Funder Profile: Susan Bass
"Think of Women of Reform Judaism as the venture capitalists of the Reform Movement. It has been our honor and our privilege to seed new initiatives and bold ideas."
As President of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), Susan Bass is a big believer in being an entrepreneurial and consistent partner to URJ. She feels strongly that we are connected by a common goal: A Reform Movement that is ever evolving to rise and meet the needs of Jews. WRJ, under her leadership, has made significant and strategic contributions to help the URJ innovate and improve.
For instance, to encourage girls with an interest in STEM to attend URJ 6 Points Sci-tech in Boston, WRJ provided matching funds for camp scholarships. Female enrollment has tripled at the camp.
Whether the organization is investing in IT upgrades so RAC can livestream or helping URJ Camp Newman rebuild after a fire, our partners at WRJ were on top of it in 2018. They invested in our middle school program, NFTY 678; youth leadership development; our PJ Library programs; and in hiring an Eisendrath legislative assistant to work on Women and Children’s issues. WRJ’s financial support of URJ dates back to 1913, contributing millions of dollars over its lifetime.
Susan credits her rise to the top of WRJ to working in many capacities across its many districts, gaining an appreciation for all sorts of communities. She said planning the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta had sharpened her business acumen, and her teaching background how to communicate. She is also a seasoned URJ leader, having been VP of the Southeast Council, and now on the North American Board of Trustees, where she also served on the inaugural URJ Oversight Committee.