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2014 Israel Grantees

Assisting low-income women to achieve economic independence

Asset Building

Adva Center (2006-2011, 2013-2014)

The Adva Center is creating videos and ancillary materials based on the guidebook it is producing for Israeli women entitled "What Women Need to Know about Saving for Retirement." The videos, along with the guidebook and a media awareness campaign, explain why women need to save for retirement, as well as the investment options available to them. Women who access the guidebook and the videos will be inspired to improve their own retirement income, either by beginning to save for retirement (if they are self-employed), or by electing the best retirement plan for their needs that is offered by their employer. Previously the Hadassah Foundation provided grants for The Women's Budget Forum, which analyzes the budget of the State of Israel using a gender lens.

Economic Empowerment for Women—EEW (2008-2014)*

The 2014 grant will provide General Operating Support for EEW's administration and programs. EEW's current programs include Saving for the Future: An Asset-Building and Management Program, which promotes asset development among low-income women who manage microenterprises, based on the U.S. model of the Individual Development Account (IDA). The elements of the IDA include (a) targeted savings amounts (b) a "match" through charitable or government funds (c) savings held over time (d) restricted use of savings (e) financial literacy and (f) individual support. The Hadassah Foundation provided the initial grants to establish EEW and support A Business of One's Own and Access to Markets, the first microenterprise programs in Israel run by and for women (2000-2006).

Business Training & Entrepreneurship

Latet (2014)

The Foundation's 2014 grant to Latet (Hebrew for "to give") – Israeli Humanitarian Aid will support its Latet Atid ('to give a future') program. This microfinance and business development project will help empower 100 women, living near or at poverty level in southern and central Israel, to create small businesses. In cooperation with Bank Leumi, Latet Atid provides micro loans to the entrepreneurs, as well as individual business coaching; they also provide participating women with a year-long business training program in collaboration with the Center for Small Business Development (MATI.)

Sidreh (2006, 2008, 2014)

Through the Socio-Economic Development of Bedouin Women in the Negev program, Sidreh will improve the socio-economic status of Arab Bedouin women, and promote their meaningful participation in public life.  The activities in this program will 1) increase the income of Bedouin women by giving them access to resources via financial literary training and helping them create small businesses; and 2) improve their social position by facilitating their empowerment and participation in Bedouin society by publishing the first--and only--independent feminist newspaper in the Negev. In the past, The Hadassah Foundation provided grants for Lakiya - The Negev Weaving Project, which preserves traditional Bedouin culture through rug weaving, providing income to women who cannot work outside their homes (2006, 2008).


Vocational Training & Job Placement

Jerusalem Intercultural Center (2013-2014)

Improving Health Care in East Jerusalem through Training Women Allied Health Professionals willprepare East Jerusalem residents trained in the allied health professions at universities in the West Bank and Jordan, the majority of whom are female, 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.  This program aims to increase employment among Arab women in east Jerusalem, and improve health care for east Jerusalem residents.

Hebrew University--National Council of Jewish Women Research Institute for Innovation in Education (2014)

The NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education's program, Training Haredi Woman for the Workforce as Educators in the Pre-school Sector, will train 30 Ultra-Orthodox women to work as early-education paraprofessionals, enabling these women to bring much-needed income into their large, lower-income homes, and establish a template for training additional Ultra-Orthodox women in this field.

Olim Beyahad: Rising Up Together (2012-2014)

Olim Beyahad’s Women provides a forum for Ethiopian Israeli university students and graduates ages 21-40 to network amongst themselves as well as with native Israeli women, and discuss issues of particular interest to women as they balance career and personal responsibilities.  The Foundation formerly funded its Excelling Ethiopian Israeli Women program, which assists Ethiopian Israeli female university graduates ages 21-40 in finding suitable jobs at the forefront of Israel’s workforce.

Turning the Tables (2014)

Turning the Tables' Vocational Training and Economic Development for Women Exiting Prostitution program attempts to address one of the primary obstacles that female sex workers face who are attempting to turn around their lives. It offers: vocational training in the fashion industry; a business incubator (in partnership with the Micro Business and Economic Justice Clinic [MBEJC] at Tel Aviv University) for clients who want to start fashion-related small businesses; placement in fashion-related jobs; and a safe space where clients can freely interact, on an equal basis, with mentors, employers, and customers, without the stigma of being a former prostitute.

Women Against Violence (WAV) (2014)

This Arab-Israeli feminist organization, based in Nazareth, received funding for its Women and Employment program, which improves job prospects for Israeli-Arab women with college/university degrees. The program will offer workshops for job seekers and engage in advocacy to encourage the government to create more jobs for Israeli-Arab women trained as teachers. Due to discrimination by potential employers, cultural norms that discourage women in some Arab towns from working outside the home, and a lack of transportation/child care services, Israeli-Arab women participate in the workforce at much lower levels than their Jewish counterparts.

Women's Spirit (2011-2014)

Women’s Spirit improves the financial and social status of women who are victims of domestic violence. Standing their Ground provides women victims of violence with tools and support to reintegrate successfully into employment and achieve financial independence. The program runs a professional women’s network that provides mentoring, access to jobs, and hands-on coaching in the world of work for women victims of violence. 

Legal Aid

Center for Women's Justice (CWJ) (2008-2014)*

The 2014 grant will provide General Operating Support for CWJ’s administration and programs. CWJ’s current programs include The Public Interest Litigation Project, which 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 (2005-2014)*

Itach-Maaki is a public interest law organization working on behalf of low-income Israeli women.  Itach-Maaki helps women file employment-related law suits and form peer support groups, and educates the public about issues affecting women.  The 2014 grant will provide General Operating Support for Itach-Maaki’s administration and programs.  Itach-Maaki’s current programs include Equal Access to Earning: Facilitating Equal Economic Opportunities for Marginalized Women. The Hadassah Foundation previously provided grants for Access to Justice for Low-Income Working Women, which provides legal assistance and information concerning women’s rights and privileges under the law (2005-2010).

The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center, Bar Ilan University (2007-2014)*

The 2014 grant will provide General Operating Support for The Rackman Center’s administration and programs.  The Rackman Center currently operates The Clinic for Legal Aid for Women in Family Law, which provides legal counsel to women seeking a divorce. The Rackman Center 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.

Tmura-The Israeli Antidiscrimination Center (2013-2014)

The Reclaiming Feminine Justice: Understanding and Combating Economic Abuse program aims to make known and reduce the instances of economic abuse that occur in Israel, by using law reform and legal action against the perpetrators of this little known abuse, and by providing training to women who may be at heightened risk of this kind of abuse. Economic abuse, a type of violence and discrimination, prevents women from becoming economically independent.  There are currently few, if any, forms of legal recourse for women in Israel who have been economically victimized.

Yedid (2004-2007, 2012-2013, 2013-2014)

Making It Work: Empowering Low Income Working Women helps enforce and improve labor laws affecting women in Israel.  In addition to receiving complaints at each of its 16 centers across the country, Yedid proactively reaches out to women in abusive workplaces and helps them work for the enforcement of labor laws. The Making It Work program empowers women to confront workplace abuse and demand their rights. In the past, the Hadassah Foundation supported: Advanced Economic Empowerment for Low-Income Israeli Women--workshops on basic household budgeting focusing on effective planning and decision making, and the emotional role that finances play in women’s lives; and Social and Legal Assistance to Low-Income Northern Women-- an emergency subvention offering employment and housing rights education for women affected by Israel’s 2006 War with Hezbollah.  


Policy Education & Coalition Building

Jewish Women's Collaborative International Fund (2012-2014)

JWCIF is comprised of 17 Jewish Women's Foundations/Funds of North America and Israel. JWCIF's mission is to raise awareness about important issues affecting women and girls in Israel by leveraging the funds’ collective resources in effective grant making with a focus on women and girls in the Jewish and broader Israeli community.  The JWCIF’s first grant was to Shutafot, Bringing Women to the Fore: A Feminist Partnership Shutafot, a cooperative effort of six leading women's organizations in Israel (including Foundation grantees Adva, EEW, Itach-Maaki, and Women’s Spirit), is using the grant to promote gender equality and women's rights and to minimize gender gaps on a variety of issues in Israel through large-scale social and media campaigns.

New Israel Fund, Shatil (2007-2014)

Through Towards Sustenance: Women Establish Social Businesses Shatil will continue its work fostering policies, regulations, and practices more conducive to the advancement of women's microfinance initiatives, with a focus on catering enterprises ("community kitchens") that provide meals to schoolchildren in the periphery. Previously, The Hadassah Foundation provided grants for Shatil’s programs:Equality and Dignity in the Workforce, which focused on wage gaps, working conditions, and promotion opportunities in the public sector, where two-thirds of Israeli working women are concentrated, and where their salaries are far lower than their male counterparts (2011-2012), and Advancing Economic Empowerment for Women, a project that included support for microenterprise initiatives, business training courses for low-income women, and management assistance to not-for-profits (2007-2010).

The Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere (WIPS), Van Leer Jerusalem Institute (2013-2014)

Gender Index: Enhancing Women’s Representation a first-of-its kind in the world, quantitative, and up-to-date index, illustrates and monitors the status of diverse women and gender issues in Israel from a vast range of fields. The index monitors and analyzes gender equality in Israel, and highlights the significant obstacles to achieving equal outcomes for women.  Further, the index serves as the basis for a joint strategy to significantly augment women's representation in elected office both numerically and substantively, and gives greater prominence to gender issues on the public agenda. To date, there has been no objective way to measure all the different ways that women have fallen behind men in Israel. WIPS’ Gender Index aims to fill this niche.

WEPOWER (2014)

WEPOWER is a non-profit, non-partisan Israeli NGO that promotes women's leadership and gender mainstreaming in all levels of society, especially in the political and public arenas, so as to create social change and a more equal civic society. Their College for Women in Politics in the Negev training program targets first-term elected female municipal officials and activists in the public sphere. It will increase the capacity of elected and influential local governmental figures to make policy decisions that affect the lives of everyone in their communities, especially women and girls, and low-income and disenfranchised populations.

*Recipient of a "Sustaining Grant" for general operating support, in recognition of the key role they play in promoting the economic empowerment of women in Israel

  • Women Helping Women
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    Recent acts of illegal exclusion and discrimination against women in Israel have spurred an international movement and a unique collaboration of individual Jewish women's groups.

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