Farewell Message from Our Chair

I hope you will take the time to read each part of our summer newsletter. Collectively, we accomplished so much this year.

Beginning September 1, we will be awarding over $172,000 in grants to three Israeli nonprofits and three United States based nonprofits that support self-identifying Jewish women and girls. We expanded our understanding of equity, hearing from inspiring women that included Amal Abu Karen, an Israeli Arab trailblazer uplifting Bedouin women, and Qian Julie Wang, activist and author of “Beautiful County.” We rolled up our sleeves to volunteer as part of our community-wide service day at JRA in honor of Israel’s 75th anniversary and practiced our advocacy skills in preparation for our trip to Harrisburg this fall. 

It has been an honor to serve as Chair of Women of Vision for the past two years. I have drawn so much strength and support from this community of smart, thoughtful and courageous leaders. 

My request as I pass the baton to Andi Barsky, our incoming Chair, is that you continue to raise your hands and voices. If you’ve served on a committee, please continue to serve and invite others to join you. If you attended one of our events – virtual or in person – please mark your calendars for our busy fall schedule that will kick off with an Advocacy Day to Harrisburg on September 12. If you haven’t been involved for a few years, I encourage you to jump back in and get to know our 40+ new members who have joined WOV in the past two years by working alongside them to award grants and by planning compelling educational and advocacy programs.

Thank you for being a member of WOV.


Turning 30: Three Decades of Changing Lives

As WOV approaches a new milestone of 30 years in 2024, we want to thank you for your ongoing dedication as a collective group of passionate and driven self-identifying women.

In moving forward, we are looking into new avenues for members to reinvest in the WOV Endowment Fund and to be recognized for their generosity. That is why we are excited to announce a new giving level for those who donate $72,000: TrailblazHer. 

For the past 30 years, we have relied on your leadership and support to ensure the continuation of our work to advance the lives of Jewish girls and women. In order to ensure another 30 years of creating deep-rooted social change, we hope that you will consider reinvesting in WOV by giving the amount that feels right for you at jewishphilly.org/wovendowment

Upcoming Programs

Fall Gathering: We are planning an intimate gathering for new and prospective members to connect and engage in the vital work of WOV.

Harrisburg Advocacy Day: Ready to put your words into action? Women of Vision will be partnering with the Jewish Federation’s JCRC, NextGen and Women’s Philanthropy groups along with the ADL and AJC on September 12 for a day of advocacy at the State Capitol in Harrisburg as we raise awareness about issues of concern within our communities. Co-chaired by our very own Lynne Jacobs, advocacy topics will include antisemitism and hate crimes, reproductive health, and violence prevention. Learn more and register here.

This Year’s Theme: Understanding Equity

WOV’s theme for this past year has been “Understanding Equity” and how we must work to recognize that we do not all start from the same place. Unlike equality which provides everyone with the same exact resources, equity addresses the fact that different people need different and varying resources to have equal opportunities in life. 

But equity is not just a theme, and it is not just a concept for our year of work – it is a societal imperative that we must all continuously strive for each and every day. That is why we have decided to keep “Understanding Equity” as our thematic focus for this year. 

The Advocacy Committee is leading the charge to increase awareness and knowledge of areas within social justice where members can create the most change. As part of this commitment, WOV will be making a more concerted effort to collaborate and partner with the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), the Jewish Federation’s department that focuses on educational programs and advocacy initiatives in Greater Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Washington, D.C. and Israel.

If you wish to play a greater role in the Jewish Federation’s advocacy efforts, there are opportunities to serve on one of the following JCRC committees and task forces:

  • Israel and World Jewry Committee
  • Domestic Affairs Committee
  • Holocaust Education and Remembrance Committee
  • Gun Responsibility Task Force 
  • Religious Freedom Task Force   

Click here to see WOV’s statement about our increased efforts to collaborate with the Jewish Community Relations Council to make a greater impact in the fight for equity. 

Grants Announcement

“Every Women of Vision grants cycle is a testament to the power of philanthropy, and how we are collectively able to make a true difference in the lives of self identifying Jewish women and girls. This year, our members once again made their voices heard and voted to award funds to initiatives in Israel that tackle deep-rooted societal and systemic issues: improving the law enforcement system for victims of sexual violence, identifying abuse and protecting young women in the Ultra-Orthodox community, and unifying Arab and Jewish women through entrepreneurial empowerment.”   

– WOV Grants Co-Chairs Andi Barsky and Cindy Warkow

Our members have voted to award grants to three organizations in Israel, investing $137,328 to programs that will affect change in the lives of self-identifying Jewish women and girls: Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI)’s “Improving Law Enforcement Systems for Victims” program, Yozmot Atid’s “Micro-Business Entrepreneurship” program, and ELI’s “Protecting Haredi Young Women and Girls” program.

Learn more about WOV’s recent and past grantees here.

Welcome from Our Incoming Chair

I am so excited and honored to begin my term as Chair of WOV. 

First and foremost, I am thrilled to be part of such a smart and passionate group of women who are dedicated to improving the lives of Jewish women and girls.  And what an amazing time to be a member of WOV! We are celebrating 30 years of achievements and success attained by using our collective resources, talents and voices to make a meaningful impact locally and in Israel. 

As a mother of three girls, I am keenly aware of the issues women and girls face in fighting for equity and equality in today’s world. Our targeted grantmaking has the ability to make sustainable change in these areas. I am proud to be a part of the grants committee and have a vote for the organizations we select. 

Looking to the future, I am eager to build upon the incredible work done by my predecessors. Their efforts and leadership have made this organization what it is today, and I am grateful for their guidance (thank you, Carly!).

Click here to read Andi’s full message to learn more about her and her vision for WOV. 

Executive Committee 2023-2024


Andi Barsky, Chair

Carly Zimmerman, Immediate Past Chair

Sally Cooper Bleznak, Founder and Chair Emerita*

Marcy Bacine, Past Chair

Penni F. Blaskey, Past Chair 

Donna C. Feinberg, Past Chair*

Mindy Fortin, Past Chair

Judith B. Ginsberg, Past Chair

Renée G. Sackey, Past Chair

Gladys B. Bernstein, Ex Officio*

Annabelle Fishman, Ex Officio*


Advancement Co-Chairs
Barbara Lincow
Mary Relles

Advocacy Co-Chairs
Lynne Jacobs
Brandi Lerner

Evaluation Co-Chairs
Amy Cohen
Beth Joseph

Governance Co-Chairs
Rita Siegle 
Laura Spain 

Grants Co-Chairs
Ann Lebowitz
Cindy Warkow


Kelly Dalsemer
Suzanne Feld 
Tracy Gordon
Ellen Holtzman
Marilyn Lieberman
Karen Model
Kathy Sarlson
Joanne Schell
Miriam Silberstein
Terri Soifer


Ellen Holtzman
Lynne Jacobs
Kathy Sarlson
Miriam Silberstein


Joy Gordon
Deborah Meyer
Susan Raynor
Gina Shapiro
Rabbi Lynnda Targan

*Founding Member

Welcome to Our New Members

(Since Winter)

Penninah Brodie
The Honorable Marlene Lachman
Marcia Halpern

Gail Kass
Annie Norbitz
Lisa Schoenberg
Sara E. Laver
Sara Steinberger
Marci Hackel
Marla Rosenthol
Tammy Steinberg

Judith Rosenbaum
Beth R. Steiner
Sarah Kahn
Mina Smith-Segal
Robin Schatz
Karen Mazer
Sharon Kramer
Janet Lynn
Ellie Aronstam
Debra Zweben
Jill Freeman

Eve Berger

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

For those we lost since the start of 2023

Barbara Cooperberg z’l

Robert B. Golder z’l
Ellyn Golder Saft’s Father

Linda Schachter Gordon z’l
Tracy Gordon’s Mother-in-Law

Marilyn Harmelin z’l
WOV Member and Randie Harmelin’s Mother-in-Law

Sondra Faith Hockfield z’l
Tracy Gordon’s Mother

Arthur Richard Miller z’l
Jodi Miller’s Father-in-Law

Shari J. Odenheimer, Esq. z’l

Eve Orlow z’l

Shirley G. Pearlstine z’l

Bettie Rosenblum z’l
Randie Harmelin’s Mother

Suzanne Rubin z’l

Warren Vogel z’l
Gayle Vogel’s Husband, Sarah Vogel’s Father-in-Law, Ruby, Siena and Josie Vogel’s Grandfather

Past Programs

Since the start of 2023

  • Book Review: We had a virtual discussion on January 25 of  “Beautiful Country: A Memoir of an Undocumented Childhood,” a New York Times bestseller by our WOV Spring Event guest speaker Qian Julie Wang. This facilitated conversation explored our theme of “understanding equity” through the lens of an undocumented child living in poverty in the richest country in the world.
  • Emergency Response Training: WOV partnered with Women’s Philanthropy for a virtual program on February 7 to learn life-saving skills in the event of an emergency situation. The session was led by the Jewish Federation’s Security Director Scott Kerns of Secure Community Network (SCN).
  • Community Mitzvah Day: In honor of Israel’s 75th birthday, the Jewish Federation hosted a Community Mitzvah Day on April 23 that included 25+ hands-on volunteer opportunities throughout Greater Philadelphia. WOV participated in the impactful day by partnering with Women’s Philanthropy at JRA to pack food boxes for those in need. Learn more about the day here. 
  • Spring Event: We held our annual Spring Event on May 23 at Congregation Rodeph Shalom. Nearly 150 people attended our signature event, which featured a conversation with Qian Julie Wang, award-winning Jewish author of “Beautiful Country” and champion for underrepresented communities. During the program, we also installed Andi Barsky as the new WOV Chair, effective September 1. Click here to see the photo recap story and learn about how WOV member Eileen Dwell shared “A Beautiful Country” with a Philadelphia school to create more understanding of their student body.
  • Grant Finalist: We had the opportunity to hear directly from our grantee finalists in Israel before voting opened on May 31. To watch the program, please click here.
  • Parlor Meeting: We had three parlor meetings to engage prospective members in Center City, Dresher and Margate. Through these meetings, we were able to recruit 9 people to become members of WOV. Thank you to Mindy Fortin, Joanne Schell and Andi Barsky for hosting these inspiring events that will help expand our membership and mission. 

Grantee Spotlight: WOV Members Meet Grantees on Israel 75 Mission

“Meeting our grantees in Israel and seeing firsthand how our grantmaking is creating systemic change gave me a newfound appreciation and understanding of our group’s importance. While there is still work to be done, the experience renewed and strengthened my commitment to our mission.”

– Marcy Bacine, Past WOV Chair

On the Israel 75 Mission, which included 130+ community members in May, WOV members met with representatives of two grantees from our last Israel grants cycle: ELI and Mavoi Satum. During meetings organized by the Jewish Federation’s Director of Israel and Global Operations Tali Lidar, our members were able to see the impact of our endowment fund and learn about ELI’s work to reduce sexual abuse against women in the Israeli Defense Force and Mavoi’s Satum’s work to combat gender inequality, discrimination and abuse in Israel’s marriage and divorce system.

Move Forward

 As Women of Vision, you help carry our traditions forward to inspire the next generation of self-identifying women and girls. You not only raise awareness, you also find hands-on opportunities to take action. Help the Jewish Federation continue to Move Forward and uplift your communities by making a gift to the Jewish Community Fund before our annual campaign year ends on August 31 at jewishphilly.org/moveforward.

Move Forward with Women of Vision