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Message From Our Chair

JFEW began educating women in 1880, when Minnie Dessau Louis opened a school for immigrant Jewish girls in the tenements of New York’s Lower East Side. Her vision of education as a pathway to opportunity remains at the core of the Foundation’s work. Today, we help over 400 women annually of different races, religions and ethnic affiliations to achieve their educational and career goals. 

Our work is informed by a focus on women, by the values of collaboration and excellence, and by the Jewish obligation to support education and to provide for those with need. The Foundation leverages its scholarship support to cohorts of JFEW Scholars, in partnership with schools and community-based organizations that provide scholarship enrichments. The enrichments include services, like dedicated advising, as well as opportunities for professional development through skills-building workshops and summer internships.

We aspire to excellence, and believe that honoring a woman for achievement in academic work, while providing the means necessary to expand her intellectual horizons, provides the potential for meaningful work. This, in turn, will help her to care for herself, her family and contribute to society.                                      

As Chair of JFEW, I have many occasions to think back to when I was a student at Brooklyn College and received a JFEW scholarship. That support was a great help to my family, and I felt affirmed by the Foundation’s investment in my education. I hope you will explore this website to learn more about our work, and about the remarkable JFEW Scholars who aspire, learn and achieve.

  Phyllis G. Korff, Chair