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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hadassah Foundation at Hadassah's National Convention

The Hadassah Foundation is having a good showing at Hadassah's national convention in Las Vegas! Today, Board Member Lonye Rasch (center, above) and Director Rabbi Ellen Flax (to Lonye's left) spoke at a session about how Hadassah empowers women around the world, with a focus on the Foundation's grant making in Israel.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Breakthrough for Gender Auditing in Israel

Our grantee, the Adva Center, reports this good news:

A campaign begun 10 years ago by the Adva Center to convince the Israel Finance Ministry that it should undertake a gender audit of the national budget, for the purpose of increasing gender equality, as well as budget transparency and efficiency, saw a breakthrough in October 2013, when the Minister of Finance appointed a national committee to examine that very possibility. The Adva Center provided professional consulting services to the committee.

On June 25, 2014, another milestone was reached, when the committee submitted its interim report. The Committee recommended that government ministries undertake gender audits of their own expenditures, and that the State Revenues Authority undertake a gender audit of state revenues, beginning with the national budget for fiscal 2015.

Gender mainstreaming, which includes gender auditing of budgets, is a strategy for improving the status of women in society. It involves examining whether a particular program or budget, which is assumed to be gender neutral, actually has a differential effect on women and men, then changing the program or budget so that it contributes to greater gender equality.

Adva Center brought the strategy of gender mainstreaming to Israel in 2004, when it created the Women's Budget Forum, a coalition of 30 women's and human rights organizations which began to work for women's fair share of government spending. This strategy is recommended by the European Union and has been implemented in many European countries, including those of Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and Spain. (It is also a strategy that was funded by the Hadassah Foundation.)

The Committee for Gender Auditing the National Budget of Israel delivered its interim report in late June, at the Knesset, at a meeting of the Knesset Committee for Promotion of the Status of Women, chaired by MK Dr. Aliza Lavie. The Committee recommended that government ministries undertake gender audits of their own expenditures, and that the State Revenues Authority undertake a gender audit of state revenues, beginning with the budget for fiscal 2015. The Committee also instructed the Budget Department of the Finance Ministry and the Office of the Prime Minister to prepare a Gender Audit Guide. The Adva Center was informed that its gender experts will be involved in creation of the Guide. Finally, the Committee recommended that a gender audit be included in the official, published budget book of each government ministry.

Hadassah Foundation Seeking Proposals for the Empowerment of Israeli Women

The Hadassah Foundation has issued a Request for Proposals for Israeli organizations working to help low-income women in Israel achieve economic independence. Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded for programs that provide training in savings, asset development, and pension planning for women; grassroots resources and training for women; legal and policy advocacy; business development services that help women who own businesses improve their outreach and marketing; and leadership development initiatives that increase the number and capacity of women in positions of leadership. The foundation rarely funds entrepreneurship or financial planning programs that take place in only one location, and rarely invests directly in a cooperative or other business. To be eligible, organizations must have amutah or mossad tziburi status.

For complete program guidelines, information about previous grant recipients, and application instructions, visit the Hadassah Foundation website. All applications are due by July 30, 2014.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Yifat Bitton is 2014 Tannenbaum Prize Awardee!

The Hadassah Foundation is thrilled to announce that Dr. Yifat Bitton, the founder, chairperson, and senior attorney at Tmura—The Israeli Antidiscrimination Center, which fights for the rights of women who have suffered sexual, physical, and economic abuse, has been named this year's winner of the Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize!  Tmura is a two-time grantee of the Foundation; it is currently receiving funds for a project to combat economic abuse against women in Israel.

You can read all about Dr. Bitton's achievements at

Mazel tov to Dr. Bitton and to Tmura!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Director of Yedid Wins Rappaport Prize

Last week, the Hadassah Foundation was excited to host Sari Revkin (pictured above, on the left), the Executive Director of Yedid,  one our grantees.
But the excitement extended beyond hearing about the latest developments at the Jerusalem-based Yedid, which, through a Foundation grant, is helping women assert their economic rights in Israel.  This spring, Sari was awarded the "Women Change-Maker" prize by The Rappaport Family Trust and La'Isha Magazine, a 120,000 Israeli Shekel award (approximately $35,000) for a woman who has created change in the public, social, or economic sphere in Israel.

Under her leadership, Yedid has assisted thousands of families from low-income and other  vulnerable populations to break free from the cycle of poverty, access their rights, and secure their futures in Israel.
Mazel tov!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jewish Women's Funds Gather for Force for Change

More than a dozen Jewish women's funds from across the country, as well as the Dafna Fund from Israel, gathered together to discuss communalities and how they can better work together.  Many of our conversations focussed on how we can work together to further women's leadership in the Jewish community.  The Hadassah Foundation's founding chair, Barbara Dobkin, has generously supported this gathering for many years, believing there is greater power in the groups working together.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Shutafot Exhibit Showcases Economic Inequality for Israeli Women

Shutafot, a coalition comprised of some of the leading feminist organizations in Israel, is "drawing" attention to economic inequality.  This Foundation grantee recently ran a poster competition to illustrate this issue, and a panel of experts selected the finalists and semi-finalists, all of which are currently on display at the upscale Dizengoff shopping center in Tel Aviv. Ronit Piso, who directs the coalition, is pictured above, next to the posters on display at the shopping mall. Hear Ronit talk about her favorite poster in the exhibition here. The Hadassah Foundation supports Shutafot via the Jewish Women's Collaborative International Fund, a coalition of 17 Jewish women's foundations and funds in the U.S. and Israel.

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