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New Year, New Leadership for Group of Visionary Philanthropic Women

October 5, 2011 By:
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Judith B. Ginsberg

Judith B. Ginsberg, incoming chair of Women of Vision, believes that the National Liberty Museum in Old City Philadelphia is the "ideal site" for the organization's Oct. 26 opening event. "The museum, located in an area that holds such a meaningful place in our nation's history, will inspire dialogue among our members about the importance of female heroes who have used their talents and resources to make the world a better place by standing up for what's right and by reaching out to and helping others in need," she said.

She expressed her hope that Women of Vision members will see themselves as heroes because, as philanthropists, "they help to shape the living history of Jewish women and girls."

A native Philadelphian and a proud alumna of Temple University, she expressed deep pride in chairing an organization that is itself an historic initiative. She explained that Women of Vision was created by 100 Philadelphia women who, in 1994, pooled their philanthropic resources to address critical concerns that were often ignored or significantly underfunded in our region. "These women were true visionaries who created an organization that was the first of its kind in the nation," she said

Foundation members make a minimum one-time gift of $2,500, payable over the course of two years. In return, they receive the lifetime honor of determining and voting on annual grants to programs in Greater Philadelphia and Israel. This year, members are invited to bring a guest to the event who may be interested in becoming involved. "We want to continue to grow our numbers and generate heightened social awareness of the needs in our local and global Jewish communities," Ginsberg said.

Ginsberg's deep-seated awareness of the key issues affecting Jewish women and girls emanates from her involvement as Advocacy and Grants chair for Women of Vision and her tenure as past president of the National Council of Jewish Women, an advocacy organization that she currently serves as treasurer. She has led numerous delegations of women to Harrisburg and Washington "to lobby our legislators to take action on issues of importance to our Jewish community."

She stated her pride that Women of Vision is a permanent Jewish Women's Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. "I have always believed that Federation represents our philanthropic commitment to our local and global Jewish community," she said, adding: "I have expressed my individual commitment by writing personal checks in support of the Federation annual campaign." Through site visits to various programs and initiatives, she saw first-hand how campaign dollars and foundation grants can truly "empower and transform the lives of our fellow Jews."

Ginsberg begins her administration with the prospect of significantly expanding the scope, focus and impact of the Foundation. Women of Vision leadership attended a women's funding conference in New York City that convened Jewish Women's Foundations around the world for a discussion on the impact of collaborative grant-making. As a result of the conference, six foundations proposed committing $5,000 a year for two years to be directed to grant making in Israel. "Women of Vision was one of the six to sign on to this proposal which was recently approved by our board of directors," she said, adding that "by December 2011, we will know how many other foundations throughout the country will be participating."

Ginsberg said she is excited to follow in the sizeable footsteps of Sally Cooper Bleznak, foundation founder and chair emeritus, outgoing chair Renee Sackey, former chair Donna Feinberg and others who have so ably led the organization throughout its 16-year history.

She invites current and prospective Women of Vision members to learn more about the future direction of this dynamic organization by attending the Oct. 26 event.

For more information or to make a reservation, call Susan Lundy at 215-832-0849 or email: slundy@jfgp.org.

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