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Envisioning a world where Jewish women are free from financial struggles and can move toward self-sufficiency and economic security
Guided by Jewish values, the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society of Philadelphia has been providing immediate assistance to local, Jewish women in financial crisis since 1819, always upholding the privacy, dignity and self-respect of those we serve.
During the fiscal year that ended April 30, 2018, FHBS assisted 71 clients. Ninety grants were issued; the average grant was $479. Shelter, medical services and supplies, and home repair continued to be the top requests for aid. Support for this program was provided by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
Thirteen women were assisted with grants of $150-$317 per month. Additionally, each woman received a $100 gift card from the supermarket of her choice to help with the cost of Passover food.
Eighty-six frail, elderly women gained peace of mind with the addition of a personal emergency response system to their telephone equipment, enabling them to remain safely in their own homes. Seventeen different women placed 28 calls for assistance.
Thirty-five women received $50 pharmacy gift cards. This initiative was started in memory of our board member emerita, Lillian Tabas, continued with the support of The Legacy Fund of Suburban Jewish Community Center Bnai Aaron and is now funded by The Josephine Cohen Charitable Foundation.
FHBS enabled 36 children from 22 families to attend 19 different day and overnight camps. This program was funded by the Seed the Dream Foundation and the National Council of Jewish Women.
Board of Managers
“I have heard about many tragic situations in which women of all ages find themselves, particularly the elderly, and I am so grateful to be able to be part of a network of support.”
— Carol Shore
“It is a gift to be able to give to others. So many of our recipients have written notes of thanks remembering the privilege of once being a donor.”
— Judy Richards
“As a social worker in my professional life, membership on the FHBS board is an enriching way to supplement my desire to serve the Jewish community in my personal life.”
— Suzanne Bass
“My father always taught me that if I were ever in trouble to turn to our Jewish community for help. Life is unpredictable, and it is a gift to be able to help someone often like myself.”
— Naomi Benditt
“FHBS is a small, deeply rooted institution that cares for its vulnerable population with respect and reliability. It has been a persistent instruction for me on the meaning of tzedakah.”
— Gabrielle Applebaum
“My husband called my attention to an article in The New Yorker about how some seemingly small problem, like needing dentures, could snowball into a person losing her job, her apartment, her health. I’ve certainly seen FHBS clients who have lost their economic footing, and we have helped them achieve stability in their lives.”
— Barbara Jaffe
“I was happy to join an organization that practices the highest form of giving — the recipient does not know from whom the money comes and the donor does not know who is on the receiving end.”
— Elaine Katz
“FHBS is a group of caring women who will go out of their way to make a difference in a stranger’s life.”
— Pam Stein
“FHBS gives women a chance at empowerment, a chance to take control of their lives and possibly afford them a glimpse at the luxury of self-respect and self-worth.”
— Carmel Levine
“I originally viewed my board membership as the fulfillment of a personal obligation. As I learned more about the organization and became enmeshed in its operations, I understood that I had been offered an opportunity and a privilege.”