Jewish Women's Fund

The San Francisco Jewish Women’s Fund (SFJWF) of the Federation was a giving circle dedicated to helping women and girls in the local Jewish community thrive.  After working with women donors to learn strategic gender lens philanthropy for 6 years, the Jewish community federation transitioned out of operating the SFJWF so that it could be all-volunteer led. The SFJWF offered a communal, meaningful, and relevant way to direct philanthropy to initiatives and programs that support women and girls, working primarily in the Bay Area and in Israel.

The SFJWF founding was based on the growing interest in hands-on grantmaking, women's desire for philanthropic education, and the importance of bringing Jewish women together. Understanding that some of today's most pressing issues are disproportionately faced by women and girls, we saw an opportunity to direct women's growing philanthropic power to respond to these challenges. 

Grants were considered in the following areas: health and well-being, economic security, and leadership development. In addition to these impact areas, the SFJWF worked with organizations that address equality of opportunity, promote new ideas and paradigm shifts, inquire deeply about ways women and girls are often inadvertently overlooked in existing initiatives, and demonstrate an entrepreneurial attitude. 

Strategic Grantmaking

The SFJWF issued 41 grants totaling over $1.3 million to 28 unique organizations impacting the lives of over 100,000 women, girls, and families. For more information about the impact of grantmaking, please review the links below.

In 2020, SFJWF granted a total of $300,000 to the following seven organizations:

Hebrew Free Loan: $84,000
$50,000 to expand the Jewish Women’s Loan Fund SFJWF previously established
$34,000 for general operating support

Jewish LearningWorks: $25,000 for Voices for Good focusing on Jewish communal women’s professional development and coaching

Itach-Maaki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice (Israel): $20,000 for women’s workers’ rights hotline

At The Well: $60,000 over two years to train cohorts of Bay Area organizations on how to run their own Well Circles, which support women’s mental health and connect them to Jewish spirituality and wisdom through Rosh Chodesh programming

Shalom Bayit: $84,000 over two years ($59,000 in year one; $25,000 in year two) for Jewish domestic violence prevention and response as well as general operating support

The Memory Garden hosted by Sinai Memorial Chapel – Chevra Kadisha: $25,000

ATZUM – Justice Works: $2,000 (Awarded as an acknowledgment of being a finalist, but not a grantee, and the considerable time and effort the organization dedicated to the grant process.)

Our Vision. Mission. Values. 

Interested in Collaborative Gender Lens Philanthropy?

Please email for more information.

Articles and Research Related to Gender Lens Philanthropy and Women’s Funds

E-Jewish Philanthropy - A Jewish Women's Fund
E-Jewish Philanthropy Empowerment and Impact: SF Federation’s Jewish Women’s Fund
ForwardIn San Francisco, Bringing Single Jewish Mothers Into the Circle
j. Weekly
Single Jewish moms seek a place for their families in religious life
j. Weekly - What can one woman do to help at-risk Jewish women?
j. WeeklyJewish Women’s Fund: We can change the world
j. Weekly - Big Tent concierges hired to make Jewish life accessible

Recent Research 

From IUPUI Women's Philanthropy Institute:

All In for Women and Girls: How women's fund and foundation donors are leading through philanthropy
Women's Foundations and Funds: A Landscape Study
Women's Foundations and Funds: A Landscape Study_Executive Summary

Other Suggested Articles

Australian Women Donors Network - Gender-Wise Philanthropy
ForwardYou Won't Support Paid Parental Leave? Then We Won't Give You a Grant
GrantCraftGrantmaking With a Gender Lens
Hamutal Gouri - Philanthropy Through A Gender Lens: Because Giving is an Act of Social Change
j. WeeklyHonor thy parents by fighting for S.F. affordable housing
Kiersten Marek for Inside Philanthropy - Empowered Women Are Changing Philanthropy
KvellerWhat I Wish Synagogues Knew About Single Parents
Lilith Magazines - Jewish Mothers Go It Alone
The New York Times
For all the girls who dream big, the 2016 Olympics delivered
The Philanthropy Institute on behalf of U.S. Trust - Giving Through a Gender Lens: A Guide for Donors
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Family School of Philanthropy - Giving to Women and Girls: Who Gives and Why?