Vivian G. Bass was elected as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Jewish Women International (JWI) in July 2016 subsequent to serving as Vice-Chair since 2013.
Vivian has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life, independence and community inclusion and dignity of individuals with disabilities throughout the Washington, DC area, nationally and internationally. She became the CEO Emeritus of The Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH) in June 2016 subsequent to serving for 30 years at the helm of JFGH which ultimately grew to 77 residential locations, two innovative transition youth programs, a staff of 260, and having $28 million in total assets. As JFGH continued to become a model for more than 25 communities over five continents, Vivian traveled extensively, mentoring these communities wishing to emulate the JFGH Program.
She has been bestowed numerous honors including: “Washingtonian of the Year” by Washingtonian Magazine; JWI’s `Women to Watch’ Award; Distinguished Service Award by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington; Maryland’s Top 100 Women; JCPA’s Tikkun Olam Award; Montgomery County, Maryland’s Roscoe Nix (Medal of Freedom) Award; Lifetime of Service to the Jewish Community Distinction from Yeshivat Chovevi Torah (YCT) Rabbinical School; and JFGH’s S. Robert Cohen Award.
She has been a Lion of Judah for over 20 years.
Sought as a speaker for conferences globally, Vivian has presented at: The World Congress on Disabilities in conjunction with the Paralympics; National Organization on Disability (NOD); National Association of Social Workers (NASW); General Assembly (GA) of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA); Coalitions on Alternatives to Jewish Education (CAJE); The International Lion of Judah Conference; the JCPA Plenum, and the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). She was a consultant/conduit for Best Buddies International in the inception of their chapters in Israel.
In her lay leadership role at JWI, Vivian represents their board at JCPA , the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women and several other major entities. She served as the Vice-Chair of JCPA’s October 2015 Plenum and as a member of JCPA’s Nominating Committee and was requested to participate in its newly launched Governance Task Force/Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Executive Committee of Leadership Montgomery, Maryland where she chairs the Governance and Ethics Committee. and is a founding and sustaining member of the Board of Potomac Community Resources (PCR), a disabilities organization which evolved from the DC area’s Catholic Community.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Vivian remains a loyal devotee to her alma mater, The University of Michigan where she pursued both undergraduate and graduate studies in Special Education. She and her husband, Dr. Raymond Bass take great pride in their three sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandsons.