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Grant Summary
by Year

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2011 Funded Projects

Bethlehem Haven

Gwen’s Girls

Hillel Jewish University Center

Jewish Family & Children’s Service

Jewish Residential Services

National JWF Grant Collaborative


Bethlehem Haven

Project Employ — In 1981, Bethlehem Haven was founded in the basement of the Smithfield United Church in downtown Pittsburgh in response to a growing need for emergency shelter for homeless women.  Recognizing that the original focus of “crisis intervention” was insufficient to address the multiple issues confronting the growing number of homeless individuals, Bethlehem Haven created a collaborative model of service providers. The continuum of care consists of a range of housing options and a number of supportive services that enable each woman to identify her needs and work together with staff toward successful outcomes.

Many of these individuals have significant barriers to employment, including mental illness, drug and alcohol history, criminal records, lack of social support, and/or domestic violence issues. Project Employ is a supportive employment program that provides homeless women with the skills, experience and attitude needed to get and maintain employment on a long-term basis.   Project Employ’s approach entails building on each person’s unique strengths first, while also addressing the barriers a person may have in accessing a job. Students work with staff to create a goal plan outlining a career path rather than settling for any job that will bring in a paycheck.

Gwen’s Girls

Entrepreneurship Program — Since inception, Gwen’s Girls has worked with at-risk girls from high-needs, high-poverty neighborhoods.  The organization recognizes the risk factors most likely to impact the targeted gender group and the protective factors that can build resiliency and prevent delinquency and future welfare; and they address the systemic issues that help to perpetuate the risk factors in girls and young women. 

The Entrepreneurship Program is a new program that will serve approximately 50 to 60 at-risk girls, ages 12 to 18, who are clients of Gwen’s Girls.  It will provide a curriculum that is designed to build a foundation for their future financial independence.


Hillel Jewish University Center

The Lessons of a Lifetime – The over 250 Jewish seniors living in residential facilities in our community are a wonderful jewel in our midst.  Over 90% of those seniors are female and each of them has a unique and fascinating story to tell.  This program offers a unique opportunity for college age women to meet and get to know seniors in our community.  The young women will be trained to interview seniors and develop their “Ethical Wills,” a document detailing their values, expectations, hopes, dreams and fears.  The Ethical Will is a bound document presented to the seniors at the conclusion of a series of meetings between the senior and the student volunteer. The document, along with a video record, will be shared with the seniors’ families.   

Jewish Family & Children’s Service

Age Up Not Out (AUNO) – This program helps women, aged 18-24 who are or who will soon be emancipated from the foster care system. The goal is to provide these young people with the skills they need to enroll in school and/or obtain employment so that they can become economically self-sufficient.This is the second year of funding this program. Many of the youth find that because they are unable to resolve their conflicts, respect themselves and others, manage anxiety, etc. they are unable to get along with their co-workers, classmates, bosses, teachers, etc., and therefore are unable to remain in school or employed. To address this deficit,  additional training will be provided to strengthen participants’ interpersonal skill. Through RhYMe – Respect You & Me, the youth will attend bi-monthly workshops that address the following topics: Self Respect, Conflict Resolution, Relational Aggression, Self Advocacy, Self Esteem, Managing Work Relations, Resiliency, Managing Anxiety, Dating, Living Together and Parenting.

Jewish Residential Services

Fairweather Lodge Feasibility Study –The Fairweather Lodge program addresses the profound need for people with severe mental illnesses to obtain meaningful and sustainable employment, to belong to a community that supports their recovery, and to provide dignified, affordable and permanent housing. JRS is considering the development of a Lodge for 6 to 8 women with a history of mental illness. Through this grant, JRS will lay the foundation for the development of a Fairweather Lodge to be located in the East End of Pittsburgh.   If a Lodge is developed, JRS will provide the appropriate staff support and help establish links with volunteer mentors and other individuals who can assist in the building and sustaining of a small business.  Membership in the JRS Fairweather Lodge will provide a home and a sense of belonging that is often missing for people suffering from mental illness as well as an environment that will empower these women to lead proud and dignified lives with sustainable employment within an affordable, safe home.

National JWF Grant Collaborative

The Pittsburgh Jewish Women’s Foundation has made a two-year commitment to participate in a national grant collaborative.  The Jewish Women’s Collaborative International Fund (JWCIF) is comprised of seventeen different Jewish Women’s Foundations/Funds of North America and Israel. The mission of the JWCIF is to engage in effective grant-making, leverage our collective resources, raise awareness about important issues affecting women and girls in Israel, and elevate the status of the Jewish Women’s Foundations/Funds in our local communities.

In response to the recent instances of discrimination against and exclusion of women in the public sphere in Israel, the JWCIF is seeking to address this timely issue through our collaborative grant.  Therefore, JWCIF will fund one or more two-year grants ranging from $50,000 to $165,000 in the following theme: “Women in Israeli Society: Rights, Inclusion, and Representation.”

JWCIF is interested in supporting projects that fall into either of these two categories:

1)   Women’s Leadership and Empowerment (including women in the public sphere)

2)   Economic Security (including agunah rights)


Partner violence (PV) is a gender-based societal concern. Eighty five percent of reported victims of PV are women and one third of adult women in the U.S. report experiencing abuse or violence in a past or current relationship.  PV is also a business issue. In 2006, 56% (or 70 million) U.S. women worked outside the home, of whom 50 million worked full-time.

The mission of STANDING FIRM: The Business Case to End Partner Violence is to educate regional employers about the financial, safety and human costs of partner violence on the workplace and workforce and to arm them with tools for taking effective organizational action. STANDING FIRM guides employers in embedding best practice actions within their organization’s strategic initiatives for the benefit of employed women and men.




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