November 2019 -- Cheshvan-Kislev 5780,  Volume 25, Issue 11

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The Hadassah Foundation Awards $500,000 to Organizations Changing What is Possible for Women and Girls

The Hadassah Foundation, a public charity that awards grants to social change programming that empowers women and girls in Israel and the United States, has announced  its 2019 grant recipients, ten organizations in Israel and the United states that are making it possible for women to advance in positions of power.

 

The Hadassah Foundation has shifted its funding methodology in order to deepen its impact. Grants have been extended to a minimum of two-year terms and the funding amounts have been substantially increased. These changes have led the Hadassah Foundation to select fewer recipients, narrowing in on the programs and organizations that have goals that most closely align with those of The Hadassah Foundation.

 

In addition, since its founding in 1998, the grant focus has been on the economic security of women in Israel and the leadership advancement of teens in the US. These topics remain vital, yet the approach has been changed to place a greater emphasis on the social changes that are necessary for women and girls to obtain and advance in positions of influence. This done with the understanding that when women are in positions of leadership, their influence will mitigate many of the issues keeping us from obtaining gender equality.

 

The grant recipients are enabling women and girls to: advance in positions of leadership, break glass ceilings in fields not predominately led by women or people of their background, increase their political involvement and representation, and eliminate religious barriers that create unequal or separate playing fields.

 

Board Chair of the Hadassah Foundation, Sue Beller, explains,  “I am confident that these organizations, with the support of The Hadassah Foundation, will bring us closer toward gender equality with women in positions of power. The programs transform individuals, and at the same time, shift the way entire communities, policies, and institutions behave. For meaningful social change to take place, everyone has to play a part and these institutions are making that happen.”

In the United States, the following organizations are selected as this year’s grant recipients:

 

• Jewish Women International: A national organization that ensures women and girls thrive in healthy relationships, control their financial futures, and realize their full potential. Funds will underwrite the Washington, DC-based pilot of the Jewish Communal Women’s Leadership Project (JCWLP), an initiative to help women advance to the highest positions of Jewish communal organizations.

 

• Yeshivat Maharat: The first rabbinical school in North America to train and ordain Orthodox women for the rabbinate. Funding will enhance the Executive Ordination Track, the part-time, advanced program for experienced women leaders and educators. Located throughout the world, the women in the EOT track have never previously been afforded the opportunity of ordination.

 

• Jewish Women’s Archive and jGirls Magazine:  JWA Documents Jewish women’s stories and trains young women to develop authentic voices and leadership styles. jGirls Magazine amplifies the ideas and voices of teens through an online community written, edited, and curated by self-identifying Jewish teen girls. Funds underwrite the creation of a joint JWA/jGirls Alumnae Network to create a community of committed young Jewish women leaders.

 

These organizations join the 2019 Israel grant recipients announced earlier this year:

 

• Adva Center: A non-partisan policy institute that examines Israeli society to assess the level of equality and social justice. Funding supports a group of 75 individuals appointed to the role of Mayoral Advisor for Gender Equality, covering about 1/3 of Israel municipalities. The advisors will undergo training, coaching, and networking to better implement policies that promote the status of women and gender equality within their designated authorities.

 

• The Center for Women’s Justice: Defends women’s rights to equality, dignity, and justice; ensures religions freedom, and limits the authority of religious institutions over women’s bodies and lives. Funds underwrite public education for hundreds of thousands of Israelis, aimed at reframing the public discourse around the State-prescribed Jewish marriage and promoting solutions to situations of get refusal, or refusal of a Jewish divorce, which keeps individuals in marital captivity.

 

• Israel Women’s Network: Promotes a better Israeli society by focusing on women’s equality and creating the social, physical, economic, and judicial conditions for their prosperity. Funds will be used to raise public awareness and advocate for the elimination of gender segregation and the exclusion of women in the IDF, workforce, educational system, and civil service arena.

 

• Itach Maaki: Promotes social change, justice, and activism for and by women from marginalized groups. The funded program will better integrate women from diverse populations into Israeli government, with an emphasis in the male dominated field of peace and security. The initiative also ensures that governments uphold previous mandates that require ample representation of diverse women on policymaking committees.

 

• Jewish Women’s Funding Network Collaborative Grant: Twenty-five foundations in North America have come together to fund the Israel enterprise The Coalition for Direct Employment. The Coalition is comprised of 30 organizations working to establish policies and practices to improve the working conditions and rights of contracted workers.

 

• SHIN – The Israeli Movement for Equal Representation of Women: Facilitates equal representation of women in politics and in the public sphere. The supported program brings together over 250 Jewish and Arab high school girls to involve them in discussions, activities, and projects that increase their knowledge of women’s rights. The girls receive the skills and direction to address social and political feminist issues.