News from Samantha Anderson

Samantha Anderson

A note from Samantha

Dear friends,

The new Jewish year and the cycle of the holidays reminds us of time passing, and we search within ourselves to take account and turn toward growth and wholeness. It’s a time that brings us both joy and also sadness. So it’s with that mix of emotion that I announce the news that I’ll be leaving JFN in the coming months to consult with a number of philanthropic initiatives with a new firm I’m starting, Ceres Group Advisors, that will work with women leaders to achieve their potential across multiple sectors.

With my first client, I am helping to establish a start-up foundation that is working to inspire action and improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for women's health. It’s launching out of a giving circle (Access Circles) comprised of high-net-worth women, many of whom are CEOs and business executives, who have formed an educational platform for learning, and now they want to turn their knowledge into action and develop a philanthropic fund called Women’s Health Access Matters. The WHAM Fund will invest in scientific research focused on women’s health. For me, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to marry my passions in women’s issues, health, and philanthropy.

In addition to this philanthropic work, I'm training to become a Functional Medicine Health Coach. Earlier this year, I began my studies at the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, and I graduate in February. Functional Medicine is a systems approach to health and disease that looks at how the body functions as a whole. This practice of helping people feel and be their best in all aspects of their lives aligns with, and expands, the work that I’ve been doing at JFN—helping empower funders to be their best in philanthropy. Stay tuned at Essential~Wholeness for updates on my path as health coach.

These last seven years have been an incredible journey, and I have learned so much. Our success is testament to the work we’ve done to grow and animate the network, and breathe deep breaths of oxygen into Jewish philanthropy. And I look forward to remaining part of the JFN family as a member and participant in our programs and activities.

My plan is to stay on at JFN through late 2019 to transition my institutional knowledge so that the work can continue effectively. After that, I hope to explore ways to continue to work with JFN on some specific projects, including extending the JFN network by engaging the women I’ll be working with at WHAM.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased to share this job description for a new opening at JFN to continue the work of serving and empowering the JFN membership. Please share it with anyone who might be qualified!

As Alan Lew writes in his This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared:

Rav lachem, the time has come for this. This is what you must do next in order for your life to proceed. This is what you must do in order to move on to the next stage of your journey.”

So, on that note, it’s been a privilege and honor to be on this path with you—some for all these seven years; others for a shorter time. It's been very meaningful to have had the opportunity to serve our field with you. To stay in touch, you can reach me at [email protected]

Shalom, goodbye and hello, in health and happiness,


Samantha L. Anderson
Vice President, Philanthropic Engagement
Executive Director, Center for Jewish Philanthropic Excellence