Chai Giving Circle: Past Cohorts
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    Chai Giving Circle: Past Cohorts

    Each cohort of the Chai Giving Circle is a small group of like-minded women who appreciate the importance of giving and the power of combined resources and knowledge. The women pool their charitable donations, engage in social justice learning and philanthropic research together, and collaborate in deciding how to allocate their giving.

    To learn more, please contact Michelle Kracoff at [email protected] or (650)-223-8693.

    For the most recent cohort, click here.

    2021–2022 Participants and Funders, OFJCC Leslie Family Preschool Giving Circle:

    Host Committee: Julia Agam, Leslie Behar, Amy Berg, Madeline Chaleff, Andi Frenkel, Alina Libova, Rebecca Shomair, Nicole Singer

    Agam Family
    Frenkel Family Libova Family Smithline Family
    Behar Family Greenberg Family Leslie Family Preschool Teachers
    Thiel Prizant Family
    Berg Family Gunn Family Sharon/Koskas Family  
    Berman Family Hudesman Family Shomair Family  
    Chaleff/Arfin Family Lapidus/Margolin Family Singer Family  

    A group of 16 OFJCC Leslie Family Preschool and alumni families pooled their resources in support of Ukraine at our first-ever giving circle for the preschool community. At our second one-time, pop-up giving circle of the year, the group granted funds to NOVA Ukraine and The Survivor Mitzvah Project.

    2021–2022 Participants and Funders:

    Host Committee: Leslie Behar, Madeline Chaleff, Cynthia Cohan, Andi Frenkel, Wendy Miller, Beth-Ann Schwabacher-Wenger, Rebecca Shomair, Shannon Stein

    Mallary Alcheck Catherine Crystal Foster Lori Kaplan Orli Rinat Sara Schnell
    Julie Arnheim Jennifer Foster Dana Kleiman Talya Ronen Pamela Shames
    Cheryl Bader Hillary Frank Sheryl Klein Debbie Roose Susan Sims
    Vera Baum Lisa Friedman Dana Kornfeld Lisa Rothstein Deborah Sloss
    Sabrina Braham Yael Goshen Lori Krolik Susan Steiner Saal Kate Vanzanten
    Margarita Casanova Cohen Liza Hausman Elaine Leff Jennie Savage Viviane Wildmann
    Alison Elliott Sandy Hirsh Aliza Peleg Emily Scheinman Emily Wu
    Mimi Ezray Miranda Junowicz

    A group of 45 women pooled their resources in support of Local Afghan Resettling at our first-ever pop-up giving circle program. With thought, intention, information and strategy, the group met for a few short hours and granted funds to Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay and Pars Equality Center.

    2019–2020 Participants:

    Co-chairs: Andi Frenkel and Wendy Miller

    Kim Brummer Mimi Ezray Elena Shvarts Beth Wenger
    Cynthia Cohan Yael Goshen Shannon Stein Rahn Basche
    Nancy Dobronsky Elaine Babayan Leff

    Participants of the fourth funding cycle of the Chai Giving Circle have chosen Juvenile Justice Reform as the main focus. Funds were granted to Fresh Lifeline for Youth, New Door Ventures and Young Women's Freedom Center.

    2018–2019 Participants:

    Co-chairs: Ellen Brown, Andi Frenkel and Rebecca Shomair

    Leslie Behar Liza Hausman Aliza Peleg Elana Shvarts
    Kim Boyanowski Patty Krigel Orli Rinat Mimi Spier
    Maddy Chaleff Lori Krolik Rivi Rochkin Shannon Stein
    Mimi Ezray Esther Levy Susan Steiner Saal Judith Stubbs
    Myra Gilfix Lucy Milgram Sara Schnell Beth Wenger
    Yael Goshen Wendy Miller Pam Shames Deborah Wexler
    Karen Gould Stacey Newman

    Participants focused their learning on two key areas: mental health and housing insecurity, each with a sub-focus on girls.  Funds were granted to Shalom Bayit, Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), Unity Care Group and Jewish Family and Children's Services (JFCS).

    OFJCC Palo Alto JCC

    2017–2018 Participants:

    Co-chairs: Maddy Chaleff and Rebecca Shomair

    Leslie Behar Liza Hausman Stacey Newman Pam Shames
    Kim Boyanowski Sara Janzen Orli Rinat Shannon Stein
    Ellen Brown
    Erica Katz Rivi Rochkind Andrea Stern
    Mimi Ezray Sharon Leslie Susan Steiner Saal Beth Wenger
    Andi Frenkel Linor Levav Sara Schnell Karen Zuckerberg
    Karen Gould Wendy Miller Jodi Schwartz


    This cohort of Chai Giving Circle learned about social justice issues in the local, South Bay community, specifically as they relate to hunger and food insecurity. Members worked together to make impactful decisions while infusing Jewish values into their philanthropic discussions. They ultimately granted funds to Ecumenical Hunger ProgramMAZON and Project WeHOPE

    Chai Giving Circle

    2016–2017 Participants: 

    Chair: Michelle Sandberg

    Tavi Alcheck Jennifer Dibrienza Jonna Hunter Rebecca Shomair
    Leslie Behar Andi Frenkel Lauren Kutcher Emily Waldorf
    Ronit Bodner Tricia Herrick Sharon Leslie Hilary Weisfeld
    Maddy Chaleff Vanessa Hood Susan Steiner Saal Emily Wessler


    Participants from the inaugural giving circle focused on three pressing, relevant issues: reproductive justice, religious and racial tolerance and immigration rights. Ultimately the group granted funds to the Center for Reproductive RightsIf | When | How: Lawyering for Reproductive JusticeCenter for Gender and Refugee Studies and Facing History and Ourselves


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