© 2008 18 Pomegranates

Executive Biography: Francine Lavin Weaver

An active supporter of Jewish life, Francine Lavin Weaver has taken a keen interest in the future of Jewish education. A philanthropist and family educator, Francine has supported many initiatives to booster Jewish education on a local and national level. Francine is a leader in Boulder, Colorado’s Jewish community, having served on the boards of the Boulder Jewish Community Foundation and Congregation Bonai Shalom, Boulder’s egalitarian conservative synagogue. As family education teacher she developed and facilitated “Lomedim B’Yachad,” a Jewish value based learning experience for students and parents.

Francine is a private funder involved in philanthropic activities and initiatives related to her newly established foundation, 18 Pomegranates, Inc, which is motivated by the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam (“repairing the world”). 18 Pomegranates initiates and supports innovative ideas and programs working to improve our world, including the Chidush Awards, Dare to Dream and the Seed Council. Francine established the Chidush Awards, a program to encourage and reward the development of innovative lesson plans by Jewish educators in Boulder County. Dare to Dream was inspired by a JESNA working paper and Francine’s desire to spearhead a movement for quality Jewish education in Boulder; it is a community-wide project focusing on the future of Jewish learners in Boulder, CO. The Seed Council is a pilot project of eight individual charged with making a difference by becoming knowledgeable about philanthropy and exploring ways to promote Tikkun Olam. Through joint learning, the Council will have an opportunity to gain skills in identifying needs in the community, learn about ways to support nonprofit organizations and engage in individual and group philanthropy

Francine brings her expertise as a master teacher in special education to her passion for developing innovative Jewish educational programs and initiatives. She has held a number of positions working with special needs students in Massachusetts and California and published a book and numerous articles in professional journals on topics in special education and Jewish education. A believer in lifelong Jewish education, Francine is an alumna of the Wagner Institute at JTS, Ulpan Akiva in Netanya, Israel, IMUN-lay leadership torah training, Whizin Institute for Jewish Family Education and “Limmud” an annual gather of Jews from around the world in the UK. Francine continues to be an avid traveler to Israel, as well as AJWS study tours to Peru, Thailand, and Cambodia.