At JWFNY, much of the change we aim to create is through our grantmaking. This year, we are awarding nearly $600,000 in grants to organizations in the United States, Israel, and around the world. The grants renew funding relationships and establish new partnerships in order to place the Foundation among some of the most innovative and impactful organizations improving the lives of women and girls.
All of these organizations share our commitment to Jewish values – pursing justice and repairing the world – and use them to inform their actions and decisions. They also see the world through a gender lens, examining how people experience situations differently depending on their gender identity. Our grantees create systemic social change in the form of reframing an issue, changing people’s behaviors, increasing engagement, changing policies or status, strengthening institutions, or maintaining past gains.
JWFNY encourages new and existing leaders among women and girls through partners including Jasmine, which trains Jewish and Arab women to serve as board members in Israel, and the Op-Ed Project, empowering female rabbis and other thought leaders to find their voices and make a public case for causes they believe in. We not only fund leadership development programs, we invest in Jewish women entrepreneurs who work to improve the quality of life of the world’s most vulnerable women and children. One of the many incredible women leaders we support is Ayla Schlosser, founder of Resonate, which empowers women in east Africa to write their own personal narrative and change their lives and the communities where they live.
Because women and girls face barriers to achieving economic security, we promote economic justice and workplace and government policies that allow for fair advancement. A collaborative initiative between Women of Reform Judaism and Women’s Rabbinical Network that we funded is addressing the documented wage gap among all women professionals employed by the Reform Movement, and Shatil – The New Israel Fund is increasing access and fair treatment in public housing for single mothers in Israel.
We recognize that the physical and mental health of women and girls is a human right and crucial in order to obtain full economic, religious, social, and political achievement. Our efforts to achieve health and well-being are realized through support of groups such as Jewish Women International, which explores rape culture on college campuses by raising public awareness, supporting survivors, and engaging men as allies, and support of entrepreneurs like Janis Simon and Leah Greenspan Hodor, who founded Vital Health Africa, which provides low cost, high impact intervention in maternal, newborn, child health in Sub-Saharan Africa.
We are able to respond to timely, emergent issues that require immediate response. We support the distribution of medical supplies, hospital equipment, and humanitarian aid to IDP camps in the south of Syria through Afya Foundation, founded by Danielle Butin; and here at home we are on the front lines of the conversation around intersectionality on college campuses through our support of Hillel International.
In addition to some of the grants listed above, we are enthusiastic about continuing our partnership with organizations like Yeshivat Maharat, the first and only Orthodox yeshiva to ordain women as clergy; jGirls Magazine, an online community and magazine for Jewish teenage girls; and S.O.U.L. Foundation founded by Brooke Stern, which is an initiative to foster sustainable and vibrant Ugandan communities as well as so many others.
Individually, our grants address critical issues among diverse populations. As a whole, they encompass a broader vision of creating a world where women and girls are empowered to pursue their dreams.
Next year, we hope to increase the amount awarded in grants and deepen our commitment to changing the lives of women and girls in the United States, Israel, and around the world.
A complete listing of JWFNY’s 2017 grant recipients can be found here.