WHY WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY?
Get to know the women of Women’s Philanthropy as they share their personality, passion and purpose for being involved and connected to our wonderful community. Throughout the year, different women are highlighted as active participants of Women’s Philanthropy who make a difference every day in their own way for Jewish Austin.
Robin Davis Interviews Jill Graham
My favorite part of Women’s Philanthropy is meeting and building relationships with kind and smart Jewish women.
RD: Where are you originally from and how did you integrate yourself into Jewish life in Austin?
JG: I am from Birmingham, Alabama. I attended the University of Texas where I was in AEPhi and participated in activities at Texas Hillel. I came back to Austin as a young professional and participated in YALA, a young leadership program (now called J-LEAD). I was reinvigorated to get involved again years later and in 2019 took the Taste of Women’s Philanthropy class, which connects you with other women in the community looking to get involved and educates you all about the great work Shalom Austin accomplishes.
RD: How did you get involved in Women’s Philanthropy?
JG: At the conclusion of the Taste Series, Phil Loewy, the Women’s Philanthropy Chair at the time, asked me to join the Women’s Philanthropy committee as the Communications Chair and I said, “yes!”
RD: What is your favorite part of being involved with Women’s Philanthropy and what message would you like to share with other women?
JG: My favorite part of Women’s Philanthropy is meeting and building relationships with kind and smart Jewish women. My message to women is do not be afraid to take a risk – put yourself out there whether it is the first time or you are reconnecting to our vibrant Jewish community.
RD: What’s your favorite Jewish memory?
JG: My mother was the Associate Director of the Birmingham Jewish Federation and when I was thirteen she planned a Bat Mitzvah mission trip from our community. I became a Bat Mitzvah overlooking the Old City with all of my best friends and family. It was my first trip to Israel and a very special Jewish memory.
RD: Why do you support Shalom Austin?
JG: I think of the quote from Pirkei Avot, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” and that we all have the responsibility to look out for each other and our community.
RD: What’s one word that describes our Jewish community?
RD: What’s your perfect day?
JG: My perfect day starts with sleeping in, then drinking a strong cup of coffee with Bailey’s added. I would have brunch with my husband, Roger, and some friends and end the day with an outdoor concert. It would be 76 degrees out too!!
RD: Any book, podcast, or tv recommendations?
JG: I recently read and enjoyed “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig and “Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr.
Annual Campaign & Corporate Partnership Director
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