Professional Networking for Women


Navigating a career, having a family and finding time to connect with community has always been a challenge for both women and men. But Women’s Philanthropy at the Jewish Federation is working to make that balance easier through its brand-new initiative to connect with and engage professional women. Through this venture they hope to inspire and encourage women throughout the region to find career success, achieve their goals and find balance in their professional and personal lives.

Steering committee member Lisa Schoenberg well understands the need for such an initiative. Working as a former senior executive in the pharmaceutical industry for 20 years while also raising a family, she says, “I didn’t have a good way to fit in things like volunteering. I waited until I retired to get involved, but I always felt that there had to have been an opportunity to do more earlier.”

The endeavor will strive to be a resource for the spectrum of professional women: women who are working, recently retired, just starting their careers or looking for new challenges. By hosting appealing events that can easily fit in a busy schedule, women can connect and network, seek mentorships and get help to balance family, career and a connection to the community. There will also be a focus on networking in the digital age, including the opportunities available by connecting with the Jewish Federation on LinkedIn.

“Networking is something that everybody should make time for,” says Schoenberg. “Our events have the underlying benefit of advancing your career and learning about opportunities to be involved at the Jewish Federation — one is good for the mind and one is good for the soul. It’s important for all of us to make time for both of these things, at all stages of our careers.” And with a goal of attracting a wide range of interested attendees, events are open and accessible to all women throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.

Recent events included a panel discussion with prominent local Jewish women on a weekday evening in Center City, making it easy for attendees to drop by after work. The next networking event on January 11th, during the lunch hour of 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m., will feature Israeli Michal Barkai, founder and director of Alma Pre-Army Academy for Women’s Leadership. Barkai will speak about her journey to develop her award-winning program for female leadership, which helps young girls broaden their worldviews and qualify for higher level units in the IDF, which improves Israelis’ career trajectories for a lifetime. This event, which will be held at the Jewish Federation building at 2100 Arch St., will be free and open to the public.  

For people like Lisa who are no longer working, there is still plenty to gain from being part of a networking organization. “This group is a way for me to take my own experience and find a path to open doors for working women,” she says. “I hope we enable women to connect with each other and make them feel connected to the community.”

For more information, contact Marni Davis, Director of Women’s Philanthropy at the Jewish Federation, at [email protected] or 215-832-0859.

Women’s Philanthropy Upcoming Events

Women’s Philanthropy is a diverse community of women who share a personal commitment to supporting the Jewish community locally, in Israel and around the world.

Women’s Networking Event with Special Guest Michal Barkai

January 11, 2018

2100 Arch St., 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Women’s Philanthropy invites you to network and hear from special speaker Michal Barkai, Founder and Director of Alma Pre-Army Academy for Women’s Leadership.

The Prevention and Cure of Breast Cancer: for Jewish Women and Girls of All Generations

January 24, 2018

Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, 1001 Remington Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096, 7-9 p.m.

Join Women’s Philanthropy for a spirited discussion with Dr. Marisa Weiss, Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Hear from Dr. Weiss about the roles genetics, lifestyle and environment can have on your breast cancer risk, and everyday tips families can take to lower their risk and to promote good health.

Women’s Philanthropy Mission to Israel

March 4-11, 2018

Women philanthropists from across the Greater Philadelphia area participate in this meaningful journey to Israel to experience different communities through the eyes of Jewish women.


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