On December 17, Empowered Women International, a TOWF grantee, hosted “Women with Wings Graduation Gala.” Our very own TOWF Trustee, Carol Feder, was invited to present as the keynote speaker for the gala. We want to send our heartfelt congratulations to all of the graduates of EWI’s Entrepreneur Training Class of 2011.
Below please find Carol’s remarks, and we invite you to click here to see videos from the gala as well.
“I am delighted to represent the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation today as we celebrate your completion of the E.W.I’s Entreprenuer Training for Success program. Like the women who participate in your program, the women who are members of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation care deeply about being strong, independent, thoughtful, caring women.
The Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation is the only Jewish giving vehicle in the Washington, DC metropolitan area that offers women a voice and a vote in supporting causes that result in lasting change in the lives of women and girls. Individual members, called trustees, pool their money and, together, decide which nonprofit projects to fund.
The Foundation is a democratic, inclusive organization governed by all its members. Together we design and implement our grantmaking program and manage the Foundation’s fiscal operations. Members learn firsthand about the most significant issues facing women and girls in the Washington DC metropolitan area and in Israel.
While most of us were born in the United States, we all have a history through ourselves or our parents or our grandparents of immigrating to the United States from different countries all around the world to make a better life. My grandparents and great-grandparents came from Russia, Poland and Austria. My husband’s parents came from Hungary and Israel. Our stories are not that different than yours. When we visited with Marga and some of you last May and we heard your stories and learned about your program, we were touched by your passions and your skills – to turn your talents and creativity into successful businesses. You are smart women and with the help of E.W.I. you will be smart businesswomen.
Chris Grumm, the outgoing President & CEO of The Women’s Funding Network explained our mission as a women’s fund for social change this way:
In the world of development there is a wonderful saying that if you give a person a fish he will eat for the day, but if you teach a person to fish he will eat for a lifetime.
In the world of women’s funds this is our saying…if you give a woman a fish she will feed her family first and might possibly go hungry. If you teach a woman to fish she will feed her family first until the lake becomes polluted or they take away her fishing rights. However, give women the resources and access to community capital, they will buy the lake, feed their families, keep the lake environmentally clean and have something to pass on for generations to come.
As a movement, we are about building sustainable community capital in order to support women and girls who are ready to buy the lake. You are those women. You’ve learned from your experience with Empowered Women International that when women work together to support each other, lift each other up, and help move each other forward, we can be infinitely more powerful as a collective than on our own. That is the mission of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation and why we are so proud to support EWI and your class of graduates celebrating here tonight.
On behalf of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation, I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors and look forward to buying the lake with you.”