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Hadassah Foundation Awards 2008 Grants

Eight go to U.S. projects; 15 to Israeli organizations
Genever McBain
Eight go to U.S. projects; 15 to Israeli organizations

(New York, NY -- January 17, 2008) -- Dr. Laura Lindenfeld and Dr. Elizabeth DePoy know what it is like to grow up in a large urban Jewish community such as New York City, with easy access to religious and cultural institutions and broad networks of Jewish friends and mentors. But, they also know what it is like to live in a rural community where Jewish texts, values, and traditions are not widely known, and where it takes dedication to maintain a Jewish identity and pass this heritage on to their children.

This lack of Jewish cultural resources in rural Maine, where they are both faculty members at the University of Maine, is what led them to conceive the “Latke Project: Living Jewish Among Neighbors Who Never Heard of Latkes.” The educational program will include a documentary film and companion materials highlighting the experiences, strengths, and struggles of Jewish girls and women living in Maine and other communities across the country far from Jewish centers. The goal is to connect rural Jews with one another and strengthen their self-esteem and Jewish identity.

Dr. DePoy and Dr. Lindenfeld will work under the auspices of Congregation Beth Israel, a Conservative synagogue in Bangor, which has just received a 2008 grant from the Hadassah Foundation for the planning phase of the “Latke Project.”

The Hadassah Foundation, established in 1998 with a $10 million endowment from Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, has distributed more than $4 million in grants since 2000 for programs in the U.S. that help adolescent girls gain self-esteem and leadership skills and for economic empowerment programs for Israeli women.

According to Jackie Ellenson, Chair of the Board of Directors of The Hadassah Foundation, “With these grants, Hadassah and its foundation have once again proven its commitment to staying ahead of the curve in funding projects that improve the lives of women and girls. We are very proud of our track record in promoting social change in the Jewish community here and in Israel.”

In addition to the “Latke Project,” The Hadassah Foundation has awarded grants to the following U.S. programs: “Bishvili: A Jewish Guide to ‘Full of Ourselves’,” (McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA); “Beneath the Surface,” (Mayyim Hayyim, in Newton, MA); “Shalem Education Project,” (Keshet, Boston); “Learning to Address the Evaded Curriculum” (Jewish Theological Seminary); “Shalom Bayit” (Tides Center, Oakland, CA); “Strong Girls, Healthy Relationships” (Jewish Women International); and “Empowering Parents, Empowering Girls” (Moving Traditions, Philadephia, PA).

Also receiving 2008 grants are 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.


Date: 1/17/2008 12:00:00 AM

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