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Thursday, September 29, 2016

5776: Year in Review

This past year, 5776, has been a strong year for The Hadassah Foundation!

  • We awarded $550,000 to outstanding groups in the United States and in Israel that are bringing the issues of women and girls from the margins to the center of Jewish concern—up from $450,000 last year;
  • We awarded the eighth annual Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize to Lilach Tzur Ben-Moshe, who founded and directs a Foundation grantee, Turning the Tables, which offers vocational training in the fashion industry to Israeli women looking to exit prostitution;  
  • We released a new video about the Foundation and our Tannenbaum Prize winner, which is now posted on YouTube; and
  • 10 current and former Foundation grantees have been cited by the Slingshot Fund as being among the most innovative organizations in the Jewish community.

In the coming year, we anticipate a range of activities in honor of our "chai" year of grant making, and hope you will help us mark this achievement!


As we count our blessings as we begin the new year, we also redouble our commitment to tikkun olam.  Your support of The Hadassah Foundation helps improve the lives women and girls in both the U.S. and Israel.   Please consider making a donation at Your contribution will enable us to find solutions to gender inequality in our lifetimes. 


We wish you and your loved ones a Shana Tova!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hadassah Foundation Invests $180,000 in Leadership Development for Jewish Teens and Young Women

The Hadassah Foundation, which invests in social change to empower girls and women in Israel and the United States, is excited to announce it has given $180,000 in grants to six American organizations that strengthen the leadership skills and capabilities of Jewish girls and young women.

The Foundation is a philanthropic pioneer in the fields of improving economic security for low-income Israeli women and developing leadership and self-esteem programs for adolescent Jewish girls and young women in the United States. Since 2000, approximately $7.3 million has been awarded to nearly 90 nonprofit organizations.

With this latest round of grants, the Foundation has awarded a total of $550,000 to Israeli and American group in 2016, up from $450,000 awarded in 2015.

This latest round of grants to organizations in the United States is part of the Foundation's multi-year initiative—inaugurated in 2014—to strengthen leadership development opportunities for young Jewish women in the United States.

Three of the 2016 grantees are receiving a renewal grant for their program, and three are first-time grantees.

""It is of the utmost importance to invest in the leadership abilities of young Jewish women," said Rabbi Suzanne Offit, chair of the Hadassah Foundation.  "We are proud to support the forward-thinking and creative professionals who are devoting themselves to this critical population."

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Jewish Community Center of Chicago, $30,000 (New Grantee)

The JCC's Seed6l3 program is a new social change fellowship for teenage girls ages 14-16.  Through seminars, and regular meetings with coaches, mentors and peers, the girls will be equipped with entrepreneurial tools and knowledge to develop a socially responsible venture that will impact the Jewish community.

Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, $22,000 (New Grantee)

The JUF received funds for a cohort of Jewish teen girls to participate in the Research Training Internship (RTI), a program that generates new knowledge about the lives and experiences of Jewish teen girls; empowers girls to develop their own capacity to engage critically with social issues that impact them through an explicitly feminist lens; and positions girls as experts on their own lives and issues impacting them. 

Jewish Family Service of San Diego, $35,000

The JFS of San Diego's Girls Give Back program educates Jewish girls from the area about gender inequality, develops concrete leadership skills, and empowers young women to actively engage in the San Diego community through ongoing volunteer work and service learning projects.

Jewish Women's Archive, $30,000

The Rising Voices Fellowship teaches Jewish female teens in grades 10-12 how to communicate effectively about their experiences, beliefs, and challenges, and use the power of social media to spark a wider conversation about Jewish identity and gender equality among their peers and within the larger Jewish community.

Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy at Bar-Ilan University, $33,000 (New Grantee)

LVJA, an online school for Jewish Studies established in 2014, received a grant to design and pilot an online course for high school girls that fuses classical Jewish text study with leadership skill building.  The course will be taught to cohorts of twenty high school girls enrolled in Jewish supplementary, day, or home schools.

The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, $30,000

Created Equal: A Research and Educational Project on Men, Women and the Ethics of Leadership project, is a new curriculum that explores how gender influences the broader narrative of Jewish life, including contemporary questions of leadership and gender equity. The Foundation's grant will support a series of workshops and programs based on this curriculum that target emerging leaders in the Jewish community who are attending graduate school programs in Jewish communal service as well as for a one-day conference that targets key players in the Jewish community at different stages of their career.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hadassah Foundation at the HWZOA Convention

More than 900 women and men attended the biannual convention of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America in Atlanta this past week--and several hundred of them attended sessions run by the Hadassah Foundation.
On Tuesday, the Foundation moderated a panel--"To be young, Jewish, female, and a Leader"--that featured several of our grantees. On Wednesday, Foundation Director Rabbi Ellen Flax led a study session on strong women in traditional Jewish texts. Both programs examined women's leadership, which is the main focus of the Foundation's grants in the United States.

Pictured above: top row, Foundation Directors Phyllis Silverstein, Lonye Rasch, Helaine Ohayon, Debbie Minkoff, and Liz Alpert.  Bottom row: Panelists Rachel Glicksman, AVODAH; Rachel Wasserman, the Jewish Women's Fund of Atlanta; Noam Green, the Jewish Women's Archive; and Rabbi Ellen Flax, the Hadassah Foundation. 

Joshua Venture Group Alum Leads New Foundation Grantee

Chana German (above, right) runs a new Hadassah Foundation grantee--the Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy.  Many of the skills she needed to develop and run a successful nonprofit were honed as a Dual Investment Fellow at the Joshua Venture Group, a program for outstanding social entrepreneurs.  Chana just finished the two-year program earlier this month, which concluded with a celebratory luncheon for the Fellows and funders in the Jewish community.  During the luncheon, Chana told the crowd how the program helped her become a better nonprofit manager and learn the "business side" of running an enterprise--in her case, an organization that develops virtual Judaic studies classes for day schools and religious education programs. With her new grant from the Foundation, Chana will create (along with another JVG Fellow in her cohort) an online course on women's leadership for high school girls that fuses classical text study of Biblical women leaders with practical leadership skill building.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Meet the 2016 Tannenbaum Prize Winner!

The Hadassah Foundation is thrilled to announce that Lilach Tzur Ben-Moshe, who does ground-breaking work with women attempting to exit prostitution, has been awarded the 2016 Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize!
Tzur Ben-Moshe is the Founder and Executive Director of Turning the Tables, a Tel Aviv-based organization that provides economic alternatives to women exiting prostitution. Since 2011, Turning the Tables has trained these vulnerable women for jobs in the fashion industry. They are taught how to sew, make patterns, design clothes, and market their goods; one successful graduate has created a critically-acclaimed clothing line! The program, which is supported by the Hadassah Foundation, has enabled dozens of women to begin a new life with dignity, including a legal way to make a living.
"It is a great honor to accept this award from the Hadassah Foundation, which bravely recognizes the diverse challenges that women in Israel still face," said Tzur Ben-Moshe. "Tens of thousands of women and girls in Israel are trapped in the cycle of prostitution and addiction. Turning the Tables is sending the message to them and to women in general that we see them and reach out to them."

The Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize recognizes emerging professionals who have made innovative contributions to advance the status of women and girls in Israel and the United States. Awardees demonstrate a high degree of talent, commitment, and accomplishment in their work. The prize honors Bernice S. Tannenbaum, z''l, for her lifetime of service to the Jewish People; the State of Israel; and Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America.
In honor of Tzur Ben-Moshe, the Hadassah Foundation has released a new video that highlights the Tannenbaum Prize winner, as well as the work of the fund.  The video can be viewed at:

Congrats, Lilach!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New Hadassah Foundation RFP for Israeli Organizations

The Hadassah Foundation has just announced its RFP for Israeli organizations working to empower low-income Israeli women. We are interested in social change, gender-sensitive projects that help low-income women of all backgrounds in Israel achieve economic independence. Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded. The Foundation is particularly interested in programs that provide cutting-edge approaches to solve problems that have not been addressed previously.

Areas of interest include:
• Savings, Asset Development, and Pension Planning
• Grassroots Programs that provide resources and training
• Legal and Policy Advocacy Initiatives
• Business Development Services that help women who own businesses improve their outreach and marketing
• Workplace Discrimination
• Leadership development initiatives that increase the number of, and capacity of, women in positions of leadership.

All applications are due by 11:59 AM (ET) Thursday, July 28th.
For more information:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Grantee Spotlight: The Jewish Women's Archive's Rising Voices Fellowship

The Rising Voices Fellowship enables teen girls to use social media and blogging so they can be positioned as thought leaders in the Jewish community.  The program, which draws teen girls from across the country, includes both in-person weekend gatherings and regular on-line sessions. The girls hone their editorial skills with the help of JWA's staff as well as through a peer editing program, whereby each girl's work is edited by another member of the program. Fellowship alumna Eliana Gayle-Schneider, pictured above, explains how this JWA program has influenced her:

"JWA's Rising Voices Fellowship has played a tremendous role in shaping the Jewish feminist lens through which I now view the world. Rising Voices has taught me an immense amount, not just about feminism and Judaism, but about leadership and what it means to use writing as a tool for change.
The Rising Voices empowered cohort is truly like no other. We represent the full spectrum of the Jewish community; from modern Orthodox, to the classically Reform. Some of us go to shul, some to temple, some to synagogue, but we all go to rallies for income equality. Some of us write about the pop stars and fashion; others write about Emma Goldman and dreams of becoming Orthodox rabbis. But all of us have one thing in common: we are feminists. I am a member of an extraordinary and powerful group of young women, we are intellectual and passionate--and yes, we are feminists. Hearing one another's stories, I now understand how important it is to really own this badge of honor. To name what I have always known myself to be: a Jewish feminist.
For me and so many others, feminism and Judaism have never gone exactly hand in hand. While this is something I have tried to explore independently, the process of discussing these matters with my Rising Voices peers adds a new layer of depth. Whether in monthly webinars with the entire group, or simply texting my peer editor in Massachusetts, I feel connected to young women across the country who share my passions. The Rising Voices Fellowship bridges geographical gaps and provides an important venue for the developing young female voice. I've had the awesome  privilege of working side by side with my amazing, passionate RVF peers, digging deep and writing about the issues we care so deeply about--feminism, Judaism and finding our place in both of these worlds.
Rising Voices Fellowship is helping each of us to make a difference in so many important ways. We are a group of young women who are on the cusp of big transitions. We are en route to college, imagining our next steps in the world. Rising Voices Fellowship helps us to explore issues about our own identities as Jews and as women; providing us with the tools we will need to grow as feminists and as activists. 
The voices of teenage girls, and more specifically those of Jewish teens, are nearly invisible from the public's view. By raising our empowered teenage voices, we tackle issues from sexism to ageism. Rising Voices allows for twelve truly unique young women from all over the country to think critically about our lives, our country and our culture. The Fellowship allows for each of us to learn from one another. Although this satisfaction is certainly a remarkable result, the means for making a difference is not in the individual process of writing, but in putting our thoughts and opinions out into the world; through blogging."