Tuesday, March 15, 2016

#Slingshot16 Guide Honors 10 Hadassah Foundation Grantees

The latest edition of the Slingshot Guide was just released, and once again, a number of Foundation grantees were lauded for their achievements and innovation.  The Guide, which is published annually, draws attention to innovation and excellence in the Jewish community.  Current and former grantees in the guide include: Created Equal (of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America); Hazon; KESHET; and Moving Traditions.  

For the third year in a row, Slingshot has also released a supplement that highlights innovative organizations that serve women and girls.  Once again, the Foundation's current and former grantees were well represented:  AVODAH; Created Equal; the Hebrew Free Loan Society; JOFA: Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance; Mayyim Hayyim; Moving Traditions; Shalom Bayit; and Yeshivat Maharat.
Congrats to them all!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Trading a Pink Collar for a Blue Collar

Too many working women in Israel are stuck in low-paying, pink collar jobs.  The Israel Women's Network is trying to increase their income--as well as break down critical stereotypes--by working with employers to make typical "male" jobs a better fit for women.  For example:  the IWN, in cooperation with a rapidly-expanding bus company, held an open house for the firm (see a picture of the flyer, above) that targeted several dozen potential female drivers. Now four women are on their way to better paid, union jobs with benefits.   

WEPOWER: Encouraging Young Israeli Women to Become Civically Engaged

As a result of grant from the Hadassah Foundation to WEPOWER, young women in Israel with great potential--such as Hadas, a modern Orthodox woman from the town of Omer (above, center), and Kefah, a young Bedouin leader, (above, right)--are being groomed for leadership positions.  As part of the Atidot (Women of the Future) Program, a cohort of young women have learned specific leadership skills, developed a vision for how they will impact society, and were paired with mentors in the public or non profit sectors.  One member of the group, Vered (not pictured) has set her sights on a seat in the Knesset--and was paired with a current female of the Knesset to help her on her way!  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ensuring Arab Israeli Women Get at Least the Minimum Wage

In Nazareth, Foundation Grantee Kav LaOved is conducting a campaign to ensure that Arab Israeli women are paid a fair wage.  Gadeer Nicola, a lawyer who heads up the Kav LaOved office in Nazaeth (and who, unfortunately, is camera-shy!) explained that they serve many Arab Israeli women who are not paid the legal minimum wage.  A number of these women work in private pre-schools, as well as in the foster-care system; others work as contractors. She said that the government's enforcement of wage rules is more sporadic in the Arab sector than in the Jewish sector, which in turn discourages some women from seeking employment. Kav LaOved will advertise their services via Arab-language radio ads and social-media sites, thereby educating the public at large about employment rules covering minimum wage, sex discrimination, and the rights of pregnant workers.

Finding Jobs for Arab Israeli Teachers--in Jewish Schools

There is a significant mismatch in the job market for Israeli Arab women.  Many of these women with college degrees have studied education--but there are few available teacher slots in schools that serve Israel's Arab community. At the same time, many of the schools that serve the Jewish Israeli community lack sufficient English, math, and science teachers. A new Foundation grantee, Merchavim, plays matchmaker, placing the Arab-Israeli teachers with appropriate subject-area expertise in Jewish schools. At the Gvanim School in Kadima-Zuran, several such teachers, pictured above, are now on the staff.  Merchavim works with both the teachers and the principals to ensure that the placement is successful.   

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Isha L'Isha: Fighting for Justice for Contract Workers

In Haifa, women who clean municipal buildings used to be city employees--but now they are contract workers, toiling at a lower wage and without benefits. The Hadassah Foundation is supporting the work of Isha L'Isha (Women for Women) to get them back on the payroll, as well as opening up municipal tenders in Haifa to more female-owned businesses. Ronit Piso, above, is heading up the project for the group.

Women's Spirit: Giving Victims of Domestic Violence a New Beginning

Foundation grantee Women's Spirit has a unique mission when it comes to female victims of domestic violence in Israel. While other nonprofits and government agencies provide these women with social services and counseling, the staff (pictured above) and the many volunteers who power Women's Spirit help them get on their feet financially.  The Tel Aviv group now also works with women at a shelter in Haifa, and is working with banks to ensure that women who are in debt due to their ex-husbands' activities will be treated in a more understanding manner.

EEW Helps Female Business Owners Invest in their Own Enterprises

Economic Empowerment for Women is one of the Foundation's long-term grantees, teaching basic economic literacy and entrepreneurship to low-income Israeli women. The staff of the Haifa- based EEW, pictured above, works with women across the country and with just about every population group, from Arab Israelis (including the Druze) to the Ultra-Orthodox.  Since women entrepreneurs are less likely than men to invest any extra funds they may have into their business,  EEW created a savings program that attempts to address this discrepancy:  women who commit to saving funds earmarked for their businesses are eligible for a matching grant from EEW.