As a longtime CJP volunteer and the current Chair of CJP's Board of Directors, Cindy Janower has been involved in many areas of our work and the work of our partner agencies.
Fifteen years ago, Cindy began her involvement with CJP as a young parent at The Rashi School. The school had received CJP’s “Peerless Excellence Grant,” which aimed to achieve excellence in all facets of day school operations. Cindy volunteered to chair the associated strategic planning effort at Rashi, and was “impressed with the way the grant was structured and administered.”
“It was the first time I understood how CJP’s partnership and support could truly transform an organization,” she says. “I was deeply grateful that the grant helped Rashi transition from a scrappy, pioneering startup to a mature, well-functioning institution. It also led me to respect CJP as an organization that could partner with donors to act boldly, employing best practices and strategic thinking to drive enormous impact.”
That strong first impression has led to a deep engagement with CJP. Since then, Cindy has joined and chaired many CJP planning committees, tackling a variety of issues such as the merger with the North Shore Federation, our evolving philanthropic model, the recent community study, and the latest Strategic Plan. Cindy also participated in the Cynthia and Leon Shulman Acharai Leadership Program and became Chair of CJP’s Board in 2018.
“Through my CJP work, I feel privileged to have been able to touch our Greater Boston community in tangible ways,” she says. “I’m not sure how many people recognize the degree to which the Greater Boston Jewish community punches above its weight on issues such as elder care, social mobility, alleviation of poverty, and Americans’ close economic and cultural ties with Israel. CJP doesn’t work alone, and by working closely with individuals and partner organizations, we’re able to have the kind of impact that makes it feel rewarding to be involved.”
Cindy says she is especially excited to be working alongside so many smart, talented, and accomplished women — on the CJP Board and throughout Women’s Philanthropy. Community fulfills her, she says, especially when “I have been able to work with incredible, passionate individuals to make profound and lasting change, sometimes against great odds. I count those hineni (here I am) moments among my most meaningful.”
As the mother of three young women, Cindy is optimistic for the future of the Jewish community. She senses a “hunger for meaning and collective action,” new energy from our increasing diversity, and a shift toward CJP becoming a more inclusive, connected, and nimble organization.
“I’m incredibly excited to approach our crossroads boldly and I am excited to see us find even more ways to make a difference together,” she says. “We need it, our world needs it, and together we can make a huge difference.”