WOV Winter Newsletter

A Message from Carly Zimmerman, WOV Chair

Carly Zimmerman

Dear Women of Vision,

For many families, including mine, the holiday season is filled with favorite traditions. My husband Michael, daughter Norah and I light the same menorah I used with my parents growing up. We gather with our extended family for the highly anticipated pollyanna gift exchange, enjoying Bubbie’s latkes and Federal Donuts’ mini sufganiyot (a new tradition that is here to stay). 

This year, my mom and I took Norah to see the “Nutcracker” for the first time, continuing a tradition started when I was 5 years old. Watching Norah experience the ballet brought both of us such joy. We were so happy to enjoy something together, especially after the several year hiatus of not attending because of the pandemic. 

I am so grateful that several of our members have started new family traditions by inviting their daughters, daughters-in-law, granddaughters, mothers and sisters to join Women of Vision. I have witnessed the joy and pride that this brings when family members participate in our social change grant making and programming together. Thank you to everyone who personally invited a new member this year – family or friend – and for strengthening our WOV tradition of improving the lives of self-identifying Jewish women and girls. 

Wishing you and your families a happy Hanukkah and a healthy new year!

With gratitude,

Lighting the Way

Upcoming Programs

Book Review: Join us on January 25 at 7:00 p.m. for a virtual discussion of “Beautiful Country: A Memoir of an Undocumented Childhood,” a New York Times bestseller by Qian Julie Wang. To register, click here.

Emergency Situation Training: Join WOV and Women’s Philanthropy to learn life-saving skills to be empowered in the event of an emergency situation. Led by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Security Director Scott Kerns of Secure Community Network (SCN), this virtual program will include: active shooter training, countering active threats and situational awareness. To register, click here. 

Spring Event: Save the date for the evening of May 23 for our signature event that will be held at Congregation Rodeph Shalom.

Israel 75 Mission: You have until December 31 to register for this once in a lifetime mission (from May 14 – 21), where you can celebrate Israel’s historic anniversary in the Jewish homeland, travel with fellow WOV and community members, and explore the country in a way that speaks to unique passions and interests. Plus, there is a limited number of $2,000 subsidies available for ages 45 and younger. To sign up, click here.

Grant Finalist: Save the date for May 31 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. to virtually hear from our grant finalists from Israel before you vote on which organization you would like to support through the WOV Endowment Fund.  

Welcome to Our New Members


Beth Schonberger
Sharon Freedman
Jill Katz
Dr. Melissa Hubsher Freedman
Becca Joseph
Judy Eisner
Caren Fox Fires
Miriam Silberstein
Ellen Holtzman
Jennifer Rovner
Rebecca Bar

Why I Joined

Melissa Hubsher Freedman

“Originally from Long Island, I grew up in a traditional, kosher household, where Jewish values were instilled in me from a very young age. As a Clinical Psychologist, I specialize in women’s issues, and advocate for women with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. In recent years, I have been looking to participate in the Jewish community, in a meaningful way that incorporates all of my values, and I believe that Women of Vision’s commitment to advocacy, education, and philanthropy, aligns with my ideals.”

Dr. Melissa Hubsher Freedman

Mussar Book


We hope you are already exploring the Jewish spiritual practice of Mussar with your Women of Vision journals, penned by our very own members.

Mussar is a Jewish spiritual practice that gives concrete instructions on how to live a meaningful and ethical life through middot (character traits), such as generosity, patience and humility. While Mussar has customarily been practiced by men, our journal aims to uplift the collective voices and thoughts of self-identifying women.

Clarity | B’herot | בהירות

Kislev is the month of miracles and light. It brings us the holiday of Hanukkah, which means dedication. In the darkest days of the year, the lights of Hanukkah are a reminder that you can find clarity in the candles of your soul and in the souls of others. Today and always, dedicate yourself to being a light unto the world.

Reflecting on the Past
Shana from Dinah

Grantee Spotlight: Dinah

“Dinah is so grateful for the partnership and friendship we’ve built with Women of Vision over the past several years. With the support of the Jewish Federation’s WOV Endowment Fund, we were able to grow our organization from an idea into a thriving social service provider in the landscape of the Jewish community of Greater Philadelphia.”

— Shana Weiner, Executive Director of Dinah

Dinah is a comprehensive legal services center providing low-cost and pro bono legal representation to survivors of domestic abuse in the Jewish Community of Greater Philadelphia. Read more about our work with Dinah here.

Celebrating the Next Generation of Leaders

YLA Winners

Mazel tov to the 2022 Young Leadership Award recipients, who were honored on October 12 for their incredible achievements within our Jewish community, including WOV member Sarah Vogel (Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Young Leadership Award winner), WOV Chair Carly Zimmerman (Blanche Wolfe Kohn Young Leadership Award winner) and Julie Perilstein Mozes (Jack Goldenberg Young Leadership Award winner).

WOV Advocacy Photos

Fall Programs

Equi-Tea: We had a virtual program on November 30 to hear from Israeli Arab trailblazer Amal Abu Karen and her remarkable story about breaking tradition in the Negev to advance the lives of Bedouin women. To watch the recording of the program, click here

How to Champion Women’s Rights: Advocacy 101: WOV, in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council and Women’s Philanthropy, hosted an in-depth, hands-on training on how to be an effective advocate for the lives of self-identifying women. Utilizing an advocacy handbook, the session was led by Jewish Women International, a WOV grantee. To watch the recording, click here

‘She Said’ on the Silver Screen and Streaming Services
After reading the award-winning “She Said” for our book review and hearing from co-author Megan Twohey during the Spring Event last year, you can now watch the movie about how two New York Times reporters – starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan – broke the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse story and helped propel the #MeToo movement.

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

For those we lost since the summer of 2022

Sidney Firth z’l, father of Sara Minkoff
Elayne D. Bleznak z’l, WOV member and founding member
Stephen Saft z’l, husband of Ellyn Golder Saft
Paul Prusky z’l, father of Naomi Prusky 
Irma Green z’l, mother of Susan Schwartz

Brightening Our World

Create Your Legacy with an IRA

This fall, we received over $37,491 from additional end of year gifts and IRA distributions directed to our WOV Endowment Fund through the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Thank you to the 29 WOV members who helped us increase our ability to impact the lives of even more self-identifying Jewish women and girls. 

If you’re aged 70½ or older, you can still make a tax-free gift through your IRA before December 31.

Myrna Asher

“I took funds from my IRA to support Women of Vision, because I believe in the work that they do for Jewish girls and women in Greater Philadelphia and in Israel. By doing my part to help grow the WOV Endowment Fund, I am ensuring that this important work does not end with me, but can expand and continue for generations to come.”

Myrna Asher

Resa Levinson

“As a retired teacher, the decision to make a donation to Women of Vision from my IRA withdrawal was an easy and painless way to be part of a wonderful group that empowers women here and in Israel. This gift enables me to be part of an on-going discussion about our Jewish future.”

Resa Levinson

You can make a difference too through an IRA distribution. 
Learn more by clicking here.

Change Even More Lives

Looking to help Women of Vision expand its impact to advance the lives of self-identifying Jewish women and girls? Check out the following ways! 

Carry the Light

Whether in person or through screens, in times of peace or in war, the Jewish community does not waver. Women of Vision is part of the Jewish Federation’s mission to create a brighter future and an even stronger community. By making a gift at jewishphilly.org/donate, we can continue to Move Forward Together into the New Year and for generations to come.

Move Forward with Women of Vision