Voices of Valor, an award-winning, innovative, song-writing initiative for veterans, was founded eight years ago by Music For All Seasons co-directors Brian Dallow and Rena Fruchter and is based in Scotch Plains. It is the first of three programs supported this year by the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New Jersey (JWFNJ), a donor-advised fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
The program hosts veterans in a small group setting, as they collaborate with a healing process that includes writing a song that reflects on their military experiences. Since 2012, Voices of Valor has had a profound life-affirming and healing impact on the lives of hundreds of veterans in the tri-state area. Now, for the first time, Voices of Valor is hosting sessions specifically for all-female veterans groups. The program is open to all female veterans, regardless of time of service, or of religious background.
Participants do not need to have any previous musical experience. The group meets weekly for approximately ten sessions guided by professional musicians and mental health professionals. The sessions culminate in a finished song, a recording session in a professional studio, and a CD-release party attended by all the participants, friends and families.
The first of three sessions, held at Lyons VA Medical Center in Somerset County, New Jersey, has produced the song “Women of Valor,” composed by the women with coaching provided by professional musicians Jennifer Lampert and Ron Haney. According to Lampert, an Asbury Park resident, “Women make up a small percentage of our military; however, their voices are strong, proud, and focused. This was a very special session for all of us!”
“JWFNJ has a long history of supporting female veterans. The Voices of Valor program continues our very important work in this space of providing females an opportunity to heal and reflect on their military experiences,” said Laura Alpert, co-chair of JWFNJ.
In 2020 Voices of Valor will present two more all-female sessions, to be held at Lyons VA Medical Center and another location to be announced. Veterans interested in participating are encouraged to contact the program at (908) 322-6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A selection of songs composed by Voices of Valor participants is available at www.voicesofvalor.org.
The mission of JWFNJ is to transform the lives of individual women and girls through collective grantmaking while improving the quality of life for the entire community. JWFNJ is committed to investing in projects that protect and sustain women and girls and help them reach their fullest potential. The foundation’s goal is to maximize JWF’s impact through grantmaking, education, and advocacy.