Austin Women Make Impact Locally and Beyond

Austin Women Make Impact Locally and Beyond

Val Newberg, Margo Smith and Jennifer Failla Hoffman represent Austin on the National Women's Philanthropy Board. Credit: Courtesy of JFNA.

By Arielle Levy

Shalom Austin Women's Philanthropy has a wonderful presence in Austin and around the country through the collective power National Women’s Philanthropy, part of Jewish Federations of North America. NWP is a group of female leaders from across the country who are nominated by their local communities to serve on the national level.

The NWP Board has 153 members from 62 communities, three of which hail from Austin. Margo Smith (Year 8), Val Newberg (Year 6) and Jennifer Failla Hoffman (Year 1) do an excellent job of representing Austin as participants on the NWP Board. A big congratulations to Failla Hoffman, who joined NWP this year, as the newest Austinite to join the board.

As members of this national board, Smith, Newberg and Failla Hoffman have the opportunity to learn from leaders across the country year-round and relay that knowledge back to Austin. Every June, NWP has a retreat, providing participants with a wealth of information to share and use to invigorate Women’s Philanthropy efforts.

Reflecting on her time with NWP, Margo Smith said, “My experience has been transformative in a myriad of ways. I served a term of eight years on the board. The access I got to conference calls, webinars and other learning opportunities was unparalleled. It was exhilarating to be exposed to knowledgeable speakers on everything of interest in the Jewish world from foreign policy to engaging millennials. I found it fascinating! I was lucky to be able to share all that I learned with our wonderful Shalom Austin professionals and lay leadership. After every board retreat, we held a debrief so that we could all learn, benefit and help our community grow both philanthropically and by engaging and providing value to people across the spectrum. I encourage anyone who cares passionately about community and the Jewish world to consider serving on the board. Leadership experience is a must.”

This year, NWP board members learned about many great organizations, including Shalom Austin partners JFNA and Jewish Agency for Israel, and others such as Security Community Network and Integrity First for America.

To show the power of collective giving and women, in 2018, National Women’s Philanthropy raised over $200 million for the Annual Campaign.

Worldwide, 17,500 women are Lions of Judah and give more than $5,000 annually. As of May 2019, more than 4,000 women have endowed their gifts representing more than $700 million in assets, 12 of whom are from Austin.

There are many more national and local opportunities to connect with fellow women leaders. If you are interested in traveling, join women from all over the country for a meaningful trip to Israel on JFNA’s Heart to Heart Mission February 2-6, 2020.

Locally, the Women’s Philanthropy programmatic year begins with Wine Down Sunday, September 8, at a venue in Zilker Park with a casual evening to bring together all women—new and seasoned Austinites—to learn about Shalom Austin’s Women’s Philanthropy.

Wednesday, September 11, join Women’s Philanthropy for a new educational program in partnership with the Rapoport Center—L’dor V’dor Ladies will offer a place for women to have meaningful conversation and learn together. ■

For more information on Women’s Philanthropy or to learn more about the Heart to Heart Mission, contact Arielle Levy at arielle.levy@shalomaustin.org. Please visit shalomaustin.org/women to find a copy of the full programmatic calendar.

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