Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Fifteen years ago, the UN adopted Security Resolution 1325, a landmark international legal framework that addresses not only the inordinate impact of war on women, but also the pivotal role women should and do play in conflict management, conflict resolution and sustainable peace. In 2005, Israel became the first member of the UN to create legislation based on this resolution by amending its 1951 Equality of Women's Rights Law. Like many other measures in Israel, although a law is on the books, its implementation is another matter.
Foundation grantee Itach-Maaki has been at the forefront of efforts in Israel to create a framework by which the government will enact this measure. Between 2012--14, it convened more than 30 women's organizations, activities, and academics from different backgrounds to create an action plan that was subsequently presented to the government. In recognition of these efforts, Itach-Maaki was asked to present at the Peace Forum to Commemorate the 15th Anniversary UNSCR 1325, an international gathering in NYC, a stone's throw from the U.N. Pictured above is the delegation from Itach-Maaki that spoke at last week's interfaith gathering, which was sponsored by a number of women's groups from across the religious spectrum.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Grantee Spotlight: Latet Atid
Latet is an organization that primarily deals with food insecurity among poor Israelis. For the last several years, it has run another program, Latet Atid ("to give a future") that helps women with incomes near the poverty line create or expand micro businesses. Latet is the only organization in Israel that gives business training to these burgeoning entrepreneurs while also giving them access to microloans, as part of an arrangement it has with Leumi Bank. In addition to a microloan, each entrepreneur works closely with a mentor.
Tanya Lavi, an immigrant to Israel from South Africa, turned to Latet Atid to start a baking business. She and her husband, a native Israeli, ran a food business until he was diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy in 2005. Since then, she has juggled taking care of him, and their five children. Although she has worked outside of the home, her income was not enough to support the household. Lavi was passionate about baking, received a scholarship to go to baking school, and reached out to Latet Atid for help with her nascent enterprise. She attributes much of her success to her mentor, Uri Ganari.
"I had an idea of what I wanted to do but I didn't have enough money…I didn't even have the time or the energy to start exploring a change; I was sinking deeper and deeper. Baking was always a big hobby of mine. I would spend all day at a job I didn't enjoy and then spend all night baking cakes. Latet Atid helped me turn my hobby into a business. I had a place; I had the skills, but not enough money. With their loan, I was able to renovate the caravan in the back of my house and turn it into a little cake studio, buy the equipment I needed, and advertise the business. I was also assigned a mentor to help me get my business off the ground. He helped me gain much needed business knowledge. He especially helped me with the finances and knowing how much to charge for my cakes. I would charge too little, and he would tell me, don't be afraid to charge more for your specialty and work time. Now, with the tools I gained from Latet Atid, I make twice as much as I would have made in my old job. Also, because I live next to Gaza, they gave me a 5000 NIS [$1250] grant, which I now use towards my tuition to study advanced patisserie. Latet Atid really gave me the big push forward I needed to turn this hobby into a successful business.
Uri, my mentor is a fountain of information, knowledge and experience, amazingly considerate, supportive, patient.....(and I can be exasperating) , instinctively knowing when to pressure me and when to take a step back, adapting our pace to my not-so-conventional life situation (5 young children, disabled husband, post-bankruptcy) but at the same time teaching and making me aware of aspects of business that I previously never even thought about and showing me how NOT to be afraid to charge for and earn money for my time and skills. I'm definitely richer for having him a part of this process and for making my dream come true!"
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Yesterday and today marked the final gathering of Advancing Jewish Professionals and the Jewish Comminity. Over the years, AWP has played a leading role in shaping conversations--and forcing change--in Jewish organizations. AWP's exit plan is predicated on many organizations, such as the Hadassah Foundation, carrying on this important work.
Many friends and current and former grantees of the Foundation were at the gathering, including former Board Chair, Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson, pictured above. Grantee Shalom Hartman Institute--North America also shared their new curriculum on leadership with the group.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
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
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
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.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
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.
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
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The Hadassah Foundation mourns the passing of Bernice Tannenbaum on Monday. Bernice, the former national president of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, accomplished so much in her 101 (!!!) years. She was one of the main forces behind the establishment of the Foundation in 1998, and since our beginning, was HWZOA's liaison to the Foundation--a role she actively engaged in until last year. In her honor, in 2009 the Foundation established the Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize, which is given annually to someone who has advanced the cause of girls and women.
Read more about Bernice's extraordinary life here.
Bernice, we will miss you!
Thursday, March 19, 2015
The Hadassah Foundation was active at the Jewish Funders Network's annual meeting in Tel Aviv this week. In addition to participating in a session about Jewish values, the Foundation helped organize a meeting, pictured above, of funders interested in women's issues.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Each year, countless women face sexual harassment on the job in Israel--causing some to lose their positions when they complain. Others simply quit rather than file a complaint. During our visit yesterday to our new grantee, the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, we learned about their plan to provide in-depth consultations to several employers so they can reduce, and hopefully eliminate, this threat to their female (and male!) employees. Companies that adopt comprehensive plans would be eligible for citation--making Israel the first country in the world to recognize these good corporate citizens.
The Hadassah Foundation is excited to partner with the New Israel Fund's technical-assistance arm in Israel, Shatil, on its Equal Pay Project. Yesterday we learned about an online tool that they have developed that will enable employers to easily upload, anonymously, payroll data, and will produce a customized report indicating pay gaps, by sex, within job titles. They will also work closely with a handful of organizations to reduce any disparities in pay based on sex.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Today we had the priviledge of meeting Irit, pictured above, a leader in the 1000-member coalition of single mothers organized by our grantee, Yedid. Single mothers like Irit who cannot obtain child support from fathers receive up to $1450/month from the Israeli government. However, if they earn as little as $600/month, their payment is reduced--and encourages these women to stay out of the workforce. Though the Yedid campaign, women like Irit argue that child support should not be linked to the mother's income.
You can hear from Irit herself here.
We were fortunate to have lunch today with Hamutal Gouri (third from right, above), a colleague who directs the Dafna Fund, a feminist foundation in Israel. They are supporting sime of the same groups we support; they are also trying to build the feminist field as a whole in Israel via research and outreach to young feminist leaders.
Today we visited a project we fund at Hebrew University--the National Council of Jewish Women's program to train ultra-Orthodox women for positions in the early childhood field. We met members of the program's third cohort on their first day of classes, and they were a very enthusiastic bunch! About half of the program graduates work in NCJW early-childhood programs, with the others taking on other positions to bring much-needed income into their households.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
We could not pass through Jerusalem without taking a visit to Hadassah Hospital! It was an especially meaningful stop for Foundation Board Member Julie Morris, pictured above, who was honored for her (and her husband's) substantial generosity to the Hospital--and who unveiled a wall plaque in their name. Kol HaKavod, Julie!
With the Israeli elections only a week away, it was a propitious time to meet with our grantee, WEPOWER, a non-partisan group that trains women with leadership potential to run for office. Last year, we funded a project that trained first-term city councilwomen from the Negev to be better public servants; this year, we are funding programs targeting two different populations: one project fosters the leadership potential of women already involved in their community and the second will work with women in their 20s and 30s. WEPOWER estimates that about 80% of their alumnae either run for office thenselves or otherwise are involved in campaigns.
Today we met with two inspirational female entrepreneurs (pictured above)--Haya, who runs a cosmetology business, and Chani, a DJ who runs events for Orthodox women. The two are supported via our grant to Latet Atid, which provides micro-loans and mentoring to women with incomes at or near the poverty line.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Our grantee, the Rackman Center, pictured above, helps Israeli Jewish women obtain a religious divorce (a "get"), without which they are denied the right to remarry. About 33% of "secular" Jewish men, and about half of all religious Jewish men seeking a divorce in Israel, threaten to withhold a get in the hope of getting more money from their ex-partner during their divorce.
Our new grantee, the Israel Women's Network (staff pictured with us, above) is attempting to make well-paid blue collar jobs a more viable option for women. They will be working with Israel's Electric Company as well as with another large employer to improve their recruitment efforts and create company-wide practices (e.g. ensuring that female trade workers have access to single-sex showers and lockers.)
Our grantee, Itach--Maaki (staff pictured with us, above) is on the cutting edge of feminist issues in Israel. They have won major advances for preschool workers, the vast majority of whom are female. This past weekend, in advance of the Israeli elections next week, they had a program calling attention to the fact that several candidates on the new united Arab parties political list--at one of whom is a shoo-in to be elected to the Kneset, is a bigamist, in clear violation of Israeli law.
There are about 6500 Eritrean women in Israel, caught between a rock and a hard place: they left their war torn home in search of a better life in Israel, yet the Israeli government makes it near impossible to apply for refugee status. Pregnant women are often fired, illegally, from their black market, low-wage jobs, making life even more difficult for them. Our grant to Kav LaOved (staff pictured with us, above) enables them to serve this extremely vulnerable group.
Our first visit of the day was to Turning the Tables, the only organization in Israel training women attempting to leave prostitution for a legal livelihood. Clients engage in intensive sewing, designing and patternmaking classes--and many now earn at least some money each month from their new skills. They are now attempting to open a second studio and training program in Haifa by June; above, the Foundation joins Turning the Tables at their studio in Tel Aviv.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Today we met with Ronit Piso (pictured above, far right), the coordinator for Shutafot, an organization that coordinates certain advocacy efforts for eight leading Israeli feminist organizations, including several current and former Foundation grantees. Their latest initiative: to raise concerns about the current (and future) retirement income crisis for many Israeli women.
Today, as part of the Foundation's Board Mission to Israel, we met with our long-time grantee, Economic Empowerment of Women. EEW helps women start businesses, and provides follow up services to nascent business owners for five years after they finish the organization's formal training program. We met two EEW alum (pictured above)--Naomi, who is a glassworks artist with a shop in downtown Haifa, and Umaya, a pastry caterer who let us sample her delicious desserts!
Our journey to Israel began with a visit to the Workers' Advice Center--Ma'an, where we support a project that benefits Arab Israeli women who are exploited as agricultural workers. WAC works with both farmers and the women, cutting out middle men who take a percentage of these womens' very modest pay. The women also learn about their rights as workers.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
The Hadasssah Foundation is pleased to support the new Esther Fellowship at UCLA Hillel. The participants in the inaugural cohort, pictured above during a visit last week, are developing their skills as emerging leaders, and taking on leadership roles within Hillel as well as in other organizations across campus. The Foundation's grant to UCLA Hillel was one of four it made last year as part of its new focus in the U.S. on developing the leadership capacity of Jewish girls and young women.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Last week, the Hadassah Foundation held its first-ever house party in Los Angeles. Foundation Board Member Andrea Silagi, pictured bottom right, graciously opened her home to the crowd, who came to learn about the Foundation's work in the U.S. and in Israel. Many thanks, too, are due to Hadassah Southern California, which helped with logistics
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
The national board of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, just finished up a trip to Israel, and while there, visited one of the Foundation's grantees, Van Leer Institute. Naomi Chazan (left, above, with Liz Alpert, a board member of both the Foundation and HWZOA), the co-director of the Institute's Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere, told the group about the Center's gender index, which attempts to monitor the status of Israeli women on a year-to-year basis by looking at a number of indicators. The Foundation has supported this effort for three years.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Monday, February 2, 2015
So we have decided to extend the deadline for applications for the Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize to Monday, February 9th.
The Prize honors the achievements of an up-and-coming feminist leader--someone who is making a positive impact on the lives of Jewish girls and young women in the United States, or for Israeli women. It also provides the winner with something all-too-rare in the Jewish community: funds to pursue a professional development activity.
All (electronic-only) applications (now) are due by Monday, February 9th, 2015. More information can be found here.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Read more about the RFP here.