Navigating a career, having a family and finding time to connect with community can be a challenge. But Women’s Philanthropy at the Jewish Federation is working to make that balance easier through its new professional women’s network. It will serve the spectrum of professional women — connecting women who are working, recently retired, just starting their careers or looking for new challenges — in the hopes of helping them achieve their goals and find balance in their lives. There will also be a focus on networking in the digital age, including the opportunities available by connecting with the Jewish Federation on LinkedIn.
Steering committee member Lisa Schoenberg well understands the need for such an initiative. Working for 20 years as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical industry while also raising a family, “I didn’t have a good way to fit in things like volunteering,” she says. “Our events have the 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.”
Events are open and accessible to all women throughout Greater Philadelphia, and are held at times that can fit into a busy schedule. 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-1:00 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 developing 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 Community Services Building building at 2100 Arch Street 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 said. “I hope we enable women to connect with each other and make them feel connected to the community. ”