The Miriam Fund (TMF) is a volunteer-led philanthropic community of more than 130 members. We are committed to creating an equitable world that expands opportunities for women and girls*. Through strategic grant-making, TMF aims to inspire and strengthen women and girls within and beyond our Jewish community and, in the process, encourage its members to be advocates, leaders, and agents of change. Read our FY21 Annual Report here!
From the moment you join The Miriam Fund, you are welcome to participate in all events, join a committee, review grants, and more!
*Includes all for whom “woman” is a meaningful identifier or experience, including (but not limited to) cisgender women and girls, transgender women and girls, and non-binary individuals.
We are women. Members of our Jewish community who believe that every woman and girl can find the strength and inspiration needed to reach her full potential.
We are philanthropists. Investors in brighter futures. Funders of grants that turn the greatest challenges into even greater possibilities.
We are grant-makers. Balanced decision makers. Diverse peers united by purpose, given equal voices on a complex range of issues.
We are advocates. Educators. Leaders who address critical needs in our community and champion change.
TMF is a volunteer-led community of strategic philanthropists. Members donate an annual gift of $2,500 or more ($1,250 for members under 40), which is invested through JCEP (Jewish Community Endowment Pool) in a quasi-endowment fund. These gifts are recognized as tax-deductible donations, and the monies are then distributed to organizations through TMF’s annual grant-making process.
The Chairs’ Fund was established by David Epstein to honor his wife, Betsy, a past Co-chair of TMF, and aims to help organizations and support smaller initiatives to boost their capacity. The three Co-chairs of TMF, in consultation and collaboration with the Fund’s Director, will use this money in ways that they judge to be appropriate. There will be a $5,000 limit to all grants that they consider.
The Gitta and Saul Kurlat Fund for STEM Education was established in honor of one of our earliest members, Gitta Kurlat. Gitta was the first woman partner at Rubin and Rudman where she specialized in business law, and she mentored many women in and out of the legal profession. Gitta and her husband Saul recognized that young women needed encouragement to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. With these dollars, we have been able to fund at least one STEM proposal each year.
Q: What is the work that TMF aims to achieve?
TMF is a volunteer-led philanthropic community of more than 130 members. We are committed to creating an equitable world that expands opportunities for women and girls. Through strategic grant-making, TMF aims to inspire and strengthen women and girls within and beyond our Jewish community and, in the process, encourage its members to be advocates, leaders, and agents of change.
Q: How long does my membership last?
TMF operates on an annual membership basis, following CJP’s fiscal year of July 1 to June 30. Members are encouraged to donate in the fall to align with our grant-making calendar, though membership gifts are accepted at any time during the year.
Q: What is the required giving level to join?
Members donate an annual gift of $2,500 or more ($1,250 for members under 40). These gifts may be recognized as tax-deductible donations, and the monies are then distributed to organizations through TMF’s annual grant-making process. All funds are added to TMF’s endowment and a percentage of the endowment funds are awarded each year to grantees.
Q: How does TMF decide which organizations get a grant?
The Miriam Fund has a robust, volunteer-led annual grant-making process. Members can volunteer to serve on any of our three grant subcommittees (Jewish, Secular, and Israel). In addition to optional training opportunities, each subcommittee holds two meetings to discuss, evaluate, and vote on proposals. Check out our grants process timeline.
Q: What is the time commitment?
The time commitment varies depending on how involved you would like to be! The heart of the work centers on our robust, volunteer-led annual grant-making process. Members can serve on any of our three grant subcommittees (Jewish, Secular, and Israel). In addition to optional training opportunities, each subcommittee holds two meetings (2 hours each) to discuss, evaluate, and vote on proposals. To prepare for these meetings, members read and analyze the grant applications independently. TMF also offers a myriad of other opportunities and gatherings to learn and connect socially with other members and the community.
Q: Are there other ways to be involved with TMF outside of the grant process?
From the moment you donate to TMF, you are a member of our grant-making community and welcome to participate in all events, join a committee, review grants, and more. We send monthly newsletters with updates to our members. You get to decide how involved you want to be! Opportunities include:
Q: Do I have to live in Boston to join?
No, though you likely will need to live in or visit the Boston area to participate on the grant subcommittees and other events and activities. The grant subcommittees typically meet one to two times, in person, around March and April. There are virtual opportunities to get involved as well.
Q: Is there a role for me if I can’t make a membership donation?
Yes, you can support our work by donating any amount you choose. Non-member donors do not serve on committees or in leadership positions, nor do they vote.
Q: Is my membership investment to The Miriam Fund tax-deductible?
Gifts to TMF are donations to Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc. (CJP), a public charity in good standing with the IRS. Your donation may be treated as a taxdeductible contribution; please consult your own tax advisor for more information.
Q: Can I contribute publicly traded stock to cover my membership donation?
Yes. If you would like further information on using stock to cover membership gifts or a donation to The Miriam Fund, please send an email request to Beth Tauro at email@example.com.
Q: What is the difference between TMF and Women’s Philanthropy?
The work and activities of TMF are based around its strategic grant-making model. The heart of the work is the grant-making process. TMF events, volunteer activities, and other opportunities embrace our grantees and issues impacting women and girls. CJP’s Women’s Philanthropy (WP) does not have a grant-making component. WP aims to deepen relationships with women, grow philanthropy and develop and support women leaders in the Boston Jewish community, and at CJP. WP helps build connections through curated experiences, relationships and learning cohorts, and making meaningful gifts to show our strength as women.
For more information, including membership and contribution guidelines, please contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-457-8761.
Make a gift that makes a difference to women and girls. Your gift will go directly to The Miriam Fund, and can be made in someone’s honor or memory. To donate gifts of stocks or mutual funds, please contact Beth Tauro.