The Economic Empowerment of Women: Assisting low-income women to achieve economic independence
ASSET DEVELOPMENT AND RETIREMENT SAVINGS
As in the United States, many low-income women are destined to grow old in poverty because they are "asset-poor," with no savings and considerable debt.
*Economic Empowerment for Women: The 2016 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).
Latet: The Foundation's 2016 grant to LATET (Hebrew for "to give") - Israeli Humanitarian Aid supports its Latet Atid ('to give a future') program, a microfinance and business development project. It will help empower 100 economically women, living near or at poverty level in southern and central Israel, to create small businesses.
Policy advocates work on issues that impact many women across many sectors, and provide "added value" to the work of grassroots groups.
Isha L'Isha: Isha L'Isha received funds for a legal and advocacy project that has two goals: to change laws and policies so as to increase the participation and success rate of women-owned businesses in tenders issued by the Haifa Municipality, and to advocate for the direct employment of women in custodial jobs for the municipality, rather than employing them as contractors through an outside employment agency, as is currently the case.
New Israel Fund, Shatil: Through the Promoting Equal Employment Opportunities for Female Subcontracted Workers program, Shatil will engage in media campaigns, lobbying and grassroots efforts to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of women employed indirectly throughout Israel–70% of all contract workers are female—are granted full and equal employment opportunities.
Yedid: The Foundation's 2016 grant to YEDID is supporting its Single Mothers for Change project, which aims to provide greater economic security for low income single mothers. Working with a network of more than 800 low-income single female parents, YEDID will educate and advocate for public policies to improve the economic security of single parents and their children, focusing specifically on Israel's child-support law.
BUSINESS AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
The Hadassah Foundation has always invested in business development for women. Many of the current and past grantees combine training with advocacy, as part of a larger social change agenda.
Hebrew University—The National Council of Jewish Women's Research Institute for Innovation in Education: Ultra-Orthodox families in Israel are far more likely to be poor than other families due to the large size of their families, as well as the low workforce participation rate of both the husbands and wives. NCJW's project has the potential to reduce some of poverty in these households: it has created a program, housed at Hebrew University, to train Haredi women to serve as early-education outreach workers. Half of the graduates are slated to be placed in NCJW's network of programs, and the other half can use the credential they will receive from Hebrew University to seek other employment.
Microfy: Microfy, which works with women in South Tel Aviv to develop their own businesses, received a grant to create a women's business forum for nascent business owners, particularly those who have never run a business before and who lack access to many traditional business resources.
PresenTense: PresenTense received funds for its Yazamiot Venture Accelerator, an eight-month program that will train 15-20 Haredi women entrepreneurs to launch small or social businesses, or grow existing ones.
Tishreen: Tishreen, working with Na'amat, and local governmental and non-profit partners, will prepare 25 Arab women from the Southern Triangle region to enter the job market. Most of the women will be residents of Taybeh, an Arab city known for criminal activity. The women will learn Hebrew, basic computer skills, be oriented to the job market, and then assisted in finding and retaining work through an employment club.
Turning the Tables: This organization, established in 2009, trains women who are attempting to exit prostitution for jobs in the fashion sector. It is the only organization in Israel that is devoted to job training for this vulnerable population.
Women's Spirit: Women's Spirit received support for Seeds of Growth, their core program, which will provide 400 women victims of violence of prime working age (20-60) with tools and support to reintegrate successfully in the employment world and achieve financial independence.
The Israel Women's Network: The Israel Women's Network received funds for its Towards Integrating Women into Male Trades (TIWT) project, which aims to close the gender gap which exists in the Israeli workforce in general, and in mid-level professional trades in particular, by integrating women into positions typically defined as "male trades," such as electricians, carpenters, drivers, and more.
Women pay an extraordinary price for workplace discrimination. Women are often paid less than men for equal or equivalent work. Further, women who are victims of discrimination and sexual harassment on the job are often forced to leave their jobs if they complain about unfair work conditions.
The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel: The ARCC—a coalition of nine Israeli rape crisis centers—is receiving funds to implement an anti-sexual harassment code at several leading Israeli employers with the goal of making this a model for other Israeli workplaces. The code, which is an outgrowth of the country's anti-sexual harassment law, attempts to establish concrete policies and strategies to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
Kav LaOved—Worker's Hotline: Kav LaOved received funds to improve working Arab women's employment and living conditions in the Nazareth region by providing individual legal assistance and consultations and offering workshops and distributing information to its target population. The program focus on women who are not being paid the legal minimum wage, as well as those employed in education, the largest single sector that employs Arab women.
Merchavim: Merchavim's Arab Teacher Integration in Jewish Schools Initiative places Arab Israelis trained as teachers—the vast majority of whom are female—in Jewish Israeli schools. This program aims to reduce the high level of unemployment of female teachers in the Arab sector, address a shortage of teachers in Jewish Israeli schools, and promote intergroup relations.
EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS OF LOW-INCOME WOMEN
Our grantees use a variety of strategies—including the court system and advocacy at the corporate level—to improve working conditions for women.
*Itach-Maaki Women Lawyers for Social Justice: The Hadassah Foundation has been a long-term supporter of Itach-Maaki's work to address legal barriers to economic security for marginalized Israeli women. Itach-Maaki provides individual legal aid while pursuing litigation and policy change. Women make up a large majority of those working in the most abusive settings. Their current work focuses on structural barriers that confront low-income women workers, including Arab and Ultra-Orthodox women, and preschool teachers' aides.
Workers' Advice Center—Ma'an: The Workers' Advice Center (WAC) received support for its Arab Women in Agriculture program, which, over the past nine years, has enabled thousands of uneducated Arab Israeli women who live in the periphery to take on agricultural work under improved circumstances—including guaranteed (and properly documented) pay at at least the legal minimum wage.
Jewish women in Israel must seek divorce through the Rabbinical Courts, with the consent of their husband. Unfortunately, many men withhold the get (a Jewish religious divorce) in order to extort property from their wives, with severe economic consequences.
*Bar-Ilan University's Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women: The Rackman Center focuses their efforts on ensuring that the rabbinical courts provide true justice for women.
*Center for Women's Justice: The Center has pioneered the tactic of tort claims against recalcitrant husbands, requiring them to pay for the "pain and suffering" of their wives during the period of get refusal.
Many believe that women will not achieve full economic equality in Israel until there are more women in positions of power.
Jasmine: Jasmine received funds for its Izun (Balance) Project, which will train 20 female Israeli business leaders to serve as board members on corporate, public, and non -profit boards. Although Israeli law: 1) requires government-owned corporations to have “appropriate” representation of both sexes on their boards, 2) requires affirmative action for minorities and disadvantaged populations in the public sector; and 3) actively encourages integration and promoting women to high level positions in the private sector via preferential treatment in public contracts, women are underrepresented on boards and in executive/leadership positions in Israeli companies. Consequently, Israeli women are denied the opportunity to influence policies that impact them in the economic and social spheres.
WEPOWER: WEPOWER, a nonpartisan organization, works with women who are considering a run for public office, as well as train those who have already been elected. WEPOWER received funds for two programs in the Galilee region as part of its College for Women in Politics: its "ATIDOT" (women of the future) program, which will train younger women leaders for political leadership, and its "Women for Future Leadership" program which trains more experienced women who are active in their community to take on leadership roles in their locality.
*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
Leadership Development for Adolescent Girls and Young Women in the Jewish Community, Ages 12-30
Jewish Community Center of Chicago
The JCC’s Seed6l3 program is a new social change fellowship for teenage girls ages 14-16. Through seminars, and regular meetings with coaches, mentors and peers, the girls will be equipped with entrepreneurial tools and knowledge to develop a socially responsible venture that will impact the Jewish community.
Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
The JUF received funds for a cohort of Jewish teen girls to participate in the Research Training Internship (RTI), a program that generates new knowledge about the lives and experiences of Jewish teen girls; empowers girls to develop their own capacity to engage critically with social issues that impact them through an explicitly feminist lens; and positions girls as experts on their own lives and issues impacting them.
Jewish Family Service of San Diego
The JFS of San Diego’s Girls Give Backprogram 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.
Jewish Women’s Archive
The Rising Voices Fellowship teaches Jewish female teens in grades 10-12 how to communicate effectively about their experiences, beliefs, and challenges, and use the power of social media to spark a wider conversation about Jewish identity and gender equality among their peers and within the larger Jewish community.
Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy at Bar-Ilan University
LVJA, an online school for Jewish Studies established in 2014, received a grant to design and pilot an online course for high school girls that fuses classical Jewish text study with leadership skill building. The course will be taught to cohorts of twenty high school girls enrolled in Jewish supplementary, day, or home schools.
The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
Created Equal: A Research and Educational Project on Men, Women and the Ethics of Leadership project, is a new curriculum that explores how gender influences the broader narrative of Jewish life, including contemporary questions of leadership and gender equity. The Foundation’s grant will support a series of workshops and programs based on this curriculum that target emerging leaders in the Jewish community who are attending graduate school programs in Jewish communal service as well as for a one-day conference that targets key players in the Jewish community at different stages of their career.