Karoline Schnaider tells the story of one of ICJW’s newest and youngest affiliates – the Swedish Jewish Women’s Society in Malmö, Sweden.
One evening, during the fall of 2016, a group of friends met together over dinner in order to discuss an issue of great interest and importance to us all: our need for a new affinity. We are a diverse group of 9 women with varying Jewish identities and upbringings, aged between 38 and 49, united by a shared love for our Jewish ties, and a desire to give back to the community which had brought us together.
By the end of the evening, we had laid the foundation for the Swedish Jewish Women’s Society (Judiska Kvinnosällskapet) JKS became our vehicle to unite and work to promote Jewish women in our society, and to strengthen the Jewish spirit in our community. We were and remain drawn together by our social and philanthropic motivations.
Since then our group has gained international recognition and has become an affiliate of ICJW. Because our mission is to promote the female Jewish community and Jewish family identity, the events we have arranged have centered around female well-being. The philanthropic recipients have been organizations centered around Jewish family and life cycles.
We held a most successful event recently: a lecture on stress management, delivered to our audience by a Stockholm-based Jewish therapist and published author, Petra Kahn Nord. The proceeds of the event enabled us to fund a festive senior citizens luncheon at the Jewish community center in Malmö, including a live Klezmer performance. In addition, some of the proceeds were also donated to Chinuch, the Jewish kindergarten, and HaKoach, the Jewish co-ed soccer team.
Because we are a group of younger women, we aim to appeal to and attract more women in the same age group. To this end, we are currently working on the roadmap and event agenda for the upcoming years. By organizing more fund-raising events, we will be able to collect money and distribute it to various charities. Through JKS, we look forward to supporting the Jewish women’s social scene in Malmö.