Ann Pava to Chair National Women’s Philanthropy March 21, 2013
Ann Baidack Pava didn’t realize her passion for Jewish philanthropy until she was urged to visit Israel on a “singles” Federation mission while in her early 20s.
“I was always trying to make the world a better place,” recalled the lifelong human-rights activist of her student and post-collegiate years. “Although I didn’t meet a boy on that Federation mission, I fell in love with Israel and saw an opportunity to enrich, enhance and change the Jewish world in a tangible way."
Pava returned home and went to work for the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts as community-relations director, and soon after, met her husband. “I started a Jewish spiritual journey from the minute I became involved in Federation, and I am still on that journey.”
The next stage of Pava’s journey will begin this June, as she takes on the role of National Women's Philanthropy chair for The Jewish Federations of North America for a two-year term. Pava, who now lives in Hartford, will succeed Gail Norry of Philadelphia.
Pava has an impressive history with Jewish communal institutions, and Jewish Federations in particular. She is a past president of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, and honorary chair and founding president of the Hebrew High School of New England. She currently serves as Women's Philanthropy Campaign chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. An NWP Board member since 2007, Pava is vice chair for Education and Leadership Development for NWP.
“Through women’s philanthropy, I’ve been able to touch the Jewish People across North America and around the world,” she said. “I feel so fortunate to work with this amazing group of women on the NWP board, who are so willing to give their time and resources to the Jewish People. It’s inspiring and humbling at the same time.”
Gail Norry, current NWP chair, said Pava is a proven leader and problem-solver. “Ann is both inspirational and transformational,” she said. “I have no doubt that Ann will take her prior experiences, and motivate NWP to take on new challenges and build a stronger Jewish community.”
In her new leadership role, Pava hopes to connect more women to the role of Jewish Federation through meaningful events, missions and engagement. She also stressed the importance of expanding NWP’s reach to a younger generation of Jewish women, as well as exploring more ways to show gratitude for long-term Federation donors and increase the impact of those already involved.
“As a woman, the concept of philanthropy in your own name, and making a difference as an individual even when you’re part of a family, means so much to me,” said Pava. “When you are able to give of your time and resources, when you see change, and when you see people joining you on your mission, this type of philanthropy is truly addicting.”
Michael Siegal, chair of the board of JFNA, congratulated Pava on her appointment. “Ann has committed both her professional and volunteer life to Jewish causes. She’s pioneered Jewish education in Hartford, and convened Jewish community through her local and national Federation roles,” said Siegal. “We’re confident she’ll elevate an already-esteemed National Women’s Philanthropy program that has flourished under the leadership of Gail Norry.”