Farewell from Mindy Fortin, Outgoing WOV Chair

Dear Women of Vision,

As I sit to write this message in the same spot from which I have Zoomed, written, reflected, struggled (and snacked!) over the past year, it is hard to believe that we may be coming to the end of this isolating journey. The magnolia tree that I can see from my office window has gone through more than four seasons of change and has grown taller, fuller and more mature in that time. I think the same can be said for Women of Vision. I have nothing but gratitude for our Executive Board and committee volunteers, the staff at Jewish Federation and for the hundreds of members who signed on to our virtual programming and participated in our Israel Grants process.

Our spring programming featured a rousing book discussion with Bev Rosen on Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, an in depth look at the continuing struggle to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and a conversation with our grantee, Ta’amod, on psychological safety in Jewish workplaces. Our Israeli grant finalists saw the opportunity to engage with our membership as so important that they took the time to create videos in the midst of this spring’s conflict so that our voters could have a better understanding of the work that they are doing. All this is to say that we, through the trials of this year, have grown, reckoned with difficulties and disappointments and further clarified the importance of our mission of social change grantmaking to improve the lives of women and girls here and in Israel.

I am finishing my two-year term as WOV Chair this summer and could not be more excited to be welcoming Carly Zimmerman to the role. Carly and I will be working together over the next couple of months as we transition and make plans for this coming year. It is our hope that we will be able to join together in person when Carly is officially installed as chair this Fall. Carly represents the future of Women of Vision and her new position defines us as a truly multi-generational organization that offers leadership opportunity and responsibility to an ever-growing number of young and talented women. In my time as chair, I have learned so much, made good friends and felt empowered, in a turbulent and troubled world, to effect change. I hope that you, as members, have had those experiences as well and will continue to invest in the work of Women of Vision.

And so, it is with optimism and a thankful heart that I am writing to you and hope that all of you are safe and well and beginning to make plans to step away from the screens (and snacks!) that have sustained us this year.  


Meet Carly Zimmerman, Your New WOV Chair

I’m excited, nervous, and feel a healthy amount of pressure to do ‘big things’ in the next two years. I’m inspired to lead, because of what my mom has taught me and to create a better world for my daughter, Norah, and her generation. I really want to make them proud.

My goal is to honor our past and look forward to growing Women of Vision, welcoming more members and increasing our ability to make larger grants to organizations in Philadelphia and Israel. Social change grant making is at the heart of Women of Vision and I’d like to get as many women involved in this process as possible.

Click here to learn about my goals for Women of Vision.

Next Year’s Theme: Looking Back and Moving Forward

This year, Women of Vision will explore the power of passion and perseverance in the face of COVID-19 and harnessing our reinforced strength of gratitude, resilience, integrity, inclusion and talent as we move forward into the future.

Welcome To Our New Members!

Allison Benton

Salina Greene

Joan Krison

Brandi Lerner

Hannah Marks Charny

Announcing Our 2021-2022 Executive Committee

Carly Zimmerman,

Committee Co-ChairsCommittee Co-ChairsPast Leadership
Penni Blaskey, Advancement
Andi Barsky,
Grants Co-Chair
Mindy Fortin,
Immediate Past Chair
Joy Gordon, Advancement
Amy Cohen,
Grants Co-Chair
Gladys B. Bernstein,
Ex Officio
Karen Model, Advocacy Co-ChairRita Siegle,
Governance Co-Chair
Annabelle Fishman,
Ex Officio
Suzanne Feld, Advocacy Co-ChairLaura Spain,
Governance Co-Chair
Sally Cooper Bleznak, Founder and Chair Emerita
Susan Raynor, Evaluations Co-ChairRabbi Lynnda Targan, Program Co-ChairDonna C. Feinberg,
Past Chair
Cindy Warkow, Evaluations Co-ChairTerri Soifer,
Program Co-Chair
Renée G. Sackey,
Past Chair
Marcy Bacine,
Past Chair
Penni F. Blaskey,
Past Chair
Judith B. Ginsberg,
Past Chair


Jamie AronowBarbara LincowJoanne Schell
Kelly DalsemerDeborah MeyerGina Shapiro
Tracy GinsburgMary RellesJill Zipin
Marilyn LiebermanJulie Savitch

In memoriam

For those we lost this past year, may their memory be for a blessing.

Mryna Asher’s husband, Howard Asher

Barbara and Mickey Black’s son, Lee Black

Harriet Weiss’s mother, Eve Glassberg

Ruth Golder

Chaile Steinberg’s husband, David Steinberg

Marcia Rubin’s husband, Ronald Rubin

Grant Cycle

Women of Vision (WOV) members have voted to award grants to ELI and Mavoi Satum in Israel for the 2022 and 2023 fiscal year.

ELI – $18,000/year for two years  

“Training of IDF Female Officers: Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention in the Army”

Mavoi Satum – $25,000/year for two years
Changing the Status Quo: Changing Jewish Women’s Lives”

You can learn more about our grant recipients by clicking here to hear them speak during our WOV grant finalist event about their mission and how they will use the funds to effect change in the lives of Jewish women and girls.

Thank you to all of the WOV members who voted and made their voices heard. A special thanks to our Grant Review Committee for presenting such strong finalists. We can’t wait to see the incredible impact that our grants will make for these organizations and for the women and girls that they serve.

jGirls Magazine, 2020-2022 WOV Grantee

“jGirls is a Jewish feminist community of teens from across the country who learn to lead, think creatively and amplify their own voices along with those of their peers. As an alumna who served on the editorial board for three years, I’m incredibly grateful for all of the connections I’ve made, conversations I’ve had and submissions I’ve read that have expanded my perspective on what it means to be Jewish, female and human.”

 -Sasha Hochman, jGirls Magazine Teen Editor, 2016-2019, Philadelphia, PA

Action Item: Take A Stand Against Hate

In December, we had the opportunity to hear from Integrity First for America’s Executive Director Amy Spitalnick about the organization’s landmark case against the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who orchestrated the deadly violence and terror in Charlottesville in August 2017. Their trial date is now set for October in Charlottesville and there has been a flurry of pre-trial victories for the plaintiffs, including significant legal and monetary penalties imposed on the defendants. We encourage you to follow their case by clicking here and considering supporting their efforts to hold these violent extremists accountable.

Upcoming Program

A Very Israeli Rosh Hashanah 
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Schmooze Room at 7:30 p.m. | Virtual Cooking Class at 8:00 p.m.

Shanah tovah! Make your new year extra sweet with a virtual cooking class, featuring award-winning chef Michael Solomonov and New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author Adeena Sussman. Receive recipes in advance and have the opportunity to ask questions to be answered live. As an appetizer, join Women of Vision and Women’s Philanthropy for a community Schmooze Room, where we will make a New Year’s toast — l’chaim!

Click here to register.

Past Spring Programs

  • Parlor Meetings: In February, we had two opportunities for prospective members to learn about our advocacy and grantmaking work to transform the lives of Jewish women and girls.
  • Book Review: In March, we discussed Sherl Sanberg’s seminal book, Lean In, with facilitator Bev Rosen.
  • Equal Means Equal: For our Spring program in April, we watched the groundbreaking documentary “Equal Means Equal,” and discussed the fight for gender equality with the director award-winning actor, Kamala Lopez.
  • Grant Finalists: In May, we had the opportunity to learn about our three grant finalists in Israel before voting on which programs should receive funding from Women of Vision for the 2022-2023 fiscal years.
  • Tamara Keith, NPR: In June, we partnered with JCRC and Women’s Philanthropy to hear from Tamara Keith, NPR White House reporter and co-host of NPR Politics podcast, about the Biden Administration and the position on the Equal Rights Amendment.

Carry the Light

Your generous commitment to Jewish life is what allows the Jewish Federation to continue its great work everyday for our communities, locally and abroad. With the end of the Annual Campaign fast approaching on August 31, we hope that you will help us finish strong by giving a gift to the Jewish Community Fund  at jewishphilly.org/donate.