WILLEN, JOSEPH (1897–1985), U.S. social welfare and fund-raising executive. Born in Kushnitsa, Russia, Willen immigrated to the U.S. in 1905. He served in the U.S. Army in World War i. Subsequently he joined the staff of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. After serving in a number of capacities, he was executive vice president of the federation from 1942 to 1967, serving as executive consultant from 1967. During his tenure, the federation raised approximately $360,000,000 in its annual campaigns. Willen pioneered the federation's fund-raising techniques, organizing donors into separate committees for professions, localities, and fraternal and benevolent societies, as well as professionalizing the Women's Division fund-raising efforts. Known as a master of philanthropic fund-raising, Willen initiated and directed the federation's successful $200,000,000 "City of Life" campaign for new buildings and institutions. He also served as director of the Greater New York Community Council, on the New York City Welfare and Health Council, and on many Jewish institutions. He was a member of the board of trustees of Brandeis University (1963–73).
Willen's first wife, pearl larner willen (1904–1968), was a communal leader in human welfare organizations. She served the National Council of Jewish Women as chairman of the committee on public affairs (1951–54), vice president (1951–63), and president (1963–66), and was president of the International Council of Jewish Women (1954–57). She was also a member of the board of governors of The Hebrew University and was active in civil rights and poverty programs and organizations. In 1965 she was one of the driving forces in the Women in Community Service's coalition to help atrisk young women in the U.S. find employment through the Job Corps.