The Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York (JWFNY) is proud to announce that it has awarded over $750,000 in grants to organizations that promote economic security, leadership advancement, health & well-being and social entrepreneurship for women and girls in the Jewish community and beyond, representing a 50% increase in grantmaking over the past year.
JWFNY’s grant selections are made by committee members who partake in educational programming on grantmaking best practices and issues impacting women and girls. Committee members engage in an intensive, multi-month process of reviewing grant proposals, interviewing potential grant recipients and engaging in lively discussions on which applicants best meet JWFNY’s grant criteria. This year, 44 women participated on five committees and ultimately awarded 30 grants to organizations in the US, Israel and around the world.
The grant recipients impact 18 countries and benefit more than 50,000 women and children. The initiatives exemplify social change programming and utilize a Jewish and gender lens. In keeping with JWFNY’s priorities, the organizations strive to encourage and empower women both in their programs and through their policies to promote women in all aspects of agency life.
This year’s grant announcement immediately follows an exciting new partnership between JWFNY and Jewish Women’s Archive, the world’s largest repository of material about and voices of Jewish women. Together, the organizations highlight the leadership of Jewish women in the field of social entrepreneurship, including profiles of 14 JWFNY Isha Koach grantees. Isha Koach (Women of Strength) addresses the global needs of women and girls through a Jewish and gender lens and works to advance the efforts and profiles of Jewish women social entrepreneurs who lead organizations that improve the quality of life of the world’s most vulnerable women and children. The partnership debuted in the recent article The Power of Jewish Women Social Entrepreneurs.
Recipients of 2015 JWFNY grants include:
New York Metropolitan Grants
- Central Queens Y – Computer science training, mentoring and internship experiences for 60 young women in high school, using the curriculum of their program partner Girls Who Code.
- Congregation B’nai Jeshurun – Co-sponsoring the day-long conference “Meet Me at Sinai”, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of Judith Plaskow’s book Standing Again at Sinai and discussed how far Jewish feminism has come, what hasn’t changed and our vision for the future.
- Eshel – A training developed by a student at Stern College for Women that educates students on how to become a straight ally to LGBT individuals.
- ImmerseNYC – The creation of a High Holiday Immersion toolkit for clergy and mikveh guides, and at least 12 groups of women being welcomed to the mikveh during the 2015 High Holiday season.
- Mechon Hadar – A week-long program that aims to shift the culture so that more women feel confident and able to lead prayer services followed by the first online recordings of women leading the High Holiday prayers.
- Organization for the Resolution of Agunot – An education campaign to provide thousands of Jewish women and girls in New York with the knowledge, tools and support to protect themselves from domestic abuse and get-refusal. ORA is also a recipient of a Small Grant for general operating support.
- Rabbis Without Borders and The Op-Ed Project – A 2-day training seminar that will empower female rabbis, Jewish professionals and other thought leaders to find their voices and make a public case for the ideas and causes they believe in.
- Sexual Health Innovations – A college sexual assault reporting system that allows college sexual assault survivors to fill out a record of their assault online and save it as a time stamped document or report it to their chosen authority.
- Sharsheret -In memory of the organization’s Founder and Executive Director Rochelle Shoretzz”l and to further the organization’s work to improve the lives of women and girls in the Jewish community.
- Slingshot – The 3rd Edition of the Women and Girls Supplement, which highlights the most innovative organizations that impact Jewish women and girls in North America.
- TrueChild – A partnership with Ma’yan to develop a model curriculum and pilot program that aims to raise awareness and shift the dialogue on feminine norms in Jewish communities in New York City.
- ANU – The Women’s Media Center Israel, which targets areas requiring media reform to make the Israeli media industry more equal, diverse and inclusive towards women.
- Ohr Torah Stone – An in-depth educational program of halakha with internship and job opportunities to train women to become spiritual leaders.
- The Netanya Foundation – A program that aims to empower as well as socially and financially rehabilitate a group of 25 single mothers of Ethiopian origin who are raising children on their own.
- The Yerushalmit Movement – Changing public discourse on the social status of women in Jerusalem, encouraging women to assume leadership roles and providing them with the tools they need to promote social activism.
International Grants (Isha Koach)
- AFYA Foundation, founded by Danielle Butin – Providing birthing kits for more than 3,000 women in rural Ghana to help reduce maternal and newborn death and emergency medical supplies to the Ebola-affected communities in Sierra Leone.
- Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, founded by Anne Heymanz”l – Support for the female students and the “Mamas” who care for them, in memory of Anne Heymanz”l, a pioneer in the field of Jewish women’s social entrepreneurship.
- Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Project, Founded by Karen Sokol-Gutierrez – The expansion of the India Smiles Program that improves dental care for 30+ mothers and pregnant women in Mumbai, India, in partnership with the Foundation for Mother and Child Health.
- Empower Generation, founded by Anya Cherneff – The training of over 100 women and girls in rural Nepal to become clean energy entrepreneurs, earning their own incomes from the sale of energy-efficient lighting.
- Global Goods Partners, founded by Catherine Shimony – Training and business support to improve the quality of merchandise produced by women-artisans in rural Peru, Guatemala and India.
- goods for good, Founded by Melissa Kushner – The expansion of a poultry business so that communities in Malawi can self-support their own orphans and vulnerable children.
- Ikamva Labantu, founded by Helen Lieberman – Weekly home visits, health care, food and education support for 30 orphans and vulnerable children in the townships of South Africa.
- Innovation: Africa, founded by Sivan Borowich – The instillation of Israeli solar powered water pumps for the 1,600 members of Nakaloke village in Uganda, which neighbors Kolonyi village, the site of a previous JWFNY investment.
- Jevaia, founded by Laura Spero – The strengthening of Jevaia’s leadership, which will enable the organization to deepen its impact among poor rural families in Nepal.
- Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, founded by Amy Lehman – The first study of women’s and children’s health and wellbeing in the isolated Fizi Territory on Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Muso, founded by Jessica Beckerman – Hiring and training 30 local mothers to become Community Health Workers who will reduce maternal and child mortality in the Yirimadjo community of Mali.
- S.O.U.L. Foundation, founded by Brooke Stern – Improving safe pregnancy and childbirth for 700 women and girls living along the Nile River in Uganda, with a special focus on family planning, immunization, HIV testing and pre- and postnatal care.
- Shining Hope for Communities, founded by Jessica Posner – Enhancing the Maternal and Child Health Program at the Community Health Clinic in Kibera, Kenya, to include cervical cancer screening, vitamin supplementation for pregnant women, prenatal care, skilled childbirth and breastfeeding.
- WE CARE Solar, founded by Laura Stachel – Expansion of its solar suitcase technology in Ethiopia, Philippines, and Tanzania.
JWFNY works to advance the status and well-being of women and girls in the Jewish community in New York, Israel and around the world. Since its founding, JWFNY has awarded more than $4 million to 167 projects through our forward-thinking and innovative grant making approach, advocacy and education campaigns. If you would like to find out more about how you can become involved with JWFNY, please contact Executive Director Joy Sisisky at [email protected] or (212) 836-1106.