Insights to Impact

The Latest from Brooklyn Community Foundation


The Site Visit Experience: Giving Donors a Closer Look at Our Grantees

Earlier this month, a few of our staff members and donors had the pleasure of joining our Invest in Youth grantee Footsteps for a special look at artist Sara Erenthal’s solo show Moving On at FiveMyles Gallery in Crown Heights. Sarah is a member of Footsteps, which is dedicated to supporting individuals transitioning out of the ultra-Orthodox community. You may have seen Footsteps featured recently in this NY Times Magazine piece highlighting the challenges and opportunities some of their members face.

Sara Erenthal grew up in ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel and South Williamsburg. While it has been a number of years since she left the community, she only recently found Footsteps through a friend and received a micro-grant to fund her exhibition at FiveMyles.

Sara took us through her show, explaining how each piece draws on her memories and experience. Her paintings depict childhood memories of growing up in the community, her relationship with her family, and finally herself in front of her own canvas. Joining us was our Board member and Donor Advised Fund holder Hildy Simmons. As a long-time philanthropic advisor, Hildy was already familiar with the work of Footsteps, but hadn’t seen its work firsthand. She joins me here to talk a bit about our visit:

“I was happy to have the opportunity to come out to see Sara’s show at FiveMyles. I have long respected Footsteps for their work with individuals transitioning out of the ultra-Orthodox community but had never had the opportunity to see their impact in action. Seeing Sara’s show, I was really struck by how she has used her art to work through the trauma of leaving the community she grew up in. It is a beautiful and moving testament to the strength of these individuals who chose to make a new path for themselves, as well as the importance of organizations like Footsteps that offer support through these transitions.”

We are proud to support organizations like Footsteps through our Invest in Youth grant program. In partnership with our donors, we are sparking change across Brooklyn and it’s clearly visible in the stories of Footsteps members like Sara.

Want to see how your donation to Brooklyn Community Foundation is paying dividends in Brooklyn’s communities? Join a donor site visit!

We have opportunities coming up this spring and would love to have you join us. Email for more details today.

Want to see how your donation to Brooklyn Community Foundation is paying dividends in Brooklyn’s communities?