Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta Announces Historic Local Grant to Empower Healthy Relationships for Women

June 28, 2021

Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta Announces Historic Local Grant to Empower Healthy Relationships for Women

By Rachel Wasserman | JWFA | June 2, 2021

Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta will award a record-breaking $225,000 to two Jewish organizations selected to work in partnership to create a multi-tiered program to empower women and girls in Atlanta’s Jewish community. This first-ever signature grant will be distributed over a three-year period and represents the largest single project allocation ever funded by the organization.

The call for a signature grant was launched following JWFA’s landmark 2020 community study that uncovered crucial details regarding challenges faced by Jewish women and girls in Atlanta. The study was conducted by researchers at Brandeis University’s Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and was the first of its kind to delve into issues specific to this population. Themes exposed through the study included ongoing work-life balance challenges for both teens and working women, resulting in mental health struggles and an increase in anxiety and stress levels, and the need for quality mentor resources for women and girls within our community.

The study’s findings took on a renewed sense of urgency in the aftermath of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which served to intensify many of the challenges identified in the report.

“When Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta first released the findings of their community study in early 2020, our clinicians were not at all surprised to see the alarming statistics indicating that women and teen girls are struggling with mental health issues at record levels. Little did we know that we were on the precipice of one of the most serious mental health crises our country has ever experienced,” notes Terri Bonoff, CEO of Jewish Family & Career Services. “The findings of the study have only been amplified during the past year, and this extraordinary show of financial support from JWFA will enable us to create strategic programming and innovative resources geared specifically to meet the immediate needs of women and girls in Atlanta.”

Working in concert, Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) and MACoM: Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah will create a variety of curricula designed to break the stigmas associated with mental health challenges and offer increased support and connection. The initiative will cover a myriad of issues, including the “Superwoman Complex” specifically identified in JWFA’s 2020 study as one of the most critical challenges. The program will explore new methods of mitigating rising levels of anxiety and stress among women and girls in Atlanta’s Jewish community, offer additional resources aimed at creating work/school-life balance, and providing valuable strategies for female caregivers. Additional efforts will focus on abuse prevention and healthy relationship education, as well as peer-to-peer mentor trainings and mental health first aid workshops for both children and adults.