YES Fund

The YES (Youth, Education, and Special Projects) Fund represents the collective financial efforts of individual donors and WRJ-affiliated sisterhoods to strengthen the Reform Movement and ensure the future of Reform Judaism.

Since 1913, WRJ’s has been driven by our commitment to strengthen the Reform Movement. We nurture the leaders of tomorrow in the Jewish community through our philanthropic endeavors, reaching people at a local, national, and global level. WRJ provides grants through its YES (Youth, Education, and Special Projects) Fund and additional grants for social good through general funding. Check out how the YES Fund was allocated in 2021-2022

To support WRJ's philanthropic impact and WRJ’s YES Fund, please donate today.

Make a Donation to WRJ Today

Make a Donation to WRJ Today

With your support, WRJ strengthens the voices of women worldwide and empowers them to create caring communities, nurture congregations, cultivate personal and spiritual growth, and advocate for and promote progressive Jewish values. Consider making a donation today!

 

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Girls with shirts that read "The Future is Female"

Dear WRJ,

I write to thank you for the most generous reward I received from Women of Reform Judaism after being named "The Student who Showed the Greatest Progress" during this past academic year in HUC-JIR's Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. 

YES Fund recipient in Israel

Returning to New York after my first year in Jerusalem was quite an adjustment, and I owe a debt of gratitude to WRJ for acknowledging my hard work. Included in that debt are my husband and our 9-year-old daughter without whose support I wouldn't have been able to accomplish all I did this past year.

I will treasure this recognition always as a motivator to continue striving to achieve my goal of one day serving as a full-time pulpit cantor for a congregation. I feel incredibly blessed to have already learned so much and come so far in my growth and development, vocally, academically, and personally. I look forward to continuing my studies over the next three years, my heart is filled with gratitude for your most generous award.

Many thanks again!

L'Shalom,

Harriet Dunkerley
Cantor Educator Solo Clergy at Temple B'nai Chaim

The Impact of the YES Fund

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WRJ Torah at Camp

Youth Programs

Each year, through WRJ’s YES Fund and the generous support of our donors, we encourage the growth of individuals as Jewish trailblazers and the advancement of Reform and Progressive institutions. YES Fund grants offer critical support for primary, secondary, and life-long learning. Championing the voices of young people, we fund organizations such as NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth), which WRJ helped establish, and their Kol Koleinu Fellowship, which provides advocacy training to high school students who identify as feminists. WRJ also invests in youth organizations abroad such as the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa, who provide a safe environment for both Arab and Jewish student-led initiatives and the creation of school-wide community and mutual understanding.

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Rabbinic school graduation

Education

Thanks to the YES Fund, future leaders of Reform Judaism are given scholarships for rabbinical and cantorial studies at seminaries and institutions around the world including the global campuses of  Hebrew Union College (HUC) and schools supported through The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), including Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, Leo Baeck College in London, Instituto Iberoamericano de Formación Rabínica Reformista in Buenos Aires, and the Institute for Modern Jewish Studies in Moscow.

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Women carrying signs to fight for reproductive rights

Special Projects & Global Impact

The YES Fund also supports programs and organizations that promote social justice and fight for a safer world. WRJ allocates annual support to the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), helping to fund an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant, who advocates for Jewish values and social good. WRJ has also given special grants over the years to organizations like Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) to assist in its campaign for Reform/Progressive Jews to vote in the World Zionist Congress elections.

On a global level, this fund aids Fundación Judaica in Argentina which empowers women to pursue leadership positions across the country, partners with the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) to continue the struggle for religious pluralism in Israel and provides access to Jewish education and programming for immigrants to Israel from the Former Soviet Union through the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ).

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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

In its latest initiative, WRJ has allocated funding to three organizations, in North America, committed to furthering work in the Jewish community’s space of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). This funding will expand community programming for LUNAR: The Jewish-Asian Film Project, the opportunity for Jews of Color in Avodah’s Jewish Service Corps to live together in a culturally competent space, as well as helping Tkiya Music bolster their Wee Jam for Justice programming, bringing families with young children together to learn about race, privilege, and equity.

How Sisterhoods Say YES

Donate

Through the YES Fund, WRJ is able to achieve what no one individual or one sisterhood could accomplish alone because it represents the collective efforts of sisterhoods and individual donors to advance our mission.

Although the final allocation of money from the YES Fund is authorized by the WRJ Executive Committee, there are many ways your sisterhood can and should get involved in supporting the YES Fund.

YES Fund

Ask your sisterhood and sisterhood members to donate annually to the YES Fund. Note: Donations made during the WRJ fiscal year (July 1-June 30) are credited to the sisterhoods for the YES Fund Honor Roll.

Lifeline Endowment Fund

Ask your sisterhood and sisterhood members to make donations annually to the Lifeline Endowment Fund.

Shop

Purchase YES Fund items either for your sisterhood, your Judaica shop, and/or your congregation. 

Uniongrams 

Have your sisterhood or sisterhood members send messages of congratulations, thanks, get well wishes, etc. utilizing WRJ’s Uniongrams. Encourage your sisterhood officers, especially your corresponding secretary, along with your rabbi and cantor to use these products for correspondence, messages, and invitations.

YES Fund Resources

Check out our YES Fund Toolkit!

Incorporate

Utilizing YES Fund information

Make this part of each sisterhood program by explaining the history of the Uniongram, displaying YES Fund items, and educating your members about who YES helps.

Honoring Special Events

Publish a list of upcoming B'nai mitzvot, birthdays, and anniversaries in your temple bulletin and suggest donors make a contribution to the YES Fund for each person they would like to honor (i.e. $1-2 per person). Then, have your Uniongram chairwoman compile and send a Uniongram to the honoree listing all the donors.

Hosting a Uniongram Recipe Luncheon

Have members bring recipes written on Uniongrams to the event and display Uniongrams as decorations.

Planning a YES Fundraiser

Utilize ideas from other sisterhoods to help raise funds for the YES Fund through engaging programming for your sisterhood and congregation.

YES Fund Lifeline Gifts & Honor Roll

WRJ recognizes the pressing current needs of our global Reform/Progressive Jewish community but is also aware of the need to plan for the future needs of our Jewish community.

YES Fund Stories

Building Women's Leadership: WRJ and the YES Fund

This year, I was the proud recipient of the Women of Reform Judaism Scholarship on the New York campus of HUC-JIR. When I first got the email notification, I was thrilled to be receiving a scholarship at all. But after a couple of minutes, the significance of this honor started to sink in.

The YES Fund Gives L'Dor V'Dor

When Rabbi Judith Bluestein died, the entire Cincinnati community mourned. A native of Cincinnati, she had graduated from my high school years before me and been a consummate learner and reader. She had no children and died too young, and after her death her sister was left to decide what to do with her huge rabbinic library.

YES Fund Donations at Work for NETZER FSU Camps

As a new(ish) staff member, WRJ’s national board meeting two weeks ago served as an exhilarating experience. I loved meeting everyone and hearing the passionate speeches that recounted where WRJ has been during the past year, and summarized the goals we are working towards for the coming year.