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Departments and Volunteer Opportunities

Departments and Volunteer Opportunties 

Community Relations

The Community Relations Committee (CRC), under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, is a representative voice of the Jewish community. The CRC works to: safeguard the Jewish community in advancing Jewish interests; advocate for a safe, secure democratic state of Israel; promote Jewish values at home; advocate for Jews around the world; and establish relationships and build coalitions with ethnic, racial, religious, educational and civic organizations and the media. For more information on the CRC, contact Conrad Koller at ckoller@jewishwesternmass.org.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs is the national affairs arm of the organized Jewish community.  For more information about JCPA, click here.


Women's Philanthropy

Women's Philanthropy is an integral part of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts and is a branch of the Jewish Federations of North America's National Women's Philanthropy. It supports and advances the mission of the Federation and also addresses issues that are of particular concern to women. Women's Philanthropy provides a forum for addressing women's issues, exploring advocacy opportunities and responding to changing family and community needs.

Through Women's Philanthropy, our Federation is responsible for initiating programs like Rachel's Table, a central food distribution service for Greater Springfield's most vulnerable, and for creating non-denominational learning opportunities like our Women's Seders, Breast Cancer Awareness Forum, and Domestic Violence Task Force. Women's Philanthropy works cooperatively with other organizations that share its goals. It is a place in the Federation family where women raise money for the Women's Campaign (the women's section of the Annual Campaign), become educated about our heritage and our community, and offers women opportunities to share their knowledge with others, learn from mentors, and hone managerial and leadership skills.  Most importantly, Women's Philanthropy makes a significant and lasting difference in the lives of Jews every day.

The Women's Campaign empowers women of all ages to become philanthropists.  Through the Women's Campaign, women of all lifestyles and income levels make a personal commitment to support the Jewish community locally, in Israel, and around the world.  We raise money for crucial programs, plan for our community's future, and help young women develop into tomorrow's leaders.  Our participation helps us gain important experience in community building, policy development, management and planning. 

Giving Levels

Lion of Judah
Lion of Judah is a campaign division for women who give a gift of $5,000 or more each year to our Annual Campaign.  Nearly 17,000 women around the world are recognized as Lions of Judah.  These women wear the Lion of Judah pin as a symbol of pride and commitment. 

The Lion of Judah today is a reflection of strength, honor, and dedication, just as it was a symbol for the Tribe of Judah, the dominant of the 12 tribes of Israel. 

A woman contributing an individual commitment of a minimum of $5,000 each year to the Federation Annual Campaign is eligible to wear a Lion of Judah pin.  The nationally-recognized symbol of the Lion of Judah is a jewel-inset 14-karat gold lion.  As her contribution grows, the corresponding precious gem is then places as an inset in the lion's eye:

  • Diamond:  $5,000 - $9,999
  • Ruby:  $10,000 - $17,999
  • Sapphire:  $18,000 - $24,999
  • Emerald:  $25,000 - 35,999
  • Amethyst (Double Chai):  $36,000 - $49,999
  • Zahav (canary diamond):  $50,000 - $74,999
  • Sabra (cognac diamond):  $75,000 - $99,999
  • Prime Minister's Council (white gold with black diamond):  $100,000 - $249,999)
  • ILR Lion of Judah (white gold diamond pave):  $250,000 & above

Lions are invited to special events and programs locally, as well as the bi-annual International Lion of Judah Conference. 

Lion of Judah Endowment

Many Lions have endowed their gifts to ensure that their Lion of Judah gifts will support our Jewish community in perpetuity.  A Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE) gift represents the creation of a permanent endowment fund guaranteeing a woman's financial commitment of at least $5,000 will be made to the Federation Annual Campaign in perpetuity.  Establishing a LOJE enables women to leave a legacy to safeguard the values that inspire her personal commitment.  LOJE donors wear the Or L'Atid (Light Unto the Future) flame on their pins as a symbol of this lasting commitment to the Jewish communtiy.  For more information about establishing a Lion of Judah Endowment, click here to contact the Jewish Endowment Foundation.

Pomegranate
The Pomegranate Society is a campaign division for women who give a gift of $1,800-$4,999 each year to our Annual Campaign. 

The pomegranate--one of only seven species mentioned in the Torah--is a symbol of bounty, sustenance, and strength.  According to tradition, the pomegranate contains 613 seeds to represent each mitzvah in the Torah.  As the seeds of the pomegranate are planted, their roots grow strong and bear fruit.  Women who give at the Pomegranate level represent the strength and nourishment of the Jewish community.

Pomegranate women have the opportunity to show their pride through the purchase of a specially crafted pin reflecting the beauty and strength of Jewish women. 

Why Do Women Give in their Own Name?
There are numerous reasons why a woman should give a gift in her own name.  It has always seemed in history that the role of volunteer and giver is a traditional one for women, yet few women thought of themselves as philanthropists.  But this has been changing!  Women are now entering the frontier of philanthropy through their own involvement with the nonprofit causes in which they believe.

Why A Woman Should Give
- Women's giving demonstrates dedication to, and acceptance of, responsibility for the needs of the global Jewish community.
- Women can impact Jewish political power.  U.S. government leaders count the number of donors when they measure support for Israel and other Jewish causes.
- Women inspire others to translate their Jewish caring into giving that makes a difference.
- Increasing the Women's Campaign demonstrates women's leadership.
- Women have an obligation to practice tzedakah; no one can perform a mitzvah in another's name.
- By giving as individuals, women can stand up and truly be counted.

For more information on Women's Philanthropy, contact Debbie Peskin by clicking here.