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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Grantee Spotlight: AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps

AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, strengthens the Jewish community’s fight against the causes and effects of poverty in the United States by engaging participants in service and community building that inspire them to become lifelong leaders for social change whose work for justice is rooted in and nourished by Jewish values.

Ariel Schneider, a social worker, is an alumnae of AVODAH who participated in AVODAH’s Women Leading Together (AWLT) Program, a career and leadership development program for early career AVODAH alumnae that is supported by the Hadassah Foundation. The program enables participants to develop a career and leadership strategy, engage in career and leadership coaching, and participate in immersive long-term small group peer coaching. The entire program is virtual, enabling AVODAH to serve young women from across the country.

“AWLT was such a wonderful opportunity! I was given the tools, space, and guidance to take a step back from my daily grind and examine my longer-term goals. Being part of an AVODAH alum cohort added to the richness of the experience because I was able to get specific feedback from strong, career-driven women who share many of my values and interest in social change work. I often felt energized and inspired after connecting with other participants, especially my "thought and sustenance partner" with whom I had weekly check-ins to keep each accountable and engaged. I now have a "mission statement" or mantra that speaks to how and why I want to engage in the world in addition to a five-year vision statement that informs even some of my small, daily career and life choices. It feels good to have some clear direction as well as deep new connections to other AVODAH alum leaders!”

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hadassah Foundation Awards $150,000 to Five US Organizations

We are excited to announce that The Hadassah Foundation has given $150,000 in grants to five American organizations that strengthen the leadership develop skills and capabilities of Jewish girls and young women.  With this latest round of grants, the Foundation has awarded a total of $450,000 to Israeli and American group in 2015, up from $360,000 awarded in 2014. Since 2000, approximately $6.8 million has been awarded to more than 80 nonprofit organizations.

This new set of grants to organizations in the United States is part of the Foundation's multi-year initiative—inaugurated last year—to strengthen leadership development opportunities for young Jewish women in the United States. Three of the 2015 grantees are receiving a renewal grant for their program, and two are first-time grantees.

"We are proud to invest in the leadership abilities of young Jewish women," said Suzanne Offit, chair of the Hadassah Foundation.  "We want to shine a bright light on the needs and capabilities of the next generation of Jewish leadership, and in particular, the specific needs of Jewish girls and young women."

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, $28,200

AVODAH Women Leading Together (AWLT) is a career and leadership development program for early career AVODAH alumnae (ages 25-30) that enables participants to develop a career and leadership strategy, engage in career and leadership coaching, and participate in immersive long-term small group peer coaching.

Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, $33,200 

The JCRC's Long Island office created the Girls LEAD program, a leadership development program for Jewish, female teens from the Five Towns community.  Working in concert with the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, and the Women's Fund of Long Island, this program develops the teens' personal leadership skills, and strengthens their leadership abilities through consensus building, philanthropy and volunteerism as they learn about, and select, a local organization for a grant, and then provide hands-on service to the organization.

Jewish Family Service of San Diego, $35,200

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, $28,400 (New Grantee)

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. The program is a partnership between Jewish Women's Archive and Prozdor, a program for high school students at Hebrew College,

The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, $25,000 (New Grantee)

Created Equal: A Research and Educational Project on Men, Women and the Ethics of Leadership project, will develop a new curriculum to understand 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.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Israeli Knesset Committee on Gender Equality Highlights Foundation Grantee

Earlier today, the Israeli Knesset's Committee on Gender Equality held a special meeting to mark the publication of the 2015 Gender Index, published by Foundation Grantee WIPS - Center for the Advancement of Women in Public Sphere, a feminist think tank and applied research institute housed at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem.  The Hadassah Foundation has supported the Index for the past three years. 


MK Aida Touma, the first Arab woman to Chair a Knesset Committee (and the executive director of a former Foundation grantee, Women Against Violence) opened the session with words of appreciation for WIPS and its co-founders, Professors Naomi Chazan and Hannah Herzog, for initiating and publishing the first comprehensive gender index measuring gender inequality in Israel across 11 domains, using 56 different indicators. 


The Index, published for the third year, is a valuable source of data and information about the presistant gender gaps in Israel, and is used by policy and decision makers and government officials to inform policies, legislation and enforcement.  The key findings show that while women have made major strides and have greater access to higher education, the gaps between women and men---especially gaps in employment and pay--remain steady accross most domains.
You can read more about the Gender Index here.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hadassah Foundation Accepting Proposals from Israeli Nonprofits

At long last, our RFP for Israeli organizations working to empower low-income Israeli women has been released! 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 $25,0000 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
• Leadership development initiatives that increase the number of, and capacity of, women in positions of leadership.
All applications are due by Thursday, July 30th.

You can learn more here.

Meet the New Tannenbaum Prize Winner!

The Hadassah Foundation on Monday awarded the 2015 Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize to Jessica Nare, Director of Leadership Programs at Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS), in a ceremony at the UJA-Federation of New York.

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.

Jessica Nare was awarded the prize for her work directing the Girls Give Back teen leadership program at JFS. Supported by the Hadassah Foundation, Girls Give Back empowers the next generation of female leaders to create meaningful change in the world around them. Teens learn about issues that impact women and girls, and develop leadership skills by planning service projects. Girls Give Back promotes Jewish values and the importance of tikkun olam while developing social-mindedness, critical thinking, healthy self-esteem, and empathy in high school girls.

“Jessica Nare is a young woman with great potential, and has already achieved so much in her leadership role with Girls Give Back,” said Rabbi Ellen Flax, Director of the Hadassah Foundation.

In the last year, under Nare’s leadership, Girls Give Back teen leaders have:
• Volunteered more than 1,200 hours, earning the Presidential Gold Volunteer Service Award
• Hosted a Teen Gender Equality Conference for 60 teens from Carlsbad to Baja California
• Created a facilitated a middle school empowerment program for 12 girls in grades 6, 7, and 8.
• Launched the blog “Wisdom for Womanism” in December 2014, created 19 original posts, and garnered close to 3,000 unique views from across the world
• Partnered with the Hands Up Teen Leadership Program at JFS to host, “Rock Out to Give Back”, which raised over $7,000 for JFS’ food pantry and domestic violence programs.

“We are still living in a society where women are underrepresented in positions of power. Girls Give Back develops community among high school Jewish girls and provides them with the skills and confidence they need to be the next generation of leaders,” Nare said. “I’m honored to be recognized by the Hadassah Foundation, an organization with a long-standing commitment to the advancement of Jewish girls and women.”

Nare holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in women’s studies from San Diego State University. In addition to her work at JFS, Nare serves as a core faculty member in the College of Letters and Sciences at National University and as a lecturer in Women’s Studies at SDSU. She also serves on the Human Relations Commission of the City of San Diego and is an alumna of the San Diego Leadership Alliance.

The Prize provides $500 in general operating support to Girls Give Back at JFS, as well as $2,500 to Jessica Nare to further her professional development.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jewish Women's Foundations Flex their Muscle

One highlight of every year for the Hadassah Foundation is the annual gathering of the Jewish women's foundations from across the country.  Foundation directors, as well as lay leaders, descended upon a retreat center in suburban NY for three days of intensive conversation about how we can better work together to bring the issues of women to the forefront of the Jewish community.   

Cincinnati House Party

The Hadassah Foundation made it to the Queen City! Many thanks to our Board Member Kim Heiman, who hosted a house party at her home. Guests learned about the work of the Foundation in both Israel and the United States, and how they could support our efforts.