The Hadassah Foundation announced Dr. Yifat Bitton, founder of Tmura, is the recipient of this year’s Bernice S. Tannenbaum Award. The prize honors annually an outstanding young female leader who advances the status of women and girls in Israel or the United States.
Dr. Yifat Bitton is the founder, chairperson, and senior attorney at Tmura – The Israeli Antidiscrimination Center, which fights for the rights of women who have suffered sexual, physical, and economic abuse.
Since founding Tmura in 2006, Dr. Bitton, an attorney with degrees from Hebrew University’s Law School and Yale Law School, has impacted both Israeli courts and public policy. Her work has ensured that women who have suffered from sexual violence can have their cases tried in a civil court, and that women whose economic rights have been abused are protected by the legal system. Before the establishment of Tmura, only four rape cases had ever been brought before the civil courts in Israel; now, dozens of such cases have been successfully tried, with unprecedented damages awarded to each victim. In addition to her work at Tmura, which is on a pro-bono basis, Dr. Bitton is an associate professor at the School of Management Academic Studies in Rishon LeTzion and a well-known feminist legal scholar. For the past eight years, she has also sat on the board of the New Israel Fund.
Named in honor of Bernice S. Tannenbaum’s lifetime of service to the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, the Tannenbaum Award aims to recognize and inspire those who work to advance the cause of girls and women. The Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize was conceived and implemented through generous contributions from Joan and Leonard Leiman with additional funding provided by The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation. Past prize recipients are: Rabba Sara Hurwitz (2013), Dean of Yeshivat Maharat; Ifat Baron (2012), Executive Director of IT Works; Danielle Cantor (2011), Design and Communications Manager, Jewish Women International; Lena Gurary (2010), (former) Director, Supportive Community: Women’s Business Development Center, Israel; and Vardit Dameri Madar (2009), Director, Legal Department, Yedid, Israel.
About: The Hadassah Foundation is a philanthropic pioneer in the fields of economic security for low-income Israeli women as well as leadership and self-esteem programs for adolescent Jewish girls and young women in the United States.