Completing a Meaningful Campaign Together 

Posted on Jun 21, 2022

In our last issue of Chadashot, I thanked all the international Torah Fund chairs on whose shoulders I stand. My list was incomplete. Elaine Ravich served as Torah Fund chair from 1994 to 1998. I apologize for the omission and thank Elaine for all she accomplished during her four-year term. 

We are at the end of the Torah Fund campaign year. I extend a todah rabah to everyone who contributed her time and monetary support. 

Torah Fund’s grassroots fundraising efforts have certainly expanded since 1942. Volunteers from affiliates/sisterhoods and Torah Fund chairs/vice presidents across North America spearhead the Torah Fund campaign in their communities. That’s over 400 volunteers who send letters and emails, write bulletin articles, make phone calls, create programs, keep the fundraising records, and create and maintain relationships with their donors. We could not run Torah Fund campaigns in our communities without the support of the affiliate sisterhood presidents. 

Thirteen region Torah Fund vice presidents serve as liaisons between the affiliates and the Torah Fund Office. These volunteers set Torah Fund goals for the affiliates in their regions, meet with the affiliate Torah Fund chairs/vice presidents, answer questions, check on financial discrepancies, plan region Torah Fund events, maintain region fundraising records, send monthly financial reports to the affiliates, communicate Torah Fund news through region Shabbat newsletters, and create and maintain relationships with all the affiliate Torah Fund volunteers. The region vice presidents are assisted by 28 region Torah Fund directors, chairs, teams, and assistants. 

Another 136 volunteers support Torah Fund at the international level on the Torah Fund Cabinet. These volunteers provide fundraising assistance to the regions and to their affiliates, and meet regularly to learn from professional Conservative/Masorti leaders, to hear and discuss updates to Torah Fund policies, and to be updated on funds raised. Among the members of the Torah Fund Cabinet are the chairs of Torah Fund committees and their additional volunteer committee members. These include Special Projects, Margie Miller, chair; Creating New Spaces campaign, Carol Simon, chair; Torah Fund Legacy Society, Marcia Toppall and Cathy Swerdlow, co-chairs and the ambassadors; Student Liaisons, Tobie Rosenberg for Ziegler and Sharon Hammerman for JTS. In addition, Lori Snow, Teresa Sumter, and Fran Hildebrandt make phone calls to donors. Torah Fund leadership, Debbi Kaner Goldich, WLCJ international president; Janet Kirschner, international Torah Fund vice-chair of finance; Madeleine Gimbel, international Torah Fund vice-chair of communications; Randy Schwartz, Torah Fund Canadian liaison; and Lauren Wishnew, Torah Fund advisor, work with the committees, the regions, and the affiliates to ensure a successful Torah Fund campaign. 

Chadashot is produced three times each year by a dedicated group of women: editor Jodi Beck and writers Gloria Adelson, Donna Burkat, Laurie B. Davis, Mimi Pollack, and Shelley Szwalbenest. 

Finally, we function as well as we do because of the dedication of our Torah Fund staff, Lisa Paule, director, and Sherrill Moss-Solomon, financial manager. 

My sincere thanks to over 900 volunteers and our Torah Fund staff responsible for the success of the Torah Fund campaign every year. Todah rabah to each donor for your financial support during a very challenging time.  B’Yachad (together) we further Conservative/Masorti Judaism education worldwide. 

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