Jean Shafiroff Is Ready For More This Year: More Giving, More Fundraising & More Visibility
On a very uneventful Martin Luther King Weekend in Southampton, New York, Jean Shafiroff, known for her philanthropy, personal style, and giving disposition invited us into her nine-bedroom, 14-bathroom retreat for weekends and summers that she shares with her husband, Martin.
“It’s quiet out here, right?” asks the surprisingly causal Shafiroff. “Here, let’s sit in this living room.” she says. “So, glad that yo were able to come out, it’s not much going on, but it’s good to relax!”
However, that is something that Shafiroff is unable to do with her free time, about an hour or so later, we were on our way to tour the Southampton Animal Shelter facility. “It’s amazing what this shelter does for these animals and I’ve been so honored to be involved and bring awareness to the work that they do.”
In New York City society many wives of powerful and wealthy men use the charity scene to sustain a full and active social life to feel validated for spending $10,000 on a new gown. In the world of Jean Shafiroff, while she does enjoy and support the fashion world, philanthropy is something that becomes her and is a passion. “When you have the resources, it is an obligation to give back,” she says. “You’ll never see me at a table with 30 women at Doubles or wherever simply just having lunch. I have too much to do: sending invitations, fundraising and attending board meetings.”
During our time at the Southampton Animal Shelter, her passion was evident and her interest in talking with staff and volunteers were impressive. This is something that she does for the hopes of landing in the New York Times famous Style Section, this is her in her element.
While taking photos she mentioned, “we have to spread the word and make sure that these animals find their forever homes!” We can share that the shelter is doing an amazing job with just a little over 900 adoptions each year, the shelter is doing something right!
She also has many high-profile events planned for 2020, including co-chairing the Southampton Bath & Tennis Charitable Foundation Gala in January and co-chairing the Viennese Opera Ball this week just to name a few.
“I’m honored to co-chair the 65th Annual Viennese Opera Ball with Elisabeth Mur and Denise Rich,” says Shafiroff. “The money raised this Friday will fund the music therapy program at Memorial Sloan Kettering and then the cancer research program at Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation.”
Also, as a lover of fashion, she does not miss the opportunity to attend shows like Oscar de la Renta, Alice and Olivia and Carolina Herrera. “Fashion Week is fun, but I won’t be able to attend as many shows this year as my husband and I are chairing the French Heritage Society Ball in Palm Beach. However, fashion is a highly creative form of art. I am in awe of the incredible vision of so many of our present-day fashion designers. My involvement on the board of the Couture Council of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology has expanded my knowledge and love of the world of fashion,” says Jean.
She is also slated to chair many of the same galas she chaired in 2019, including galas for New York City Mission Society, the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, Surgeons of Hope and the French Heritage Society. On November 20, Jean hosted and underwrote a community Thanksgiving dinner for 400 people at the New York City Mission Society Headquarters (Minisink Townhouse) in Harlem. Jean personally served meals to those who attended the free dinner, many of whom were homeless.
“I think that New York City Mission is very special and having had the opportunity to visit the facilities several times, I always left feeling impressed,” she shares. “Their after school programs are phenomenal and I truly believe that education is the key to unlock so many bright and promising futures.”
For her philanthropy and dedication, Jean has also been honored by countless different charities, just some of which include the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, NYC Mission Society, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, JBFCS, Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, Youth Counseling League, the Dominican Women’s Development Center, the Hadassah, the NYC Film Festival and Surgeons of Hope.
Jean’s two daughters and her husband Martin are also very involved in philanthropy. A few years ago, her youngest daughter co-founded her own charity called Global Strays, which strives to promote and improve animal welfare in countries that don’t have the proper resources to do it on their own. Jean is an active board member of Global Strays, which currently funds animal rescue groups in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Columbia.
As 2020 continues, so will Jean’s tireless efforts and continue to offer her time, resources and reputation to the several boards that she sits on. These include the boards of Global Strays, New York City Mission Society, Couture Council (Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology), French Heritage Society, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (20+ years), Southampton Animal Shelter Honorary Board, and Southampton Bath & Tennis Club’s Charitable Foundation. In addition, she is an Ambassador for the American Humane Society.
“It really is about the future and we can’t do it alone, which is why it’s so important to teach kindness and giving at a young age,” she concludes. “It’s about the next generation and I’m impressed with so many young people who are getting involved in philanthropy, it makes me very happy. have an obligation to help those that have less than we do. I am currently sitting on a second book option and I am very excited to share more details very soon.”