A Hopeful Message From Carly Zimmerman, WOV Chair

Dear Women of Vision,

My husband, Michael, and I have been reading Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House books to our daughter before bed. In a recent book, the main characters, Annie and Jack, ages seven and eight, are sent back in time to recover four writings that will help save the kingdom of Camelot. One of the writings is a sign written in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires. The sign says:

There is no water and still less soap. We have no city, but lots of hope.

Annie and Jack bring the sign back to their home in Frog Creek, PA and present it to a down and out King Arthur. Jack encourages the king, sharing that, “…when you’ve lost everything, you can still have hope.” 

Whether 1906 in San Francisco, or 2022 in Philadelphia, the state of our world feels very scary, and we could all use a reminder that you can still have hope. 

Women of Vision and our collective desire to make significant social change gives me hope each day. As I review the recent grants awarded, I am hopeful that we can increase financial literacy among young women, empower teens to develop leadership skills, and provide comprehensive sexual education to young girls and women. After reading She Said and hearing from its co-author Megan Twohey, I am hopeful there are more courageous survivors that will tell their stories, so that others won’t experience sexual harassment and abuse. And when 26 new members joined Women of Vision this year, including daughters and granddaughters of current members, I was filled with hope that Women of Vision will continue to do this work for many generations.

I’m also drawing hope from our future leadership. I am excited to share that Andi Barsky will take the baton as Chair of Women of Vision in September 2023. Andi will serve as Chair-Elect as well as the Grants Review Co-Chair this year. I’m grateful she accepted this role and eager to work side by side with her this year!

And if you aren’t feeling at least a little hopeful, I hope that our soon to be released Mussar Journal will provide a spark of inspiration. Developed by Rabbi Lynnda Targran and Terri Soifer, our journal will feature wisdom from 12 Women of Vision members alongside prompts to encourage you to reflect on your own skills and strengths. We are excited to share the journal with all members early in 5783. 

Thank you for all you do and enjoy reading our summer newsletter. It’s packed with many, many more reasons to “still have hope.”

With gratitude,

Past Programs

  • Designing Motherhood:  We had a virtual exploration on February 3 and an in-person tour on March 20 of the revolutionary Designing Motherhood exhibit at the Mütter Museum. During these gatherings, we discussed the themes of the exhibit, which illuminates the gender-based political, economic and social views of reproductive health by considering the medical designs and devices of various eras. 
  • Offering Victims Validation, Compensation and Sense of Empowerment: We were glad to be able to reschedule our program with Jordana “Jordy” H. Feldman, Esq., who has administered compensation programs for victims of 9/11 and Jeffrey Epstein.
  • Book Review: We had a virtual discussion on March 10 of She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Pulitzer-prize winning reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. This discussion was an opportunity to examine the ground breaking investigative work of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse that triggered the global reckoning on sexual misconduct before hearing directly from Twohey as the keynote speaker of the Spring Event. 
  • Women’s Civil Rights Mission: Women of Vision and Women’s Philanthropy traveled to Georgia and Alabama from May 14-17 to delve into American history and explore the historic struggle that shaped our nation. Click here to see the photo recap story.
  • Spring Event: We held our annual Spring Event on May 19 at French Creek Golf Club. The signature event featured Megan Twohey, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and co-author of She Said. See the photo recap story by clicking here. 
  • Grant Finalists: We had the opportunity to hear directly from our grantee finalists before voting opened. To watch the program, please click here.

Grantee Spotlight: Mavoi Satum 

“I experienced physical violence as well as verbal violence, the system does not work for a woman in my situation. We would argue about some nonsense: ‘You ate without asking, you did not wait for me,’ and very quickly it would get out of proportion.”

Hava Dan (As Reported to N12)

Hava was married for three years, during which she suffered severe violence. She decided to separate from her husband and father of her two young children. Her husband claimed that she was mentally ill and insisted that he wanted to make things right between them. The rabbinical court sent the parties to a mediation process, which did not help. While she sought refuge at a shelter with her children, she found it hard to manage – and without any other options, she returned home to experience yet another life threatening situation that resulted in a neighbor calling the police. After being connected with Mavoi Satum, Hava was finally able to secure her divorce in the courts after two years of being denied it. 

Women of Vision granted Mavoi Satum $50,000 over two years (2022 and 2023 fiscal years) to support their work in reducing gender inequality, discrimination and abuse in Israel’s marriage and divorce system, and expediting the divorce process for individual women – while ensuring that their legal rights are respected.

In memoriam

For those we lost in 2022, may their
memory be for a blessing.

Frederick Laucius
Gail Laucius’ husband

Adele Lipton

Stanford Sarlson
Kathy Sarlson’s father

Shirley Shils

New Theme: Understanding Equity

“The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally. It will be achieved by treating everyone justly according to their circumstances.”

Paula Dressel, Race Matters Institute

This year, Women of Vision will be taking on a number of complex issues, such as reproductive rights, gun violence and more, and examining them through the lens of equity as we continue to advocate for social justice. Whereas equality provides the same support for all, equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed for the individual to reach an equal outcome.

Grant Announcement

“The Women of Vision members awarded grants this year to programs that represent a wide-range of societal issues facing self-identifying women and girls: providing health education for Orthodox women to empowering women to be in control of their finances to inspiring the next generation of women leaders and thinkers.  We are proud that WOV continues to make important strides in the fight for economic and educational equity.”

Amy Cohen and Andi Barsky, Grants Co-Chairs

Women of Vision members have voted to award grants to Einstein Healthcare Network,  Jewish Women International and  jGirls+ Magazine for the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years.

Einstein Healthcare Network: $36,000/year for two years
“Empowering Orthodox Women Through Sexual Health Education”

Jewish Women International: $20,000 for FY 23 and $25,000 for FY 24
“Financial Fitness for Young Women”

jGirls+ Magazine: $34,000/year for two years
“Feminist Teen Leadership Training Program”

If you’d like to learn more about our grants process and join the committee for the 2022-2023 cycle, please contact Jessica Ranweiler at jranweiler@jewishphilly.org.

Empowering a New Generation of Women of Vision

“I am honored and excited to accept the position of Chair-Elect and follow in the footsteps of our incredible past Chairs (with Carly’s guidance)!

I have been so inspired by the accomplishments of WOV and its dedicated members, and I can’t imagine a more important time in history to be investing in and supporting women through our grantmaking, advocacy, and programming.”

Andi Barsky
Women of Vision Chair-Elect

Executive Committee 2022-2023

Chairs & Past Leadership

Carly Zimmerman, Chair

Andi Barsky, Chair Elect

Mindy Fortin,
Immediate Past Chair

Sally Cooper Bleznak, Founder and Chair Emerita*

Marcy Bacine, Past Chair

Penni F. Blaskey, Past Chair 

Donna C. Feinberg, Past Chair*

Judith B. Ginsberg, Past Chair

Renée G. Sackey, Past Chair

Gladys B. Bernstein, Ex Officio*

Annabelle Fishman, Ex Officio*


Advancement Co-Chairs
Mary Relles
Barbara Lincow

Advocacy Co-Chairs
Suzanne Feld
Karen Model
Terri Soifer

Evaluation Co-Chairs
Amy Cohen
Deborah Meyer

Governance Co-Chairs
Rita Siegle
Laura Spain

Grants Co-Chairs
Andi Barsky
Cindy Warkow

At Large Board Members

Kelly Dalsemer

Joy Gordon

Tracy Gordon

Beth Joseph

Brandi Lerner

Marilyn Lieberman

Susan Raynor

Joanne Schell

Gina Shapiro

Ann C. Lebowitz Steinberger

Rabbi Lynnda Targan

Welcome to our new At-Large Members

Tracy Gordon

Beth Joseph

Ann C. Lebowitz Steinberger

Brandi Lerner

Thank you to the Executive Committee members rotating off

Jamie Aronow

Tracy Ginsburg

Julie Savitch

Jill Zipin

*Founding Member

Welcome Our New Members in 2022

Kate Aschkenasy
Diane Bacine
Kim Decker
Jordy Feldman
Barbara Kleger
Chloe Lerner
Jennifer Molish Brier

Inspire a special woman in your life to join Women of Vision by clicking here or contacting Shara Swift at sswift@jewishphilly.org.

Upcoming Programs

Down the Shore: Down the Shore: In order to keep in touch with our valued members who no longer have a presence in Philadelphia (e.g., living at shore and Florida only), we invite you to attend a brunch in Longport, New Jersey (weather permitting) on Monday, August 15 from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Hosted by Penni Blaskey, Rabbi Lynnda Targan and Marsha Silberstein, come socialize, get updates from WOV Executive Committee members and hear from grant recipient Meredith Jacobs, CEO of Jewish Women International (JWI). In addition, we welcome any member who would like to come with someone interested in learning about our social justice work that benefits self-identifying Jewish women and girls. To register, click here.

Philadelphia Civil Rights Mission: Missed the Women’s Civil Rights Mission in May? No worries, you can click here to sign up for the next Civil Rights Mission with JCRC, ADL and AJC, happening September 17-20. 

The Kesher Israel Weaving Program: Join fellow WOV member Ilene Lipow, and come weave a one-of-a-kind tallit, tallit bag, Atarah, matzah or challah cover for yourself or a loved one. No weaving experience necessary. You will be guided by an experienced weaver every step of the way, from design to weaving to tying the tzitzit. The Kesher Israel Weaving Program is open to the entire Jewish community. Contact shalom@kesher-israel.org for more information. 

Stay Tuned: We have an exciting lineup of fall programs, including Advocacy Training 101 and more!

Doing Great Things Takes One Person

“Joining Women of Vision was my first interpersonal meeting with women who were smart, pleasant, and deeply committed to helping Jewish women and children. Reviewing grants for this committee gave me a deep look into the problems of Jewish women and children in Philadelphia and Israel that could be addressed by the group philanthropy of Jewish women in Philadelphia. I could make a difference.”

Marsha Metzger Silberstein, MD,
Women of Vision Member

Marsha Metzger Silberstein, MD became a Women of Vision member in 2017. This year, she was inspired to increase to the BenefactHer Level to make an even greater impact.

You can reinvest in Women of Vision too by clicking here.

A New Location: A Steadfast Mission

We are excited to announce that we have moved our office to Two Commerce Square. This new space will inspire creativity, collaboration and allow us to focus on the most important part: making an impact for our communities.

If you give by check to the Women of Vision Endowment Fund, please direct it to:

Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Two Commerce Square
2001 Market Street, Suite 2300
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Expand Your Vision Announcement

We are honored to announce that our Expand Your Vision match opportunity, which ran from March through May, resulted in $106,000 for our Women of Vision Endowment Fund. This included $70,000 first-time and increased gifts, $36,000 of which was leveraged through the match.

Thank you to all who donated to this collective effort, showcasing our commitment to advancing the lives of self-identifying girls and women. We are grateful to the anonymous donor who made this gift in honor of past, present and future Women of Vision members.

While the campaign may be over, you can still expand your vision by:

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 campaign year on August 31 fast approaching, we hope that you will consider giving a gift to the Jewish Community Fund at jewishphilly.org/donate.