Skip Navigation LinksHome > Planned Giving and Endowments > Create a Jewish Legacy | The Jewish Federations of North America
National Women's Philanthropy

"I wish more of our savvy, high-achieving women would wake up to the fact that power and status accrue to those who write checks to worthy causes."

-- Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author


Separate giving acknowledges social and economic realities. Of married Jewish women, 56% work for pay; of those under age 44, 70% are employed outside the home. Women own 60% of the wealth in this country and run 60% of the family foundations. By 1991, over 2,000,000 women already had personal annual income in excess of $500,000. As women are achieving parity with men in courtrooms, boardrooms and operating rooms, so must they assume equal responsibility with men for saving, sustaining and enriching Jewish lives.

Women's giving is the fastest growing component of the annual campaign, now representing more than 22% and rising every year.



"Women are more prompt in fulfilling the commandments." -- Exodus. R., 28:2

The Women's Constituency is Inspired by the Jewish traditions of tzedakah and tikkun olam -- social justice and repairing the world. It provides opportunities for every women to affirm her Jewish identity and spirituality, to take a stand on issues that affect her community, and to inspire other Jewish women by example.

Educate women and you educate families.

  • Tzedakah is a mitzvah, a personal obligation; no one can perform a mitzvah on behalf of another. Determining what your just share of the cost of meeting the needs of the global Jewish community is an individual decision.
  • The obligation to give tzedakah continues throughout your life as an adult Jew, without regard to marital status.
  • A separate donation gives you your own identity, distinct and independent from your husband, companion or family. This is consistent not only with societal mores, but also with the Jewish view that each human being is of infinite value.
  • A donation in your own name establishes you as a full partner in your community.
  • Money is influence; it gives you a voice and a place at the table. By giving a quality gift in your own name, you have more decision-making credibility.


What is the Lion of Judah?

While every dollar counts, there has been extraordinary movement in women's giving. It is called the Lion of Judah. And it is roaring.

Introduced in 1972 for the Miami Women's Division campaign, the Lion of Judah pin has firmly established itself as a symbol of commitment to the worldwide Jewish community.

The diamond inset 14-karat gold pin was created for the woman making a personal pledge to the annual campaign of $5,000 or more. When the program started, there were 16 women who qualified; by the end of the 1970's, there were more than 400 women in Miami who proudly wore their Lion of Judah pins.

In 1980, guidelines developed by leaders of the Miami and UJA National Women's Campaigns enabled other communities to participate in the program by adding their individual logo designs to the copyrighted pin. This is the only variance permitted except for Or L'Atid ­ symbol of the Lion of Judah Endowment.

In 1983, a national logo was created for the pin. Communities have a choice of contracting with Miami for their local versions, or of ordering the National version. Regional and National Lion of Judah events have helped expand the program, which also has been adapted by Keren Hayesod.

In 1985, a Lion of Judah pin with a RUBY inset was established in recognition of an individual woman's personal commitment of $10,000 or more to the annual campaign.

As the decade of the 1980's ended, the program was extended to recognize even higher levels of women's giving. A SAPPHIRE inset acknowledges contributors of a minimum $18,000, and an EMERALD inset those women who contribute $25,000 or more.

In 1992, to mark the 20th Anniversary of the pin, a new $50,000 level was established with a CANARY DIAMOND inset; the stone and the category it represents are known as the ZAHAV (golden) DIAMOND.

Women's Campaigns have assumed an increasingly significant role in raising funds for the UJA Federation Campaign. Today, there are nearly 12,000 Lions of Judah in the U.S.; 900 in Canada; and more than 13,000 worldwide.

Learn About Women's Philanthropy

Women's Campaigns have assumed an increasingly significant role in raising funds for the UJA Federation Campaign. To learn more, watch the video. (RealPlayer Required)

The International Lion of Judah Conference

The International Lion of Judah Conference

The International Lion of Judah Conference was held October 17-19, 2004 in Washington, D.C. For the conference home page, click here.