The Hadassah Foundation, which invests in social change to empower girls and women in Israel and the United States, has given $300,000 in grants to 20 Israeli organizations that enhance economic opportunities for women in Israel.
The Foundation is a philanthropic pioneer in the fields of improving economic security for low-income Israeli women and developing leadership and self-esteem programs for adolescent Jewish girls and young women in the United States. Since 2000, approximately $6.8 million has been awarded to nearly 80 nonprofit organizations.
Last year, the Foundation made grants totaling $360,000 – it awarded $240,000 to 18 Israeli organizations which work to support Israeli women from all walks of life, as well as $120,000 to four organizations in the United States as part of its new initiative to strengthen leadership development opportunities for young Jewish women.
In addition to four first-time grantees, the Foundation also awarded “sustaining” grants for the third consecutive year. These grants provide general operating support to four long-term grantees that have played a particularly critical role in promoting the economic security of women in Israel.
The 2015 grants were awarded to the following organizations:
- Bar Ilan University, The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): Provides legal counsel to women seeking a divorce. It 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.
- Center for Women’s Justice, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): 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, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): Public interest law organization working on behalf of low-income Israeli women. Itach helps women to file employment-related lawsuits and form peer support groups and educates the public about issues affecting women.
- Tmura–The Israeli Antidiscrimination Center, $20,000: Reclaiming Feminine Justice: Understanding and Combating Economic Violence program aims to make known and reduce the instances of economic violence that occur in Israel by using law reform and legal action against the perpetrators of this little known form of abuse.
Policy Education and Coalition Building
- Van Leer Jerusalem Institute – The Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere, $12,500: Working in concert with a range of women’s group in Israel, the Center has created a “Gender Index,” a first-of-its kind, quantitative, and up-to-date index which aims to illustrate and monitor the status of diverse women and gender issues in Israel from a vast range of fields.
- Yedid, $5,000: Single Mothers for Change project 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.
- The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, $25,000: Enhancing Security in the Workplace project will enable it to implement an anti-sexual harassment code at several leading Israeli employers, with the goal of making this a model program for other Israeli workplaces.
- SHATIL, $15,000: Equal Pay Program will promote organizational practices and policies fostering gender-based pay equity. Shatil will develop a comprehensive gender-based wage analysis and intervention model and will use this tool to institutionalize equal-pay processes at several large public and private employers.
Employment Conditions of Low-Income Women
- Kav LaOved–Worker’s Hotline, $15,000: Eritrean Women’s project will provide working Eritrean women in Israel – who are African refugees without legal status in Israel – with comprehensive support that will instill in them the knowledge and tools to defend their rights as workers and as women, particularly in regards to pregnancy and childbirth.
- Workers’ Advice Center–Ma’an, $22,500: Arab Women in Agriculture program enables 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.
- Adva Center, $15,000: Translation of guidebook for Israeli women, “What Women Need to Know about Saving for Retirement,” into Arabic and Russian, distribute the guide to women who speak these languages, and organize retirement savings workshops for those in the position to convince working women to save for retirement.
- Economic Empowerment for Women, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): Promotes asset development among low-income women who manage microenterprises, based on the U.S. model of the Individual Development Account.
Business Training & Entrepreneurship
- Latet, $20,000: The program Latet Atid (“to give a future”) helps women with incomes near the poverty line create or expand micro businesses. It provides business training to these burgeoning entrepreneurs while also giving them access to microloans, as part of an arrangement it has with Leumi Bank.
- Sidreh, $15,000: Bedouin Women’s Small Business Forum is the only women’s business networking and support forum for Bedouin female small business owners in the Negev.
Vocational Training and Job Placement
- The Israel Women’s Network, $25,000: Towards Integrating Women in Trades project 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.
- Jerusalem Intercultural Center, $20,000: Improving Health Care in East Jerusalem through Training Women Allied Health Professionals project prepares East Jerusalem residents trained in the allied health professions at universities in the West Bank and Jordan 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.
- The National Council of Jewish Women Research Institute for Innovation in Education at Hebrew University, $20,000: Training Haredi Women for the Workforce as Educators in the Pre-School Sector program will enable these women to bring much-needed income into their large, lower-income homes.
- Olim Beyahad, $5,000: Women’s Forum is a networking and enrichment program for female participants of their core program, which assists Ethiopian Israeli university graduates ages 21-40 in finding suitable jobs at the forefront of Israel’s workforce.
- Turning the Tables, $20,000: This organization trains women who are attempting to exit prostitution for jobs in the fashion sector.
- WEPOWER, $25,000: Nonpartisan organization that 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 Negev region: its “ATIDOT” (women of the future) program will train younger women leaders for political leadership, and its “Women for Future Leadership” program will train more experienced women who are active in their community to take on leadership roles in their locality.
The Hadassah Foundation, founded in 1998 by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is an investor in social change to empower girls and women in Israel and the United States. For more information, visit www.hadassahfoundation.org.