Ottawa jewish bulletin 2013 12 09 r1(optimized)

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Pearls of Wisdom event offers insight into financial planning and philanthropy for women PHOTO: REBECCA NAGRODSKI


“We often hear, ‘If you don’t have your health, then what do you have?’” said Janet Dollin, an Ottawa family physician. “I will expand that to say, ‘If you don’t have control of your wealth, however little or much there might be of it, then you will never have your health.’” Dollin, a board member of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation’s Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program (WCPP), was speaking at the WCPP’s annual Pearls of Wisdom event, October 27 at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre. The theme this year was Women and Our Money: Knowing It; Growing It and Giving It. Our spending and savings habits and attitudes can literally make us ill, according to Dollin. “I regularly see young women with

(From left) Andrea Freedman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation; WCPP co-chairs Erica Sher and Yaffa Greenbaum; panelists Janet Dollin, Foundation Chair Lynne Oreck-Wener and Diane Koven; and Eileen MelnickMcCarthy at the Pearls of Wisdom event, October 27.

irritable bowels or headaches, mid-life women with anxiety or depressed moods, older women with insomnia, as just a few lifecycle examples, relating to their financial insecurity,” she said. There are many reasons women are resistant to knowing their finances and taking control of their money and Moira Somers, a Winnipeg-based psychologist, coach and financial change expert, provided some practical advice for getting past their initial trepidation in a videotaped message. Other speakers at the Pearls of Wisdom event included Diane Koven, a certified financial planner and WCPP member, who discussed the practical side of financial planning and how women,

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regardless of their financial circumstances, can take the first steps in getting on track; and Lynne Oreck-Wener, chair of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation, who gave examples of the many ways women can empower themselves to be philanthropic, regardless of the size of their donation. Andrea Freedman, president and CEO of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, moderated the discussion. “Our Pearls of Wisdom event is an important fundraising vehicle for the Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program, and it does two things really well,” said Yaffa Greenbaum, who co-chairs the WCPP with Erica Sher. “It gives us the opportunity to share information we believe is of interest to the women of our community, and it provides us with an opportunity to profile and support of our cause. We’re thrilled with this year’s turnout and event.” Pearls of Wisdom attendees also had an opportunity to purchase local jewelry creations from True Bijoux, Beads! by Erica, and Wearable Art by Linda Goldberg with partial proceeds from the sale donated to the WCPP.

The WCPP has begun to provide financial support to deserving community projects. Our first grant was awarded last spring to JET (Jewish Education through Torah) and its Ottawa division of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Program. The grant provided partial funding for From Head and Heart to Helping Hand, a program designed to provide Jewish women between the ages of 30 and 60 with increased information, training and skills to enable them to become active volunteers and leaders in Ottawa’s Jewish community. The Women’s Collective Endowment Fund (WCEF) is a fund of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation. WCEF capital is invested annually, with a portion of the income disbursed to causes that benefit women and children in Ottawa. The mission of the WCPP is to educate and empower women to speak about issues that matter to our membership, to learn from each other’s experiences and seek ways to solve identified problems. To learn more about the WCPP, to become a member, or to donate to the WCEF, contact Rebecca Nagrodski at 613-7984696, ext. 252 or, or visit


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