This Jewish Women’s Foundation New Grant Policy Is Already Driving Change

In August, the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York (JWFNY) explained its dramatic new policy: to award grants only to organizations offering their employees at least four weeks of paid parental leave.

The response was positive — and swift. “Three organizations have already talked to me saying that they’re going to revisit their policy,” said Stephanie Blumenkranz, Assistant Director of JWFNY.

The changes were driven, says Blumenkranz, by a desire to take action. “We’ve advocated for paid parental leave for a few years now, and for us to be true advocates we can’t just talk about it. We have to do something about it. Because we’re a foundation, we felt that the best way to bring about change was with our grantmaking dollars.”

Julie Sissman, a JWFNY member who helped craft the new policy, noted the significance of specifying parental leave as opposed to just maternity leave.“To achieve gender equity we need systems in place that break women and men and people of all gender identities out of gender-stereotyped silos and assumptions. All employees starting their lives as new parents need equal support. Paid parental leave is a key component of creating real change.”


Amelia Dornbush on the Lilith Blog.