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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.

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