By Carly Frank and Marisa Danto

“It’s nice to meet you- and what do you do at The Associated?”

“I work in Women’s Philanthropy.”

“Oh, what’s that?”

It always starts the same- an IMPACT happy hour. Located in some hip bar in downtown Baltimore, the IMPACT Happy Hours have become a premier Associated, informal gathering of Jewish young professionals.

Often we will mingle around the room, gathering details about the eager young adult, asking them how they heard about us, wondering if they want become more involved and even playing the more informal game of “Jewish Geography.”

But, when it comes to young adults, whether engaged with us or not, the question they always ask when they hear what we do is ‘What is women’s philanthropy?’ Perhaps maybe more important, they wonder, ‘Why women’s philanthropy?’

In an effort to answer these questions, we hatched the idea to create a group mentorship program for women. ROOTS, comprised of an equal number of young adult leaders and more experienced lay leaders, will collectively explore a number of topics such as differences in generational giving, Rosh Hodesh (the beginning of the Jewish month), Jewish female traditions, Jewish memories through food, plus much, much more. We are hoping the participants end the program with a renewed dedication to their community, themselves and women’s philanthropy.

With a loose vision in hand, we needed two chairs who could really live this vision — not only people who could identify with this group, but two people who could walk the walk and talk the talk. Lauren Ades, currently chair of IMPACT, and Jessica Bronfein, a long-time dedicated lay leader, were perfect to bring this idea to life. Lauren and Jessica’s goals for this program are simple:

  • Bridge the gap between Associated Women and IMPACT, while investing in the next generation of women philanthropists;
  • Create networks;
  • Share experiences; and,
  •  Guide a philanthropic journey

We have shared high hopes for this group – not only to meet our goals, but to leave with a feeling not measureable by any conventional standards. By creating this chavurah (group), we can feel secure about our powerful female leaders today, tomorrow and in the future.

The participants have such talent, dedication and smarts, we know they will be left feeling inspired by the heroes who walk among us. Which leaves Marisa and myself asking you — Who is your philanthropic hero?

For more information about The Associated, go to


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Filed under Philanthropy, Professionals, Volunteering & Advocacy, Women, Young Adults

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