and pianist Nicki Denner both of Montclair wowed the crowd at the event.
Jessica Kitson, Managing Attorney of Newark-based Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, also shared a moving story of a client whose life had been transformed through the Vacateur Initiative supported by JWF.
Over the years, JWF has collaborated with an array of organizations including Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (aids victims of human trafficking and violence), Make the Road New Jersey (provides leadership and media training to immigrant women), and the Newark Conservancy (a special program helping formerly incarcerated moms bond with their daughters). In 2015, JWF also launched a special initiative, shining a light on issues facing female veterans, and was recognized by the Council of Foundations for making this a priority in the community.
“Alone we can do little, together we can do so much,” observed co-chair Lyn Rosensweig of West Orange. As a group, we engage in advocacy efforts through a gender lens. Our focus is often on areas that are of importance to many women — families, workplace concerns, self-esteem, education, and domestic violence, among others.”
To date, JWF has granted nearly $700,000. “These women are committed to achieving social change. Over the past four years alone, JWF women have increased their funding commitment to community agencies serving women and girls nearly fivefold,” noted co-chair Penina Barr of Short Hills.