Ma’yan was founded in 1993 by Barbara Dobkin, the leading Jewish feminist philanthropist in the United States, and Eve Landau, Ma’yan’s Executive Director. The organization was created to pursue the broad vision of a Jewish community where women’s and girls’ ideas, experiences, and bodies are valued, where their needs and concerns are attended to, and where women’s leadership flourishes, to the betterment of the Jewish community as a whole.
Ma’yan brought women to the fore in Jewish life with our feminist Passover seders, held annually in New York City from 1994 until 2005. We also created a Passover haggadah (available here), sharing our feminist seder rituals with people all over the world. We created new resources for spiritual practice, including ritual objects and educational materials. We were co-creators of ritualwell.org. We also provided education and support for women interested in philanthropic work.
As we became better known for our work, we perceived a new need and began focusing on self-identified teenage girls poised to become leaders and change-makers. Since 2006, Ma’yan has worked with teens, parents, and youth professionals to make our community and the wider world a better place for girls and women, to the end of creating a more equitable world for all people. Through feminist-based education, we offer all those who self-identify as girls models for ethical leadership and give adults concrete ways to support and strengthen their relationships with young people.