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 $330,000 in grants to 21 Israeli organizations that enhance economic opportunities for women in Israel.
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. In 2017, the Foundation is marking its "Chai" anniversary—18 years (and more than $7.6 million in grants to over 90 nonprofit organizations) devoted to improving the lives the girls and women.
Last year, the Foundation made grants totaling $545,000—it awarded $365,000 to 21 Israeli organizations which work to support Israeli women from all walks of life, as well as $180,000 to six organizations in the United States as part of its initiative to strengthen leadership development opportunities for young Jewish women.
Julie Morris, Chair of the Foundation, said, "Our grantees are striving to make Israel a more equitable place for women, and lifting motivated women out of poverty."
In addition to two first-time grantees, the Foundation also awarded "sustaining" grants for the fifth consecutive year. These grants provide general operating support to four long-term grantees that have played a particularly critical role in promoting the economic security of women in Israel.
The 2017 grants were awarded to the following organizations:
- Bar Ilan University, The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): Provides legal counsel to women seeking a divorce. It works proactively to improve policy and practice by educating future family lawyers to safeguard women's rights and advocating for changes in Israeli family law.
- Center for Women's Justice, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): Pursues precedent-setting litigation and legal advocacy on behalf of women who have suffered unjust treatment, discrimination, or whose basic human rights have been infringed upon when seeking a divorce.
- Itach-Maaki—Women Lawyers for Social Justice, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): Public interest law organization working on behalf of low-income Israeli women. Itach helps women to file employment-related lawsuits and form peer support groups and educates the public about issues affecting women.
Policy Education and Coalition Building
- Adva, $10,000: For the Negev Forum of Women Business Leaders, which aims to increase the economic power of Bedouin and Jewish businesswomen from more than 20 Negev communities, who will receive training and mentoring so they can plan and implement civic initiatives that increase women's economic opportunities.
- Isha L'Isha, $15,000: For an advocacy project that has two goals: to change laws and policies so as to increase the participation and success rate of women-owned businesses in tenders issued by the Haifa Municipality, and to advocate for the direct employment of women in custodial jobs for that municipality, rather than employing them as contractors through an outside employment agency, as is currently the case.
- New Israel Fund, Shatil, $15,000: For the Advancing the Rights of Women in Public Housing program, which aims to protect the rights of single mothers in public housing—an estimated 77% of the families in public housing are headed by single women—and expand eligibility criteria so that more such families can get housing support.
- Yedid, $8,000: For the Single Mothers for Change, which strives to provide greater economic security for low-income single mothers. Working with a network of more than 800 low-income single female parents, YEDID will educate and advocate for public policies to improve the economic security of single parents and their children, focusing specifically on Israel's child-support law.
The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, $25,000: For the Enhancing Security in the Workplace project, which will enable it to implement an anti-sexual harassment code at several leading Israeli employers, with the goal of making this a model program for other Israeli workplaces.
Merchavim, $15,000: For the Arab Teacher Integration in Jewish Schools Initiative, which places Arab Israelis trained as teachers—the vast majority of whom are female—in Jewish Israeli schools. This program aims to reduce the high level of unemployment of female teachers in the Arab sector, address a shortage of teachers in Jewish Israeli schools, and promote intergroup relations.
Employment Conditions of Low-Income Women
- Kav LaOved—Worker's Hotline, $20,000: For a legal assistance and advocacy program to improve working conditions of 60,000 migrant caregivers working in Israel, 80% of whom are women and the vast majority of whom are working under problematic conditions.
- Workers' Advice Center—Ma'an, $25,000: For the Arab Women in Agriculture program, which enables Arab Israeli women who live in the periphery to take on agricultural work under improved circumstances—including guaranteed (and properly documented) pay at at least the legal minimum wage.
- Economic Empowerment for Women, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): For the promotion of asset development among low-income women who manage microenterprises, based on the U.S. model of the Individual Development Account.
- Project Kesher Israel, $12,000: For financial training to women from the former Soviet Union, who, due to language and cultural issues, do not know how to manage their finances or work with Israeli financial institutions.
Business Training & Entrepreneurship
- Microfy, $18,000: For a women's business forum for nascent business owners from South Tel Aviv.
- PresenTense, $24,000: For the Yazamiot Venture Accelerator, an eight-month program that will train 15-20 ultra-Orthodox women entrepreneurs to launch small or social businesses, or grow existing ones.
Vocational Training and Job Placement
- The Israel Women's Network, $25,000: For the Towards Integrating Women in the Male Trades project, which aims to close the gender gap which exists in the Israeli workforce in general, and in mid-level professional trades in particular, by integrating women into positions typically defined as "male trades," such as electricians, carpenters, drivers, and more.
- Machshava Tova, $20,000: For a program that trains low-income women in app (application) development, so they can gain a foothold in the rapidly developing mobile telephone data field.
- The National Council of Jewish Women Research Institute for Innovation in Education at Hebrew University, $25,000: For the Training Ethiopian Women for the Workforce as Educators in the Pre-School Sector program, which will enable these women to bring much-needed income into their lower-income homes.
- Tishreen, $25,000: For a job readiness program for Arab Israeli women from the Southern Triangle region.
- Women's Spirit, $5,000: For the Seeds of Growth program, which will provide 400 women victims of violence of prime working age (20-60) with tools and support to reintegrate successfully in the employment world and achieve financial independence.
- WEPOWER, $25,000: For a program to support women completing their first five-year term as city council members to run for a second term, since, traditionally, half of such women do not run for second term.