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On Fifth Anniversary, Hadassah Foundation Awards $670,000 to Five U.S. and 12 Israeli Programs

Ricky Cheung

ON FIFTH ANNIVERSARY, HADASSAH FOUNDATION AWARDS $670,000 TO FIVE U.S. AND 12 ISRAELI PROGRAMS
In Just Five Years, Endowment of Largest Jewish Women’s Foundation Has Grown to $13 Million

(New York, NY -- February 02, 2006) -- The Hadassah Foundation celebrated its fifth anniversary of funding by announcing today the recipients of its 2006 grants, which include five grantees in the United States and 12 in Israel, for a total of $670,000. Over the last five years, the foundation has developed two areas of primary interest: projects that help low-income Israeli women achieve economic independence and programs in the U.S. Jewish community that help girls enhance their self-esteem and develop leadership skills.

The National Board of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, established The Hadassah Foundation with a $10 million endowment. Today, the endowment has reached more than $13 million making The Hadassah Foundation the largest Jewish women’s foundation in the U.S. and one of the three largest secular women’s funds internationally.

Since its launch, the foundation has awarded more than $3 million in grants and has become a pacesetter in the world of philanthropy, funding innovative start-ups that leverage the foundation’s support to attract other donors. One such example is Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!, a program that strengthens self-esteem for girls, ages 12-18, and has grown to 190 groups in 110 Jewish institutions of all affiliations. The Hadassah Foundation provided the seed funds to establish the program and continues to support its national expansion.

"Our fifth anniversary is a time to recognize the success that the foundation, Hadassah, and our partners have achieved in bringing the issues of women and girls from the margins to the center of Jewish concern," said Barbara Dobkin, foundation chair. "We are encouraged that other funders and activists are taking up these causes, and we are energized to reach out even more widely in the years ahead."

Of the five grants given in 2006 to American programs promoting leadership and self esteem among Jewish adolescent girls in the U.S., two are new grant recipients: Jewish Women International: Healthy Relationships: Creating a New Paradigm for Young Jewish Women and McLean Hospital: A Jewish Guide to Full of Ourselves. Grant renewals include: Moving Traditions: The Leadership Stage of It’s a Girl Thing!; Shalom Bayit: Love Shouldn’t Hurt; and the Women’s Sports Foundation: GoGirlGo and Women’s Coaches Clinic.

Among the 2006 grants to Israeli organizations, all of whom help women of all backgrounds achieve economic independence, six are for organizations not previously recipients of Hadassah Foundation funding: The Adva Center: The Women’s Budget Project; Isha l’Isha/Mahut: Changing Women’s Lives through Empowerment and Employment; Israel Religious Action Center: Putting Women in the Government-Funded Kitchen; Kayan: Women Demand Mobility; Koret Israel Economic Development Funds: The Israel Microenterprise Initiative; Sidreh: The Lakiya Negev Weaving Project. Six are grant renewals and include: A Step Forward: Economic Empowerment for Bedouin Women; the Center for Jewish Arab Economic Development: Women in Development; Economic Empowerment for Women; Itach: Access to Justice for Low-Income Working Women; Tel Aviv University Law School: Micro-Business and Economic Justice Clinic; Yedid: Financial Management Training for Women.

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