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Hadassah Foundation Announces 2007 Grants

Five U.S. and 15 Israeli Programs Receive Funding
Genever McBain

Five U.S. and 15 Israeli Programs Receive Funding

(New York, NY -- January 03, 2007) -- A seventh-grader receives a cell phone from her boyfriend as a present. She and her family consider this a thoughtful gesture: this “nice, Jewish boy” cares about her enough to give her a device that can ensure her safety. But, over time, the teen realizes that her boyfriend is calling at all hours, day and night. In the meantime, her Jewish day-school class presents a workshop, called Love Shouldn’t Hurt. Through the workshop, the teen realizes that her cell phone is like an electronic leash that her boyfriend uses to control her. She ends the relationship.

Love Shouldn't Hurt is a youth-initiated, youth-led dating violence prevention program that helps Jewish teens identify goals for healthy relationships; it is under the auspices of Shalom Bayit, a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit of Jewish women working to end domestic violence. They have just received a 2007 grant from the Hadassah Foundation to publish and distribute their program materials nationally.

The Hadassah Foundation, established in 1998 with a $10 million endowment from Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, has distributed nearly $4 million in grants since 2000 for programs in the U.S. that help adolescent girls gain self-esteem and leadership skills and for microenterprise programs for Israeli women, modeled after those initiated in Bangladesh by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunnus. This year’s grant cycle generated $650,000 in support of these programs.

“As the largest Jewish women’s foundation in the U.S. – and the third largest women’s foundation internationally – we are devoted to making social change. We have found a real niche for ourselves in the U.S. and Israel and feel that we can make the greatest impact by concentrating on filling very specific, focused needs such as the health and well-being of teenage Jewish girls,” explained the recently elected Foundation chair, Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson, of Manhattan.

In addition to Shalom Bayit, the following U.S. programs will receive funding during 2007: Strong Girls, Healthy Relationships: A Conversation on Dating, Friendship & Self-esteem (Jewish Women International); The Leadership Stage of It’s a Girl Thing! (Moving Traditions); Bishvili: A Jewish Guide to Full of Ourselves (McLean Hospital); and GoGirlGo (Women’s Sports Foundation).

Also receiving 2007 grants were some 15 Israeli programs, all of which help women of all backgrounds achieve economic independence. For a complete list, please refer to The Hadassah Foundation website at www.hadassahfoundation.org.

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