FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NEW YORK—The Hadassah Foundation announced today that it awarded grants totaling $360,000 in 2014 to 22 organizations that enhance economic opportunities for women in Israel and provide leadership training to teens and young women in the United States.
The Hadassah Foundation seeks to augment the work of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, by investing in social change to support women and girls in Israel and the American Jewish community. The Foundation is a philanthropic pioneer in the fields of improving economic security for low-income Israeli women and developing leadership and self-esteem programs for adolescent Jewish girls and young women in the United States. Since 2000, The Hadassah Foundation has awarded approximately $6.25 million in grants to nearly 75 nonprofit organizations.
This year, the Foundation awarded $240,000 to 18 Israeli organizations which work to support Israeli women from all walks of life. It also awarded $120,000 to four organizations in the United States as part of its new initiative to strengthen leadership development opportunities for young Jewish women.
Donna Gerson, Chair of the Foundation, said, “I am so excited -- along with the entire Foundation board -- to fund these transformative organizations. Our new commitments in the United States will enhance the leadership skills and capabilities of young Jewish women.”
In addition to eight first-time grantees, the Foundation also awarded “sustaining” grants for the second consecutive year. These grants provide general operating support to four long-term grantees that have played a particularly critical role in promoting the economic security of women in Israel.
The 2014 grants were awarded to the following organizations:
- Bar Ilan University, The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant)
The Rackman Center provides legal counsel to women seeking a divorce. It works proactively to improve policy and practice by educating future family lawyers to safeguard women’s rights and advocating for changes in Israeli family law.
- Center for Women’s Justice, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant)
The Center pursues precedent-setting litigation and legal advocacy on behalf of women who have suffered unjust treatment, discrimination, or whose basic human rights have been infringed upon when seeking a divorce.
- Itach-Maaki—Women Lawyers for Social Justice, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant)
Itach-Maaki is a public interest law organization working on behalf of low-income Israeli women. Itach helps women to file employment-related lawsuits and form peer support groups and educates the public about issues affecting women.
- Tmura—The Israeli Antidiscrimination Center, $20,000
The Reclaiming Feminine Justice: Understanding and Combating Economic Violence program aims to make known and reduce the instances of economic violence that occur in Israel by using law reform and legal action against the perpetrators of this little known form of abuse.
- Yedid, $5,000
The Making It Work: Empowering Low-Income Working Women project helps enforce and improve labor laws affecting women in Israel. Yedid proactively reaches women in abusive workplaces and helps them seek enforcement of labor laws.
Policy Education and Coalition Building
- New Israel Fund, Shatil, $10,000
Toward Sustenance: Women Establish Social Businesses fosters policies, regulations and practices more conducive to the advancement of women’s microfinance initiatives, with a focus on catering enterprises that provide meals to schoolchildren in poor regions.
- Van Leer Jerusalem Institute -- The Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere, $18,000
Working in concert with a range of women’s group in Israel, the Center has created a “Gender Index,” a first-of-its kind, quantitative, and up-to-date index which aims to illustrate and monitor the status of diverse women and gender issues in Israel from a vast range of fields.
- Adva Center, $18,000
The Adva Center will produce several short videos based on its guidebook for Israeli women called “What Women Need to Know about Saving for Retirement.”
- Economic Empowerment for Women, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant)
Economic Empowerment for Women promotes asset development among low-income women who manage microenterprises, based on the U.S. model of the Individual Development Account.
Business Training & Entrepreneurship
- Latet, $20,000
The Latet Atid program (“to give a future”) helps women with incomes near the poverty line create or expand micro businesses. It provides business training to these burgeoning entrepreneurs while also giving them access to microloans, as part of an arrangement it has with Leumi Bank.
- Sidreh, $17,500
The Socio-Economic Development of Bedouin Women in the Negev project improves the socio-economic status of Bedouin women via financial literacy classes and small business development services. The grant also supports the production of the only feminist Arabic-language newspaper serving this community.
Vocational Training and Job Placement
- Jerusalem Intercultural Center, $20,000
The Improving Health Care in East Jerusalem through Training Women Allied Health Professionals project prepares East Jerusalem residents trained in the allied health professions at universities in the West Bank and Jordan to pass Israeli Ministry of Health certification and competency exams so they can work in their chosen fields at health institutions in East Jerusalem, many of which suffer from staffing shortages.
- Olim Beyahad, $9,000
Olim Beyahad assists Ethiopian Israeli university graduates aged 21-40 in finding suitable jobs at the forefront of Israel’s workforce, while providing them with practical skills that enable them to gain employment and ensure long-term vocational success. The Foundation is supporting a networking and enrichment program for female program participants.
- Women’s Spirit, $7,500
Women’s Spirit works to promote economic independence for women who are victims of domestic violence. Its extensive network of volunteers provides mentoring, access to jobs, and hands-on coaching in the world of work to clients.
- The National Council of Jewish Women Research Institute for Innovation in Education at Hebrew University, $20,000
The Training Haredi Women for the Workforce as Educators in the Pre-School Sector program will enable these women to bring much-needed income into their large, lower-income homes.
- Turning the Tables, $15,000
This organization trains women who are attempting to exit prostitution for jobs in the fashion sector.
- Women Against Violence, $15,000
This Arab-Israeli feminist organization, based in Nazareth, received funds for its Women and Employment program, which is designed to improve job prospects for Israeli-Arab women with college/university degrees.
- WEPOWER, $25,000
WEPOWER, a nonpartisan organization, works with women who are considering a run for public office as well as trains women who have already been elected. The College for Women in Politics in the Negev trains a cohort of women who have just been elected to municipal governments/city councils in southern Israel, to help them better understand issues and budgets from a gender perspective.
- AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, $28,000
AVODAH Women Leading Together (AWLT) is a career and leadership development program for early career AVODAH alumnae (ages 25-30) that will enable participants to develop a career and leadership strategy, engage in career and leadership coaching, and participate in immersive long-term small group peer coaching.
- Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, $33,000
The JCRC’s Long Island office will create the Girls LEAD program, leadership development program for Jewish, female teens from the Five Towns community. Working in concert with the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, and the Women’s Fund of Long Island, this program will develop the teens’ personal leadership skills, and strengthen their leadership abilities through consensus building, philanthropy and volunteerism as they learn about, and select, a local organization for a grant, and then provide hands-on service to the organization.
Jewish Family Service of San Diego, $35,000
The JFS of San Diego’s Girls Give Back program educates Jewish girls from the area about gender inequality, develops concrete leadership skills, and empowers young women to actively engage in the San Diego community through ongoing volunteer work and service learning projects.
UCLA Hillel, $24,000
UCLA’s Esther Fellowship will poise undergraduate women for leadership on campus, and help them serve as leaders and role models for other women. The program includes a Jewishly-infused curriculum, and students will meet with female leaders from the local Jewish community.
The Hadassah Foundation, founded in 1998 by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is an investor in social change to empower girls and women in Israel and the American Jewish community. For more information, visit www.hadassahfoundation.org.
Founded in 1912, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is the largest women's Zionist Jewish membership organization in the United States. 330,000 members strong, Hadassah is entering its second century, growing our commitment to innovative and life-changing medical care and research, women's empowerment, education, advocacy, philanthropy and building Jewish identity – in Israel, America and around the world. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.