Women's Giving Circle Grant Announcement



Women's Giving Circle Grant Allocations 2023 

Who we are: 

The Women’s Giving Circle seeks to expand and improve opportunities and choices in all aspects of Jewish women and girl’s lives through strategic and effective grantmaking. The Women’s Giving Circle endeavors to empower women as leaders, funders, and decision makers. The Women’s Giving Circle is part of a movement of Jewish giving circles building a network that can sustain and strengthen one’s philanthropic goals.   

What we do: 

The Women’s Giving Circle funds programs and initiatives with a focus on women and girls*, justice, and Jewish continuity.  Through these lenses, the Women’s Giving Circle is committed to improving the overall status of Jewish women and girls, and funding projects that promote social change by addressing at least one of the indicators described below: 

1. Women and Girls: Emphasizing programs and services that enrich, enhance, and inspire Jewish women and girls. Programs could be in any number of realms, including but not limited to Jewish continuity/identity, health, social justice, or basic needs. 

2. Jewish Continuity: Emphasizing programs and initiatives that seek to help strengthen Jewish identity through engagement, education, arts, culture, and beyond. 

 3. Justice: Emphasizing educational programs and initiatives that seek to promote tolerance, inclusion, and understanding with a focus on combating anti-Semitism, prejudice, racism and all forms of social injustice and inequity. 

*Women and girls refer to all cisgender women and girls, transgender women and girls, and non-binary people who are comfortable in female-centered spaces. 


2023 Grant Allocations  

$112,765 Total Dollars Allocated Since 2017 

$26,300 Total Grant Allocations in 2023 


1. Real Light Films 

New initiative support"MONUMENT is a feature-length personal documentary that tells the story of Alice Craig, the filmmaker, Michael Turner’s grandmotherAlmost 50 years after surviving Auschwitz, Alice returned to her hometown in Hungary to discover that the history of the town's Jewish community was being erasedIn processing her grief, she decided to create a monument that would live in the town's park--"a headstone...a funeral for everybody" that would serve as a reminder of Alice’s family and the town's former Jewish populationAnd is a film about the filmmaker’s visit to the monument, as a new father, hoping to better understand his grandmother’s story, and his place in that story. 

The target audience is 2nd and 3rd generation Holocaust survivors, as well as anyone with an interest in family storytellingThe film is built around themes of identity, erasure, generational trauma, and creativity as an integral part of the grieving process. $4,000. 


2. Greater Portland Hillel and University of Oregon Hillel (combined) 

Ongoing program support. The Women’s Giving Circle helped launch this program in 2017. The retreat has grown and is now a collaborative program between Greater Portland Hillel, University of Oregon, and Oregon State University Hillels. Oregon Hillel’s annual Women’s Retreat connects, empowers, and inspires women at all campuses collectively. Both Hillels collaborate to create opportunities that will empower female identifying students that are connected to both PDX and Oregon Hillel to be mentored by their professional staff and to take on leadership roles as they lay out the vision, programs, conversions, workshops, and the spiritual, and religious experiences throughout the weekend. Each year, students pick a theme for the weekend. Prior themes that have provided the groundwork for this retreat include sexual assault, the #METOO movement, harassment, body image, inclusion in a workspace, and most recently, self-confidence, identity, and liberation. Women’s Retreat is truly a program created by Jewish women for Jewish women. $3,000. 


3. Beit Am - Mid-Willamette Valley Jewish Community 

New program support. Through a monthly Rosh Chodesh program, women* from post Bat Mitzvah age through elderhood, will expand their Jewish identity, build trusting relationships and meaningful community. Through art, movement, meditation, and the opportunity to share deeply with each other about what is going on in their lives, Jewish women will have an opportunity to access a monthly feeling of retreat-like peace and fulfillment that feeds their vitality. For working women, mothers, retired women, young adults no longer in college/grad school, and elders, it can be hard to find close friends and build trusting community where one can have meaningful, authentic, vulnerable, supportive conversations. It can be hard to make time for art and creativity, mindfulness, and soulful Jewish practice. There are very few options for Jewish life within an hour of the mid-Willamette Valley.  

*Women refer to cisgender women, transgender women, and non-binary people who are comfortable in female-centered spaces."$3,600. 


4. Jewish Family & Child Services 

New program support. School-based mental health programs support the vision that healthy students are more likely to succeed in the classroom. With a focus on prevention, early identification and intervention, school-based mental health services provide improved access to care, reduced absenteeism and better mental- health outcomes. JFCS is currently in the process of implementing on-site counseling services to students at Maayan Torah Day School and Portland Jewish Academy. The new service-delivery locations will enable JFCS to work with kids during the school day; increases the use of daytime JFCS counseling appointments and reduces the amount of educational time a child misses while being transported to and from school and then to a more traditional in-office counseling session.  

According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, the number of children reported to have anxiety and depression increased between 2016 and 2020 by 26% nationally, with 1.5 million more children with anxiety and depression in 2020 than 2016In Oregon, the increase is even higher.  

Studies have consistently shown a gender gap in mental health, with girls tending to report worse mental health compared to boys during childhood and adolescence. $2,600. 


5. Mittleman Jewish Community Center (MJCC) 

New program support. The MJCC is offering three stand-alone self-defense classes for women. Each session would be 90-minutes to two-hours in length and have a different age focus; one aimed at younger teens (approx. 13-15 years of age), one for older teens (16-18 years of age) and one for adult women (18+). Each class will be taught by a seasoned instructor and include overall safety and prevention information, as well as physical self-defense skills. Classes will be free to attend; and participants must register in advance. Classes can accommodate up to 15 each session, serving a total of 45 women. The sessions will help girls and women to feel empowered wherever they go and in whatever situation they may find themselves. Violence against women is sadly very much a part of our society. $2,370. 

6. Eastside Jewish Commons (EJC) 

New program support. Rachel Stern (Heart-Shaped Yoga) will lead a yoga class of 6-10 participants of girls ages 15 and 16 at Eastside Jewish Commons. The 90-minute class will run for six sessions. The series will create a yoga practice that supports and empowers young women to be embodied and powerful. The overarching goal of the sessions is the creation of a supportive intentional young women's community modeled on mutual support, respect, confidentiality, and consent. The class will provide the young women a forum where they can ask questions about their changing bodies and will inspire them to be Jewish teenagers embodying a life of mitzvah in a complex secular world. The hope is that this series will be foundational in establishing ongoing yoga programming at EJC for women and girls. Physical materials (bolsters, blankets, and blocks) for this program will be able to be re-used for future programs. Support from the Women's Giving Circle will enable this program to be offered at low cost to the participants: $6-$12 sliding scale/person/sessionNo one will be turned away for lack of funds. $2,000. 


7. TischPDX 


Ongoing program support. The Alumni Support Program (ASP) was helped launch last year by the funding received by the Women’s Giving Circle (2022). This program is growing increasing number of alumni increasing and this year will serve 22 young organizers and community builders from marginalized populations in Portland, OR. The ASP is organized to allow alumni to access the resources they need to successfully continue their organizing and programming efforts in the community and amongst their peers through quarterly gatherings which allow networking across our four cohorts amongst these 20+ young and inspired community builders and creating accessibility to Jewish programming for younger adult Jews, especially those who are queer, and or/trans, Jews of Color or Jews not raised in Jewish community. $3600. 


8. Congregation Shir Tikvah 


New program support. Funding to allow Congregation Shir Tikvah to recruit new volunteers and community partners. Congregation Shir Tikvah currently leads Torah studies and Friday morning and evening Shabbat observance with women serving time in both Medium and Minimum Security at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. Both groups have steady attendance of 8-14 women, depending on the day. Volunteers are permitted to share ritual blessings and foods, challah, and grape juice. Volunteers donate time, gas, and food for inmates, as well as offer some additional training for new volunteers in how to lead this study. Ultimately, through growth and increased awareness the hope is to continue to serve the inmate population at the same level and expand capacity. $2,130. 


9. Chabad of Hillsboro 


On going support. Funding for the Jewish Women's Group, including weekly Wednesday Torah Study, Rosh Chodesh Society, and deliveries, intergenerational events, and baking/cooking events, and new support for a community volunteering and partnershipThe women’s groups have grown a lot as well in the past year, as we instill in both the women and teens: Female empowerment, and contribution. Program participants decorated tambourines, baked a variety of baked goods, made shofars, made Etrog jam, Havdalah spice, Menorah and Martinis, and more. $3,000. 



To find out more about the Women's Giving Circle click HERE.


See 2021 Information HERE.
See 2022 Information HERE.