The Arev Fund has announced its grantees for the 2019 cycle. This year, the grants support projects in the areas of spiritual leadership, communal life, social justice and education.
The Arev Fund launched on January 15, 2016 as a giving circle of observant Jewish women with the mission of promoting impactful female Jewish philanthropy to spur change in the areas of spiritual leadership, communal life, social justice, and education in the United States and Israel, with a particular focus on the advancement of women. With this third round of grants, Arev continues to move its unique mission forward.
Having funded projects in past cycles that educate women towards spiritual leadership, we will expand on that work this year by funding a project of Itim that will work to have the Chief Rabbinate of Israel permit women to sit for rabbinic exams. Sitting for these exams and demonstrating mastery in a series of subjects will work to create more official recognition for women that have studied and obtained the highest levels of halachic knowledge. Indeed, many of the institutions we have funded in the past have provided these educations.
We funded Deracheha, which is an online platform for providing female halakhic and philosophical analysis of current issues. The website offers users varying levels of examination of a particular topic from a more basic overview to a detailed Jewish legal dissection to a philosophical perspective. It serves to provide the entire community access to deeply knowledgeable and thoughtful female voices, as well as building a bridge to move women’s spiritual leadership from a siloed female space into a more public space. This will also expand the availability of Modern Orthodox halachic voices online, which are currently limited.
Further, we funded the Emunah Kashrut Supervisors Training Program, which builds on both the leadership and communal life prongs of our funding areas. By creating a cadre of women who will take up official positions as kosher supervisors, Emunah is expanding women’s leadership into roles that have lower barrier to entry than some of other spiritual leadership models and seek to expand women’s positions in the official religious biosphere in Israel.
In the area of social justice, we are choosing to fund Bat Melech, an organization that works with battered women from the observant community, and their children. The project we are funding, Skills for a New Life, is designed to provide skills training and education for battered women to better empower them to leave shelters, support themselves and their families, and prevent future cycles of abuse and need for themselves and their children.
The final project in in the educational arena. Lakita is an innovative and broad-based model for enhancing and enriching students’ experience across the broad spectrum of Israeli society, as well as empowering teachers. It leverages the larger community through a crowd-funding platform and brings them the community into the work of the schools.
The Arev Fund is committed to partnering with these organizations. As we move forward and announce our next round of grant applications, we are invigorated by the depth and breadth of innovative entrepreneurial activity taking place in our community, and are committed to supporting and highlighting that work.
For further information about the Arev Fund and its grantees, please visit Arev’s website at www.arevfund.org.