Springboard Blog

Springboard Blog

JWF Dollars at Work: The Women Behind the Scenes

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Stephanie Goldfarb is not your average twenty-or-thirty-something. You might call her an overachiever. You might say she has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. However you see it, Chicago's Jewish United Fund (JUF) is lucky to have her.

She grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona in what Stephanie would call a "pretty normal Reform upbringing". Not unlike many young American Jews, she received a great deal of informal Jewish education throughout her childhood, including nine years of Jewish summer camp. In her family, the emphasis was not on religion but in preserving the cultural traditions of her heritage, and for Stephanie, that message translated into a lifelong commitment to her community. After high school, she set out as an undergraduate at Arizona State University to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Gender Studies with the hope of someday finding a meaningful job in social work. To better prepare her for serving future clients and the community, she moved to Chicago to pursue two Master's Degrees from Loyola University, one in Gender Studies and another in Clinical Social Work.

Today, as Program Director of Youth Philanthropy and Leadership in the Jewish United Fund's Community Outreach and Engagement Department, she is the director of two innovative programs working with Chicago's Jewish youth. Voices: The Chicago Jewish Teen Foundation introduces teens to professional philanthropy and grantmaking through a Jewish lens to prepare them for their final year-end project: allocating $25,000 to programs positively impacting change in their community and abroad. Her second program, the Research Training Internship(RTI), is a paid internship for a small group of high-school aged girls to explore the social justice issues of privilege, power, and intersectionality through a feminist lens.

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