JWF benefits from generous $1 million dollar donation


JWF philanthropists demonstrate passion to advance status of women and girls

PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 18th, 2015) – The Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches today announced the receipt of a $1 million gift from a local philanthropist, its second seven-figure gift in eight months.

“The JWF provides me with a vehicle to articulate my feminist philanthropic priorities and to advocate for the interests of women and girls in the U.S., Israel, and around the world,” said philanthropist Sydelle Sonkin, who made the recent gift. “Investing in the JWF empowers me to work collaboratively with others to create the change we would like to see in the world.”

Sonkin said she was inspired to give by the first philanthropist who made an anonymous contribution of $1.5 million as the JWF established itself as an autonomous entity. Both philanthropists said they were pleased to support their priority issues through an independent Jewish women’s fund.

“These generous gifts validate what we suspected – that women want to collectively invest their money in organizations that advocate for social and economic equality,” said Tami Baldinger, Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches. “We look forward to a continued partnership with our trustees to invest in organizations dedicated to women’s leadership.”

JWF trustees recently awarded $250,000 to 13 organizations that strive to ensure gender parity and leadership and to enable women to reach their fullest potential (see below for the list of grantees). Since its founding in 2002, the JWF has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to organizations in the U.S., Israel, and around the world.


The Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches was founded in 2002 by a group of visionary women committed to working together to implement the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repairing the world), by supporting gender justice locally, national, and globally. JWF is the community’s only social change grant making and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing women and girls. The empowering model of philanthropy provides education and a voice in the decision-making process. Learn more at https://jwfpalmbeach.org/ or call 561-275-2200.


Tami Baldinger has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches since 2012. Previously, she served as Tampa Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and as director of the Jewish Women’s Foundation from 2003 to 2006, during a period marked by tremendous growth.

A lawyer by training, Tami worked at several firms in Tampa and West Palm Beach before dedicating her professional life to Jewish and communal causes. Tami has also served in a volunteer capacity on the Executive Board of the Jewish Federation, the Board of the Arthur I Meyer Jewish Academy, and the Board of Palm Beach Synagogue.

Tami is an honors graduate of George Washington University Law School. She received a BA, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied history and politics.

Tami is available to speak to journalists about the following issues:

     – Sex-trafficking and violence against women and girls

     – Gender equality issues

     – Health and safety, economic security, and leadership through a gender lens

     – Social change grant making, advocacy, and education.

     – The legal rights of women and girls

     – History of the Jewish Women’s Foundation and the Jewish community in Palm Beach       


     – Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches’ plans for the future as an

           independent organization


JWF awarded a total of $250,000 to 13 organizations.

In the U.S.

Families First Targeted Outreach of Pregnant Women (Palm Beach County): Prevents HIV in newborns with outreach and services to pregnant women with HIV/AIDS, high risk pregnant women, and high risk women of child bearing age.

PACE Center for Girls PACE Works! (Palm Beach County): Empowers at risk girls with skills and employment experience in addition to ongoing support to transition from PACE into mainstream society.

Unchained At Last (New Jersey): Provides women and girls who want to resist or flee arranged/forced marriages with free comprehensive legal and social services and conducts advocacy and community awareness work.

Yeshivat Maharat (New York City): The first and only yeshiva in the U.S. to ordain women as Orthodox clergy and place them in synagogues and educational institutions.

In Israel

Center for Women’s Justice: Works to change the legal status for women under Jewish law and Israeli family law.

Isha L’Isha Fighting Against Trafficking in Women & Prostitution: Supports the integration of trafficking victims into mainstream society and advocates for improved policies and legislation.

Itach Maki Raising the Voices of Marginalized Women: Grassroots work, community education and advocacy work to empower and educate marginalized populations, including Ethiopian and Bedouin communities about economic justice and employment rights.

Kolech Educational Program for Gender Equality: Educates boys and girls in Orthodox schools throughout Israel about healthy relationships, sexuality, and gender equality.

Rackman Center Program for Legal & Social Change for Women in Family Law: Provides free legal representation, trains law students, and engages in advocacy work on women’s rights under Israeli law.

WEPower Women for Future Leadership: A leadership development program to advance women into elected positions from the local to the national level.

Center for Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere at Van Leer Jerusalem Institute Gender Index Israel: Researches and evaluates gender inequalities in Israel. Created the Gender Index to use to lobby, make public policy, and create a more gender equitable society in Israel.

Derech Hamelech Personal Mentoring & Employment Initiatives for Ultra-Orthodox Girls at Risk: Works with local community centers in ultra-Orthodox communities to empower at risk girls with mentoring, vocational training, and education.

American Joint Distribution Committee Changing the Lives of Elderly Jewish Women in Moldova: Provides vital humanitarian assistance to improve the quality of life for some of the world’s poorest, most helpless elderly Jewish women.