The Jewish Women’s Foundation (JWF) of South Palm Beach County hosted its annual Granting Wishes reception on Friday, April 1, at The Polo Club of Boca Raton. Thrilled to celebrate in person after two years apart, the event attracted the largest crowd in JWF’s history.
JWF is a program of the Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. Close to 200 guests from across the Jewish community learned about JWF’s ten grant awards for 2022 (see list below) at the sold-out event co-chaired by Laurie Kamhi, a fourth-year Trustee, and Harriet Kimball, a seventh-year Trustee.
It was JWF’s first year to hold their popular event at The Polo Club of Boca Raton venue. Since the inception of Granting Wishes over 16 years ago, JWF has awarded 165 grants totaling $1,600,565. Critical funding has been allocated to 50 local and global organizations, impacting over 35,000 lives.
This year, nine local organizations and one Israeli foundation received a total of $105,000. It was the first time since the pandemic began that an Israeli organization received a grant. Guests could also contribute to the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s Ukraine Emergency Fund to support relief efforts.
Also highlighted at this year’s event was JWF’s Micro-Grant Fund. Recognizing the need to develop the next generation of future Jewish leaders and philanthropists, it awards up to $1800 to local teens and young adults with a project or program to enlighten or improve the community’s wellbeing. Micro-grants have so far supported initiatives such as the installation of a new floor at the West Boca Chabad’s outdoor play area, the creation of the “Girls in the Garden” program at Liumi West Retreat, the funding of a trademark for JARC’s “Abili TEA,” and a college student’s effort to make a documentary.
The JWF’s Rapid Response Fund, launched in 2008 in response to that economic crisis, continues to aid local women in dire circumstances. Recipient Jodie Berger shared her story of courage via video and was acknowledged as the audience rose to their feet in spirit and support.
After all recipients were acknowledged, Randee Rubenstein, outgoing JWF Chair for the past three years and a Trustee for seven years, thanked the guests, event committee, co-chairs, and Trustees, saying their hard work helped JWF not only to survive but thrive during the pandemic.
“Today, you have seen the impact of the grants we have funded. Women are a powerful force in philanthropy, and that power shapes our world and our community. All of us are on a mission to improve the lives of Jewish women and children,” she said.
Rubenstein invited women to join the trustees with a $10,000 commitment, payable over five years. “At $2,000 a year, that’s about $5.50 per day, the cost of a latte at Starbucks,” she said, noting an additional $50,000 in 2022 grant requests went unfilled due to the lack of funds.
Amy Rosenberg was then recognized warmly as rising Chair, taking over in May. “Amy has done a superb job as Grants Chair and Vice-Chair. She will bring new ideas and perspectives to making JWF even better,” said Rubenstein, who will continue serving as a trustee.
“As JWF Chair, I am looking forward to continuing the exciting and positive momentum that Randee and our JWF have built. We recently welcomed several new trustees as we look to continually broaden our women’s giving circle so we can fulfill all our grant requests in the future. Additionally, we want to focus on building an endowment to ensure the future of JWF through legacy giving opportunities,” said Rosenberg.
Finally, Haley Moss, an exceptional speaker who continues to challenge barriers, inspired the audience. Moss, a University of Miami law school graduate, passed the bar and is Florida’s first openly autistic attorney. Recently featured on the Today Show, Moss spoke eloquently for 20 minutes, without notes or a teleprompter, and captivated the crowd.
Sponsors include the CPA firm of Gerson, Preston, Klein, Lips, Eisenberg, and Gelber and the investment management firm, Glenmede, which generously sponsors the Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation. The Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation sponsored the 2022 Granting Wishes event. The Boca Raton Observer was Exclusive Magazine Sponsor, and the In-Kind Sponsor was Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.
For information about JWF or on becoming a Trustee, visit jewishboca.org/jwf. You may also contact Tanya Miller, Director, Jewish Women’s Foundation, at 561.852.3166 or TanyaM@bocafed.org.
2022 JEWISH WOMEN’S FOUNDATION OF SOUTH PALM BEACH COUNTY GRANT AWARDS
COMMUNITY GRANTS – $90,000
The Levis Jewish Community Center’s Schwedelson Special Needs Department: $10,000
Camp Kavod’s Counselors-in-Training with Special Needs Program is for approximately ten young adults and teens to serve as counselors-in-training at summer camp this year
Hillel of Broward and Palm Beaches: $10,000
Jewish Learning Fellowship (JLF) program is for college women looking for a safe place to share their ideas related to Judaism.
Jewish Association for Residential Care (JARC FL): $7500
Fitness and Fun Program, created during the pandemic, ensures JARC’s clients remain physically active and mentally engaged through professional yoga, dance, aerobics, and tai chi classes.
PJ Library®: $5,000
New grandparent’s add-on program initiative of PJ Our WayTM provides free, high-quality children’s books, music, and resources that foster deeper engagement with Jewish life
March of the Living Southern Region: $20,000
From March to Miriam multigenerational program is matching Holocaust survivors with teens and adults to enrich everyone’s lives and never forget
Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services: $12,500
Fresh Start Program provides training and other resources to attain financial independence for 40 women and children who are survivors of domestic abuse
Liumi West Retreat: $5000
Women’s Wellness in the Garden program provides women and girls with gardening and sustainability tools and resources
The Hanley Foundation: $5000
Marijuana and Vaping Prevention Program is conducted at local Jewish schools, including Donna Klein Jewish Academy
Southern NCSY (National Conference of Synagogue Youth): $15,000
Hate Ends Now Tour educates and engages about anti-Semitism today with a 360-degree immersive show in a replica cattle car with actors, voices, and stories related to the Holocaust
ISRAEL GRANT – $15,000
Ahm Yisrael Foundation: $15,000
Adopt a Safta program brings together the younger generation with the elderly to create new connections, memories, and purpose
MICRO-GRANT FUND INITIATIVE: Up to $1800 for each grant
To develop the next generation of future Jewish leaders and philanthropists, local teens and young adults with a project or program to enlighten or improve the community can apply