Hadassah Foundation Awards Grants that Empower Girls and Women

The Hadassah Foundation has awarded grants totaling $200,500 to organizations in Israel and the United States that empower girls and women.

In addition to supporting five first-time grantees, this year, the Foundation also awarded “sustaining” grants for the first time. These grants provide general operating support and were awarded to five long-term grantees which have played a particularly critical role in supporting the economic empowerment of women in Israel.

The 2013 grants were awarded to the following organizations:


  • Legal Aid
  • Bar Ilan University, The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center (Sustaining Grant)

The Rackman Center 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 (Sustaining Grant)

The Center 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 (Sustaining Grant)

Itach-Maaki is a 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

The 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.

  • Yedid

The Making It Work: Empowering Low-Income Working Women project helps enforce and improve labor laws affecting women in Israel. Yedid proactively reaches women in abusive workplaces and helps them seek enforcement of labor laws.

  • Policy Education and Coalition Building
    • Jewish Women’s Collaborative International Fund

The Fund, a partnership funded by 17 Jewish women’s funds in the United States and Israel, is supporting Shutafot, Bringing Women to the Fore: A Feminist Partnership, a cooperative effort of seven leading women’s organizations in Israel that are uniting to develop an activist coalition to promote gender equality and women’s rights through large-scale social and media campaigns.

  • New Israel Fund, Shatil

Toward Sustenance: Women Establish Social Businesses fosters policies, regulations and practices more conducive to the advancement of women’s microfinance initiatives, with a focus on catering enterprises that provide meals to schoolchildren in poor regions..

  • Rabbis for Human Rights

The Empowering Single Mothers to Advocate for Change program works with marginalized Jewish and Arab women from Hadera and the surrounding Arab villages in Wadi Ara to advocate for expanding the potential pool of families eligible for government stipends given to single parents; the grant will also support advocacy efforts by a second group of women working on housing issues in the Hadera area.

  • Van Leer Jerusalem Institute – The Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere

Working in concert with a range of women’s group in Israel, the Center is creating 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.

  • Asset Building
    • Adva Center

The Adva Center will write and publish a guidebook for Israeli women called “What Women Need to Know about Saving for Retirement,” as well as launch a campaign to spread awareness about the guidebook via mail, the internet, and social media.

  • Economic Empowerment for Women (Sustaining Grant)

Economic Empowerment for Women promotes asset development among low-income women who manage microenterprises, based on the U.S. model of the Individual Development Account.

  • Supportive Community (Sustaining Grant)

Founded by immigrants from the former Soviet Union to help women in their own and other population groups, Supportive Community provides pension planning services to new immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, micro-entrepreneurs, and other nonprofit agencies.

  • Business Training & Entrepreneurship
    • Sidreh

The Socio-Economic Development of Bedouin Women in the Negev project improves the socio-economic status of Bedouin women via financial literacy classes and small business development services.

  • Vocational Training and Job Placement
    •  Jerusalem Intercultural Center

The Improving Health Care in East Jerusalem through Training Women Paramedical Professionals project prepares East Jerusalem residents trained in paramedical professional fields 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.

  • Olim Beyahad

The Excelling Ethiopian Israeli Women project assists women Ethiopian Israeli university graduates ages 21-40 in finding suitable jobs at the forefront of Israel’s workforce, while providing them with practical skills that enable them to gain employment, overcome the specific challenges faced by women in the job market, and ensure long-term vocational success.

  • Women’s Spirit

Women’s Spirit works to promote economic independence for women who are victims of domestic violence. Spheres of Influence is a professional women’s network that provides mentoring, access to jobs, and hands-on coaching in the world of work.

United States

  • Jewish Tradition, Healthy Relationships, Self-Esteem and Wellness
    • Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA)

The JOFA Campus Fellowship prepares young women to be leaders and assume leadership roles in the Orthodox community, both on campus and beyond college, and fosters discussion in the Orthodox community about gender sensitivity and progressive ideals for women within traditional Jewish law.

  • Keshet

The Jewish Anti-Bullying Initiative provides LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) inclusion and anti-bullying training for youth workers in the Jewish community, and helps youth-serving organizations in the Jewish community to write and implement anti-harassment/bullying policies.

  • Moving Traditions

In prior years, the Hadassah Foundation provided grants for the    conception, development, and implementation of Rosh Hodesh: It’s A Girl Thing! (originally under the auspices of Kolot), an experiential and trans-denominational programs for pre-teen and teenage girls that strengthen self-esteem and Jewish identity. The current grant will support Moving Traditions as it updates the curriculum, first developed more than 10 years ago.

  • Shalom Bayit

The youth-led dating violence prevention curriculum Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Campus and Beyond focuses on college students. Partnering with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, Shalom Bayit will bring this program to campuses across the country.

  •     Business Training and Entrepreneurship
    •  AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps

The Jewish Women’s Professional and Leadership Development Initiative brings a gender lens to the educational programming that AVODAH provides its corps members, who engage in a year of service. It will also create a mentoring program focused on leadership and career development among female service corps members and alumnae.

About: The Hadassah Foundation, founded in 1998 by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is dedicated to refocusing the priorities of the Jewish community through innovative and creative funding for women and girls in the United States and Israel. Since 2000, the Hadassah Foundation has awarded approximately $6.5 million in grants to nearly 70 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit hadassahfoundation.org.