Home Federation JCFR’s Women’s Philanthropy:  Doing Good in our Community

JCFR’s Women’s Philanthropy:  Doing Good in our Community


By Sylvia Farbstein

Imagine having to miss school due to not having the proper hygiene necessities or having to choose to buy food rather than toiletries.

This is a burden faced by females throughout our communities. While many of us take feminine products for granted, having to go without them is not just a minor inconvenience but impacts confidence and a sense of self-worth for girls and women.

The solution? Dignity Grows is a national movement connecting resources, creativity and know-how to professionals and dedicated volunteers from cities across the U.S.

Founded in Hartford, Conn., and endorsed by Jewish Federations of North America and National Women’s Philanthropy, the program removes obstacles to better self-esteem and improved health by providing tote bags filled with a full-month supply of hygiene products and period necessities.

The totes are distributed through our partner social service agencies that identify the need of their unique populations.

Recent Packing Party

A group of us recently got to make a difference by volunteering just a couple of hours of our time. (In the photo at the top are: At a recent packing party are: (In Back/from left) Sharon Tepper and Hilary Bender; (middle) Rebecca Young and Lisa Zasler; (front) Bunny Wilks, Sylvia Farbstein, Beth Bendheim and Melissa Brownstein. 

As captain of a recent Dignity Grows packing party, I had the pleasure to choose a group of 8 women who met at the Weinstein JCC, enjoyed a lovely quick Kosher meal, and rolled up our sleeves to pack and organize 200 tote bags.

While our efforts helped to empower our neighbors in need by providing menstrual and hygiene necessities, this gathering gave us (some of whom met for the first time) the opportunity to come together, chat, learn, and experience the power of collaboration.

As women, we know when we support our sisters, we lift each other up.

That is a winning formula, creating momentum to make a tangible difference in the lives of many, as we embody the Jewish values of tzedakah and tikkun olam.

“Thank you so much to the Federation for providing the opportunity and a delicious dinner!  It was wonderful to all be together for such a meaningful cause.

“Thank you, Sylvia, for bringing us together!  It was so nice seeing new friends and old!”

-Melissa Brownstein


About Dignity Grows

Dignity Grows is a national movement, connecting the resources, creativity, and know-how of professionals and dedicated volunteers from cities across the US.  Dignity Grows, a program of JCFR Women’s Philanthropy, is made possible by the infrastructure, partnerships, and systems supported and sustained by the Federation’s Annual Campaign.

JCFR’s current Distribution Partners include Jewish Family Services, Bon Secours initiatives in the Richmond community, the YMCA, Safe Harbor, and RC Longan Elementary School in Henrico County.

Please reach out to Jill Grossman at jgrossman@jewishrichmond.org with questions about JCFR, making a gift to the Annual Campaign, or being involved with Dignity Grows or other Federation programs; or, Ellen Renee Adams and Shields Jackson, co-chairs of Dignity Grows.