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JCC+MKE 2 min read

Supporting Women in Crisis

By JCC Milwaukee August 4, 2020

Commitment to women and tzedakah: Family endowment fund sends children to Gan Ami Early Childhood Education

In 2000, the children of six Milwaukee sisters came to the JCC with a shared vision to support women struggling through economic hardship. They established an endowment fund in honor of those sisters— Esther Cohen (z’l), Roz Colman (z’l), Mary Davis (z’l), Millie Kaplan, Sara Mazur (z’l), and Edyth Merkow (z’l). This beautifully conceived endowment fund, the Mantel Sisters’ Family Fund to Assist Women in Crisis, provides support for women in transition to this day.

Just this past year, The Mantel Sisters’ Family Fund to Assist Women in Crisis helped a young mother enduring extraordinary challenges to enroll her two children in the JCC’s Gan Ami Early Childhood Education. At eight months pregnant with an 18-month-old at home, she experienced a devastating loss when the father of her children died suddenly in their home. For the next year, she stayed home to care for her young son and new baby girl, per doctor’s orders. This loss took an emotional toll on the mother and created economic burdens that mounted as she grieved. In spring 2020, this woman accepted a position as an essential worker in Milwaukee and found herself in need of reliable childcare for the first time since the father’s passing. Thanks to the continued generosity of the Mantel Sisters’ family, their endowment fund provided significant scholarship support so the mother could send her two children to Gan Ami.

The Mantel Sisters and their children have all lived their lives with a commitment to tzedakah (justice), a value that was instilled in them by their loving parents, Fannie and Joe. It is our hope to continue to honor and preserve the Mantel family name for generations to come through their endowment fund.