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Alumni Feature 1

Barbara Berman Dobkin, Class of 1965

Philanthropist, Women's Advocate

Barbara Berman Dobkin

Barbara Berman Dobkin received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Marietta College and graduated two years later from the Boston University School of Social Work with a master's degree.

Dobkin is a pioneering activist in both the Jewish and general communities as one of the most prominent philanthropists in the United States, putting her energy behind women's causes. In 1993, she founded Ma'yan: the Jewish Women's Project of the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. She has significantly funded change for women professionally, educationally and spiritually. As founding chair of the Jewish Women's Archive, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to discovering and preserving the rich history of Jewish women, she has raised the community's awareness of women's contributions.

In 1998, Dobkin received the Woman of Vision award from the New York Women's Foundation and in 1999 a Jewish Book Council prize for Women's Studies was established in perpetuity in her name. The Jewish Funders Network honored her for her innovative philanthropic work. In 2005, she enjoyed an evening of laughter in her honor to celebrate her love of humor and her inspirational work with the Jewish Women's Archive.

She has created and supported a variety of programs for the advancement of women. She chairs the board of the philanthropic foundation established by Hadassah and is a significant supporter of and advisor to a variety of nonprofit organizations, both Jewish and secular, in the U.S. and Israel. She serves on the boards of the White House Project, Lilith Magazine, the Women's Donors Network, the Women's Funding Network and Kolot.