Celebrating Women of Vision

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Finkelstein and Schell will be celebrating their commitment to empowering Jewish women and girls — as well as Bleznak’s leadership — with other Women of Vision members at the foundation’s annual Spring Luncheon, being held this year on May 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Merion Tribute House in Merion Station.

When Phyllis Finkelstein was president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Women’s Philanthropy affinity, she was asked at a meeting by Sally Cooper Bleznak, founder and chair emerita of Women of Vision, to consider becoming a Women of Vision member as well. Finkelstein was happy to say “yes” for two reasons: her mother-in-law, Bidi Finkelstein, who just recently passed away, was one of the 100 founding members of Women of Vision, the Jewish women’s foundation of Greater Philadelphia. Additionally, she believed in Women of Vision’s mission of making grants to benefit Jewish women and girls in Philadelphia and Israel, and felt joining would be an important way to complement her deep Women’s Philanthropy involvement.
“The work of the Jewish Federation and Women’s Philanthropy is so close to my heart,” said Finkelstein. “Women of Vision is yet another way to secure the future of our Jewish community.”
Today, approximately 16 years later, three generations of Finkelstein’s family are involved in Women of Vision: Her mother, Irma Malissa, joined a few years after her and, at age 92, remains involved in the group by reading organizations’ grant applications and voting on how Women of Vision awards its funding. Finkelstein’s daughter, Joanne Schell, joined just last month.
“My daughter joined because Women of Vision’s mission involves women, girls and advocacy,” Finkelstein said. “She also likes Women of Vision’s hands-on grants process. My daughter has inherited the strength of her two grandmothers, and she feels that legacy very strongly.”
Finkelstein and Schell will be celebrating their commitment to empowering Jewish women and girls — as well as Bleznak’s leadership — with other Women of Vision members at the foundation’s annual Spring Luncheon, being held this year on May 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Merion Tribute House in Merion Station. The theme of the event is Sole to Soul: Walk in the Shoes of Jewish Philanthropists. The afternoon will honor Bleznak, who conceptualized Women of Vision to bring women closer to the world of philanthropy, as well as special guest Jane Gershon Weitzman. Weitzman was executive vice president of the high-end shoe and accessory company Stuart Weitzman and founding vice president of Stuart Weitzman Retail. She spearheaded philanthropy for the organization by generating funds to support breast and ovarian cancer research and awareness.
Gladys Bernstein and Annabelle Fishman are the luncheon’s honorary co-chairs. Tracy Ginsburg and Kelly Dalsemer are the program chairs. The cost for the event is $65 per person; Women of Vision members are encouraged to invite friends and family members. To register by May 13, visit jewishphilly.org/springlunch; for more information on Women of Vision, contact Susan Lundy, senior endowment officer, at [email protected] or 215-832-0849.

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