For Immediate Release
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Contact: Glenn Rosenkrantz
646.245.8975, [email protected]

 Long-Term Funding, Mentorship, and a Support Network to Grow, Deepen and Elevate Their Impact and Leadership

New York – April 27, 2022 – Ten Jewish women social entrepreneurs — each bringing unique and visionary approaches to create, grow, and model positive change along a spectrum of local and global challenges — were named today to the fourth cohort of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York (JWFNY) Collective. 

The Collective — established in 2019 — is an incubator for Jewish women changemakers using a Jewish and gender lens to address critical societal needs and issues, both existing and emerging, with the innovation and determination to make meaningful systemic change and inspire others. 

Each member of The Collective receives two years of capacity building and general operating support; professional development funding; and immersive study of leadership and organizational growth. In addition, they will access a formal and dynamic network of Jewish women visionaries and philanthropists for idea exchanges, support, and collaboration, as well as a prominent platform to raise awareness of their work, issue areas, and impact. 

“The inspiring women of the fourth cohort of The Collective bring their own life experiences and gender lenses to spheres of need — from eradicating child labor and empowering refugees, to creating inclusive communities and giving voice to those at the margins — that are desperate for new approaches, collaborations and solutions,” said Jamie Allen Black, CEO of JWFNY. 

“As the entire world searches for and adopts new paradigms, JWFNY is privileged to partner with each of these remarkable leaders, elevate them, and provide them with opportunities to advance and amplify their work.” 

The ten were named and honored on Wednesday during a JWFNY in-person and live-streamed event inaugurating the Foundation’s 25th anniversary year. They were introduced as “JEWELs“ — the Foundation’s name for members of The Collective — Jewish Entrepreneurial Women Executives and Leaders. 

“These are visionary Jewish women social entrepreneurs and leaders with creative approaches and innovative solutions to historically intractable societal challenges and inequities that demand new approaches and new thinking,” said Rachel Weinstein, President of JWFNY. 

“As JWFNY celebrates its 25th year — and looks to a future of advancing Jewish women’s leadership particularly in the social justice arena — we are proud to announce this new Collective cohort. It represents what is possible when women leaders with moral courage are recognized, encouraged and supported with strategic philanthropic investment.”  

The ten members of JWFNY’s fourth cohort of The Collective were selected from a pool of nearly 350 social entrepreneurs after a rigorous vetting and interview process by JWFNY’s visionary philanthropists and activists. JWFNY focused on identifying extraordinary women leading organizations to create social and economic change in a broad range of populations and geographies. 

JWFNY’s fourth cohort of The Collective:

  • Ela Alon, Executive Director, Itach-Ma’aki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice (Tel Aviv, Israel). Alon, an attorney with deep roots in the Israeli governmental and NGO sectors, is a pioneer in the legal and advocacy spheres protecting women facing social, geographic, ethnic, and economic discrimination, and eliminating barriers to their full participation and potential in Israeli society.
  • Kerry Brodie, Founder and Executive Director, Emma’s Torch (New York). Brodie, a graduate of the Institute for Culinary Education who also worked in the human rights sector, established Emma’s Torch — a social enterprise named after 19th century poet and social activist Emma Lazarus — to provide refugees, asylum seekers, and human trafficking survivors a culinary arts education, and with it, an economic path forward.
  • Jodi Bromberg, CEO, 18Doors (Natick, Massachusetts). Bromberg, a former attorney, is a national advocate for building and sustaining Jewish communities of diversity and inclusion. Under her visionary leadership, 18Doors is creating and modeling portals into Jewish life and practice for interfaith couples and families, and empowering Jewish professionals, leaders, educators and clergy with the support and tools with which to fully welcome and engage them.
  • Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Co-Founder and President, Maharat (New York). Rabba Hurwitz is a trailblazing Orthodox Jewish woman, who in 2009 became the first to be ordained and then serve on the rabbinic staff of an Orthodox synagogue, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. She co-founded Maharat to educate, ordain, and invest in Orthodox Jewish women and create a Jewish community in which they are part of the global collective landscape and communal conversation. 
  • Lela Klein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, CO-OP Dayton (Dayton, Ohio). A labor organizer and attorney who spent the early part of her career fighting for economic justice and equity for working class people, Klein co-founded CO-OP Dayton to incubate and support community-owned businesses in working class and minority neighborhoods in Dayton.
  • SooJi Min-Maranda, Executive Director, ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). A non-profit executive in the Jewish communal and human services spheres who believes in the power of personal stories, Min-Maranda is dedicated to raising the voices of the underserved and underrepresented. She leads an international movement that strives for a contemporary Judaism that is egalitarian, socially progressive and earth-aware.
  • Kai Yael Gardner Mishlove, Director, Jewish Community Relations Council (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). Gardner Mishlove has a long history of advocating for vulnerable communities, encouraging and promoting cross-community collaboration, and advancing inclusivity and diversity. Her vision is to advance Jewish community engagement to increase awareness, promote dialogue, and counter hate.
  • Fraidy Reiss, Founder and Executive Director, Unchained at Last (Westfield, New Jersey). Reiss founded Unchained at Last from her own trauma within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, one that left her dedicated to ending what she calls the “gender violence” of forced, arranged, and child marriage. The organization helps women, girls, LGBTQ+ individuals, and others who are fleeing from an arranged/forced marriage or are resisting coercion into one, and seeks public policy changes to make child marriage illegal.
  • Nina Smith, Founding CEO, GoodWeave International (Washington, DC). A longtime advocate for children’s rights and an authority on labor violations in the manufacturing industry, Smith founded GoodWeave International to end child, forced, and bonded labor in global supply chains by bringing visibility to workers, restoring childhoods, and raising consumer and company awareness of exploitation issues so they can make informed purchasing decisions.
  • Dani Talmi, Founder and Executive Director, Yahel (Zichron Ya’akov, Israel). As a Jewish educator with deep experience in experiential education and service learning around the world, Talmi founded Yahel to train, support and inspire individuals and organizations to take part in responsible and sustainable volunteer projects in Israel alongside community members, and to equip them with the skills and initiative to become leaders of social change. 

Full bios of each member of The Collective are posted here.