Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Grantee Profile: The Taub Center

The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel is a non-partisan socioeconomic research institute, developing innovative research and policy options that advance the well-being of Israelis. After finishing a report, the Taub Center will share their findings with key decision makers, including members of the Knesset, government agencies, and the media, to help shape a fact-based public conversation around a complicated issue.
The HF made a grant to the Taub Center to conduct research, and distribute its findings, about one of the most pressing economic issues impacting older Israeli women:  the gender gap in retirement income between women and men.  For the past few years, the Knesset has debated measures to raise the age at which women can receive a pension benefit and a government-funded old age payment from 62 to 65; the retirement age for men is 67.  The Taub Center has said that the focus on retirement age is not sufficient, and that policy makers must consider a range of issues that impact retirement income and which lead to a gender gap in pension payments.
Their report, "From employment to retirement: the pension gender gap in Israel," which was released last month, found that women in Israel are at a severe disadvantage vis-à-vis men when it comes to retirement income. Women's monthly income from job-related pensions is lower than that of men, on average, because women earn lower salaries, go on maternity leave, and tend to retire earlier from the labor market.  Their study found that even if women delay retirement until age 67, married women would receive a pension from their job that is 20% lower than married men, and single women garner pensions that are 27% lower than unmarried men.  Part of this disparity can also be attributed to Israeli law—unlike other developed countries, Israeli insurance companies, which manage and administer private pensions, may consider the recipient's sex when determining the pension payout; since women tend to live longer, their monthly payments are lower.
The Taub Center spells out a couple of potential policy changes that can improve economic conditions for elderly women, including raising the retirement age, finding solutions for maintaining continuity of pension and social security benefits during maternity leave and childcare; and reevaluating the gender aspects of private pensions.
Hadas Fuchs, one of the report's co-authors, said, "The key to narrowing the pension gap is narrowing the gaps that exist in the labor market." 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Former Tannenbaun Prize Winner Sharing Knowledge with NYU Law Students

Dr. Professor Yifat Bitton, a former winner of the Hadassah Foundation's Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize, and the founder, chairperson,  and senior attorney at an  HF grantee, Tmura—The Israeli Antidiscrimination Center, will be able to share her knowledge with U.S. students this fall. Prof. Bitton, who teaches at the Striks School of Law at the College of Management in Rishon LeZion and has been nominated twice for Israel's Supreme Court, is spending this fall at the NYU, where she serves as Visiting Faculty.  Last week, she moderated a program for NYU Law students about the status of women in Israel.  Above, left, former HF Board Member Ravit Barkama, who also attended the program, with Prof. Bitton in the center.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Hadassah Foundation Awards $515,000 in Grants in 2018!

The Hadassah Foundation is thrilled to announce that it has made $515,000 in grants in 2018! We are proud that since 2000, we have awarded approximately $8.3 million to nearly 100 nonprofit organizations in Israel and the United States that are advancing the cause of women and girls.
The following organizations are receiving grants in 2018:

Legal Aid
  • The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center at Bar Ilan University, $5,000: 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: 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, $20,000: Public interest law organization working on behalf of low-income Israeli women. Itach--Maaki helps women to file employment-related lawsuits and form peer support groups and educates the public about issues affecting women.  They received $5,000 in general operating support, and $15,000 for the Itach-Maaki Community, which enhances and enlarges the community of women lawyers dedicated to advancing the socio-economic rights of Arab-Israeli and Haredi women.
  • Tmura--The Israeli Center for Equality, $20,000--Females comprise only 2% of the prisoner population in Israel, and as a result, the unique needs of women in, and as they leave prison, are overlooked.  With Foundation funding, Tmura will provide female ex-convicts with training about their rights, teach them how to regain financial control of their lives, and access government benefits. 
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.
  • The Israel Women's Network, $24,000:  The Israel Women's Network (IWN), in cooperation with nine other Israeli feminist organizations, is working to preserve the economic well-being of mothers with young children during divorce proceedings.
  • 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 program, 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.
Workplace Discrimination
  • The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, $25,000: For an initiative to train and organize the ombudsmen at Israeli companies and organizations so they can better handle workplace sexual harassment complaints. 
  • 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.
Asset Building
  • Economic Empowerment for Women, $5,000:  For the promotion of asset development among low-income women who manage microenterprises, based on the U.S. model of the Individual Development Account.
  • Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, $15,000: The Taub Center received funds to write a report that will focus on the differences in women's and men's retirement income in Israel in comparison to other countries, and how this issue, alongside growing life expectancy, may impact the well-being of elderly women in Israel.
  • Yozmot Atid, $20,000: Yozmot Atid received funds for a microfinance and business development project that will enable 50 women living near or at the poverty level to create small businesses through microloans provided by Leumi Bank and through individual business coaching.           
Business Training & Entrepreneurship
  • Microfy, $13,000:  Microfy received support for a women's business forum for nascent business owners from South Tel Aviv.
  • Jasmine, $25,000:  Jasmine received support for its "Zinuk" program, which helps Jewish and Arab Israeli women who own or run small businesses that are between 2 and 6 years old to expand their operations and increase their profits. 
Vocational Training and Job Placement
  • ITWorks, $25,000: ITWorks received funds for its high-tech vocational training and placement program for 60 low-income single mothers.  
  • Tishreen, $25,000:  Tishreen received support for a job readiness program for Arab Israeli women from the Southern Triangle region. 
  • Turning the Tables, $20,000: Turning the Tables received funds for the Yotsrot Atid program, which provides Israeli women exiting prostitution with vocational training, work experience, and employment in the fashion trades.
Leadership Development
  • ANU, $25,000: ANU received funds to provide strategic and technological tools to the members of the Women's Activist Forum, to help them run more effective social and advocacy campaigns.
  • WEPOWER, $25,000: WEPOWER received funds for a program that encourages 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.
Leadership Development 
  • Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, $30,000:  The JCH received funds for the Women's POP (Positions of Power) Fellowship, which will engage a group of college-age women from the Russian-speaking Jewish emigre community in New York and focuses on civics, activism, and politics, all through the lens of Jewish values.
  • Jewish Community Center of Chicago, $20,000: The JCC received support for its Seed613 program, which provides teenage girls 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:  The JUF received support for the Research Training Internship (RTI), which enables teen girls to generate new knowledge about the lives and experiences of Jewish teen girls.  
  • jGirls, $25,000: jGirls received a grant for its online magazine written and edited by Jewish female teens which amplifies the voices of young Jewish women. 
  • Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy at Bar-Ilan University, $32,000: LVJA, an online school for Jewish Studies, received a grant to design and pilot an online course, Leadership Lab, a gender-sensitive, co-ed online course for 12- and 13-year olds that will develop age-appropriate leadership competencies and texts that will feature female leaders.  
  • Moving Traditions, $36,000:  Moving Traditions received a grant for Zazot, a new fellowship program for Jewish girls in grades 10-12, which will provide them with skills, mentorship, and hands-on leadership experience on issues they care about that affect the lives of women and girls.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hadassah Foundation Grantees Receive Genesis Prize Funds!

Congratulations to the seven current and seven former Hadassah Foundation grantees who were recognized by the Genesis Prize for their outstanding work with Israeli women!

These organizations will receive funding as winners of the Genesis Prize's Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality Israeli Grant Competition, which are being funded by the $1 million annual Genesis Prize award, and were doubled to $2 million in 2018 by Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn. Grant recommendations were reviewed and endorsed by an advisory committee that included the inaugural Genesis Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The 14 current and former HF grantees were among the 37 Israeli NGOs that receiving funding from Genesis; more than 220 groups applied for funds.  The complete list of winners can be found here.
The HF-affiliated awardees are current grantees Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, Center for Women's Justice, Jasmine, the Rackman Center, the Israel Women's Network, Itach-Maaki, WEPOWER, and former grantees Achoti, AJEEC-Nisped, Isha L'Isha, Kav LaOved, Mavoi Satum, Project Kesher, and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Grantee Profile: Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy

For the last several years, the Hadassah Foundation has partnered with the Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy (LJVA), which provides online learning to Jewish students around the globe--to-date, they have served about 2000 students in day schools, synagogue schools, and public schools in five countries!  This cutting-edge organization, which is transforming how Jewish education is taught, has been featured several times in the annual Slingshot Fund guide, which highlights especially innovative projects in the Jewish community.

 For two years, the HF supported the design and piloting of a new LJVA course for high-school age girls: In Their Footsteps: Women's Leadership in the Bible and Today.   Students study Biblical texts about female leaders to explore different conceptions of leadership, and then complete a social action project.  Last year, the HF supported the inclusion of a mentoring component, which enabled the course participants to interact with an adult in their home community in addition to their virtual classmates and teacher.

Although Lookstein has been pleased with the progress of In Their Footsteps, they came to an important realization as they implemented the program: gender norms about leadership are "baked in" from a very young age.  By the time a children reaches high school--the point at which most Jewish leadership programs begin--young people have already formulated notions about leadership that are often based on the stereotypes they witness firsthand. In fact, recent studies indicate that American teenagers hold significant gender biases, particularly about women in powerful leadership positions.

To address this problem, and to create a new narrative about leadership--and, in particular, female leadership--for young people, they sought the HF's support for a new program: Leadership Lab, a gender-sensitive online course for 7th and 8th grader students of both sexes that develops age-appropriate leadership competencies, including advocacy and activism, research and strategy, communication, and collaboration.   

In the first part of the program, youth will examine the live and work of Jewish women leaders who have led organizations, countries, and movements. Because all the leaders studied will be women, these females will become role models and points of reference for participants, thus helping to counter gender biases in the Jewish community.  The second part of the course will offer an opportunity to apply what they learn: the course will culminate with a multi-week simulation of a fictional "Universal Jewish Congress." Students will play the roles of junior representatives, and as such be assigned to task forces and committees. They will be required to research, debate with peers, work on proposals collaboratively, and vote on real-life issues that affect the Jewish community, including those related to gender (for example, compensation in Jewish non-profits.)

To give students explicit skill targets, a deeper understanding of their leadership trajectory, and to ensure that students have the freedom to grow at their own pace and in their own way, the students will be able to earn "badges" as they complete course tasks (like assignments) that will enable them to gain competency in different leadership skills. 

We are excited that through this program, LVJA will help rewrite the narrative for young people about what it means to be a powerful Jewish woman and leader!


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Meet the 2018 Tannenbaum Prize Winner!

The Hadassah Foundation has awarded the 2018 Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize to Michal Gera Margaliot, Executive Director of the Israel Women's Network (IWN) in Tel Aviv. 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.


Margaliot, pictured above, was awarded the prize for her work with IWN, where, as executive director since 2016, she has significantly increased the organization's media presence and influenced public debate about the status of women in Israeli society. Under her leadership, the IWN has established a network for the different feminist groups in Israel, forged numerous partnerships with governmental agencies, created a hotline that provides legal aid to ultra-Orthodox working women, and advocated for feminist employment policies and practices.


Earlier in her career, Margaliot was the parliamentary advisor to Knesset Member Merav Michaeli, and served as her chief of staff when Michaeli was the opposition whip. This experience, along with her LL.B and LL.M from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has enabled her to expand IWN's advancement of policy and legislation in the Knesset and in government ministries.


"I am humbled and honored to be recognized by a veteran and leading organization, the Hadassah Foundation, and in honor of a woman like Bernice Tannenbaum," said Margaliot. "Having the Hadassah Foundation recognize the work we are doing in Israel is most important for us, as we face constant attacks on women rights through gender segregation and exclusion of women from public spheres. Our long partnership is truly empowering and allows us to continue striving and fighting for equality for all women in Israel." 

Established in 1984, the Israel Women's Network (IWN) is a nonpartisan civil society organization working to advance the status of women in Israel by promoting equality and diversity via a range of innovative projects and programs that target change on a policy level. The IWN is responsible for some of the most prominent and precedent-setting gains towards women's equality in Israel over the years, including: admittance of women into the Israel's Air Force; enforcing women's representation in public companies' directorates; updating sexual harassment laws; extending maternity leave for working mothers; delaying the extension of women's retirement age; establishing a National Committee for the Advancement of Women in the Israeli Knesset; and an Israeli Supreme Court decision that shifted the burden of proof from employee to employer in wage-gap discrimination cases.

 "Michal Gera Margaliot is an outstanding leader in the Israeli feminist movement," said Julie Morris, chair of the Hadassah Foundation.  "We are excited to honor her achievements to-date, and feel she has the potential to have an even greater impact on Israeli society."

The Prize provides $500 in general operating support to the IWN, as well as $2,500 to further Margaliot's professional development.  Margaliot will use her Prize to fund her communication skills to increase the visibility of the IWN and the status of Israeli women to a non-Israeli public and the English-speaking media.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Win for Israeli Women in Israel's Rabbinic Court System

The Rackman Center, a Foundation grantee, has won a two-year old battle against Israel's rabbinic court system. Thanks to the efforts of the Rackman Center, a woman was appointed to serve as a judicial assistant in an Israeli rabbinic court — one of the most senior positions in the Orthodox-run court system.

Shira Ben-Eli was appointed to her position on the Jerusalem District Labor Court earlier this month. In this role, she will have close contact with the court's decision making process.

Nearly two years ago, the Rackman Center filed a lawsuit against the Civil Service Commission and the rabbinical courts administration, calling for equality in Israel's rabbinical courts, particularly for non-rabbinic positions.  As a result of their suit, the requirement that a judicial assistant have [Orthodox] rabbinic ordination or qualification as a dayan, a rabbinic judge--both of which are limited to men in Israel--ultimately was lifted.

Read more about the victory here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Grantee Profile: ITWorks

ITWorks is an Israeli organization dedicated to creating opportunities in Israel's booming hi-tech industry for those outside of the economic mainstream.  It was established in 2006 by Ifat Baron (a former winner of the Foundation's Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize!) who wanted to address the mismatch between the tech industry, and its ever-expanding need for employees, and those who have been left behind.  ITWorks offers training programs for in-demand positions in hi-tech, and uses its ties to approximately 130 partner employers to place its program graduates.  One key element of their programs: they do not start a new training program unless there is a demonstrated interest by the government to take it to scale after being piloted by ITWorks.  Over the years, 5,000 people have benefited from their training programs, and 3,500 have found meaningful employment—83% of whom have stayed on the job for more than a year.

The Foundation's current grant to ITWorks is for several training programs that target low-income single mothers.  ITWorks has created courses for them to work in payroll accounting and human resources in hi-tech firms, providing these women with market-ready skills.  They then work with companies to create positions that enable these women to balance employment with their child-rearing responsibilities.  Pictured above: the latest cohort of single mothers to graduate from their payroll accounting class—as of graduation, several had already passed an accounting industry exam, and were on their way to being placed!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Foundation Alum "Shares the WOW"

Donna Orender, a Foundation Board alum, just released a new book: "WOWsdom! The Girl's Guide to the Positive and the Possible."  The book contains letters from men and women  from all walks of life to their younger selves, where they share their hard-earned wisdom.  Donna has created a national organization that has created curriculum for girls' groups based on this material--and is encouraging everyone to share the book (a.k.a. "share the WOW") with the young women in their lives. Mazel tov, Donna!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Good to See You Again! Hadassah Foundation Hosts Alumnae Luncheon

Earlier this month, the Foundation hosted its first-ever luncheon for its Board alumnae, as part of its "Chai Year" celebration of 18 years of grant making.  Our dedicated Board members (pictured above, and alumnae, top) are permitted to serve for a maximum of six years--which means we have a powerful collection of alumnae! The luncheon was a great opportunity to renew old friendships and create new ones, all while learning about the current work of the Foundation. A highlight of the gathering was a presentation by Prof. Yifat Bitton, the founder, chairperson, and senior attorney at Tmura – The Israeli Antidiscrimination Center, which fights for the rights of women who have suffered sexual, physical, and economic abuse; she is also a professor at the Striks School of Law at the College of Management in Israel.  Prof. Bitton, a former winner of the Foundation's Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize, is also a two-time nominee for the Israel's Supreme Court.    

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hadassah Foundation Grantees in the 2018 Slingshot Fund Guide

Congratulations to the seven current and former Hadassah Foundation grantees included in the 2018 edition of the Slingshot Fund Guide!  The annual guide highlights the most innovative organizations in the Jewish community, and provides additional visibility to these nonprofits and the causes they support.  The six Foundation-affiliated groups in the national edition of the guide are:  Hazon, jGirls Magazine, Keshet, Mayyim Hayim Living Waters Community Mikveh, Moving Traditions, Yeshivat Maharat.  Another grantee, AVODAH, was cited in a separate guide that highlighted outstanding Chicago-based groups.  Mazel tov!  The guides can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Grantee Profile: Tishreen

The Tishreen Association, which works with youth and women in the southern Triangle region of Israel, is opening up a world of opportunity for Arab-Israeli women who are participating in the Foundation-funded Women's Economic Empowerment program.

The Triangle--a concentration of Israeli-Arab towns in the central part of the state—is not far, as the crow flies, from several major population centers. But for many residents of these town, and in particular, for the women, these cities, and the economic opportunities that they offer, might as well be on another continent.  Many of these women have never worked outside the home, due to family obligations, local cultural norms, and poor public transportation. In addition, many lack the Hebrew language skills that are necessary for employment.  To compound matters, local opportunities for jobs are quite limited—the area, which has a poor educational infrastructure and a high crime rate, also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

For the past two years, the Hadassah Foundation has supported Tishreen's efforts (in partnership with Naamat, the largest women's organization in Israel) to provide job-readiness skills, basic computer skills, and Hebrew language instruction to local women. They also place the women in jobs—including as cashiers, cleaners and day care workers—in both Arab-Israeli and Jewish-Israeli towns.  Graduates of the program remain connected and supported via an employment club, which includes those seeking jobs as well as those who have already been placed.

When the Hadassah Foundation visited the program last year (pictured above), Board members were moved by the first-hand testimonies of women who said that the program provided them with a sense of agency and hope for a better future.

In an evaluation of the program, one of the participants told Tishreen:  "This course it is the best thing that has happened to us.  We are productive and we, and those in our lives, notice that we are gradually developing and becoming more capable."

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Reason to Kvell: JWA's Rising Voices Fellowship Graduation Ceremony

I had the honor of speaking to the next generation of Jewish women leaders at Sunday's Graduation Ceremony for the Rising Voices Fellowship, a program of the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) that is supported by the Hadassah Foundation, where I serve as a Board member.


Launched in 2013, the JWA's Rising Voices Fellowship ( is a national program for female-identified teens in 10th-12th grades who have an interest in feminism, Judaism, social justice, and writing. The Fellowship teaches teens how to develop authentic voices, strengthen their leadership through writing, and influence important conversations in the Jewish community.


I found this year's cohort to be sophisticated, intelligent, and thought-provoking leaders. This group came from New York, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. I was particularly impressed with their discussions about the female role models in their lives (including their mothers and grandmothers, and female rabbis and cantors) and the impact these women had on shaping the thoughts of these young women regarding feminism, activism and leadership. It's clear to me that this group will be influential feminist leaders at their colleges and beyond.


JWA is a national organization dedicated to collecting and promoting the extraordinary stories of Jewish women. JWA's website,, is the world's largest collection of information about Jewish women, drawing more than 1.6 million visitors a year from all over the world. JWA also hosts public programs, sparks conversations through its podcast and blog and on social media, offers acclaimed educational programs, and is a leader among feminist, Jewish, and historical organizations. I am proud to be a former Board member and Treasurer of JWA; I currently serve on its Finance and Investment Committees.


I'm so proud of the girls I met, and am honored to serve on the Board of the Hadassah Foundation.

--Roz Garber Toledano

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Meet Our New Board Members!

The latest cohort of outstanding women to join our Board include:

Livia Asher, from Madison, WI, is a financial services professional recently retired from a Wall Street career in which she was a stock analyst for First Boston and Merrill Lynch and a portfolio manager for a variety of mutual funds at several financial management firms, including Madison Investment Advisors; CUNA Mutual Group/Members Capital Advisors; Mitsubishi Trust NY; and Allianz of America.  She currently or recently served in a variety of board leadership roles for many local and national organizations including: Hadassah Madison; Jewish Federation of Madison, where she received its Volunteer Service Award; Jewish Social Services; and her local synagogue, Beth Israel Center.  She has a BA from Queens College and an MBA from Long Island University.

Renee Evans, of Milton, GA, has had a long career as an educator in a variety of settings, including at Florida State University, and in the Georgia, Florida, and Texas school systems. She has also worked as a quality control laboratory analysis specialist, as a family service counselor, as an author, and as a business owner.   She is an active volunteer with the Jewish Federation of North America Israel and Overseas National Board, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Lion of Judah, the Republican Party, Friends of the IDF, the JDC, the AJC, and is an Historic Royal Palaces Patron.  She is a graduate of Florida State University.

Tracey Spiegelman, of Coral Gables, FL, works in the field of luxury residential real estate.   She was a founding member and served as president of the Hadassah Chavurot Chapter in Miami and was a participant in the Young Leaders Mission in 1999.  She also serves as a board member of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation (GMJF), chairs the Women's Amutot Initiative, and in 2013, was honored as the recipient of the Stanley C. Myers Presidents' Leadership Award by the GMJF. She serves on the Executive Board of Temple Beth Am as the Vice President of Religious Life. She is also involved with the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, Jewish Community Services, Shalom Bayit, Teach for America, United Way of Miami Women's Initiative and Tocqueville Society and the Honey Shine Mentoring Program. She is a graduate of Florida International University.

Welcome aboard!  We look forward to welcoming them in person at our next Board meeting, in June.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Victory Against Gender Segregation in Israel

The Israel Women's Network, a Foundation grantee, won an important court victory last week:  Israel's Labor Court ruled that the state is not allowed to hold a gender-segregated training course for civil servants.

The court accepted the IWN's position that a training program intended exclusively for male civil servants is a discriminatory practice, even if it serves an important purpose of integrating the Ultra-Orthodox population in the civil service in Israel. The court ordered that if at least 10 women will not be enrolled in the course, it will be discontinued. The IWN claimed that when the state conducts a segregated course, it accepts and institutionalizes gender segregation that cannot be accepted in a democratic state. 

IWN director and attorney Michal Gera Margaliot said the court had delivered a clear message that gender separation in civil service was prohibited.

"You cannot take us backwards by decades, and acceptance for employment cannot be done according to gender," she said. "It would be better for the state to integrate haredi men and women in the civil service and not lead toward the ejection of women from the public domain and the workforce."


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

She's Running for Mayor!

Galit Shaul, CEO of the Rackman Center, a Hadassah Foundation grantee, is running for mayor of the Emek Hefer Regional Council in Israel!  In an op-ed, Shaul says that she was inspired by the #MeToo movement in the US, which quickly became a social movement in Israel, too.  

The Hadassah Foundation is proud investor in programs that empower women and girls in Israel and in the United States--and is thrilled to see such a capable woman whom we have supported seek out a position of power!

You can read Shaul's piece (in English) here.

The Future of Feminist Funding in Israel

Hamutal Gouri, the outgoing director of the Dafna Foundation--and a long-time partner with the Hadassah Foundation--penned a must-read essay in about the future of funding for feminist activities in Israel.  She also discusses the feminist conference held in Israel last month, which was organized by Dafna and the National Council of Jewish Women, and which was attended by the Hadassah Foundation.

You can read the piece here.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sexual Harassment at the UN

Orit Sulitzeanu (above, center), executive director of our grantee, the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, participated in a panel at the United Nations today about sexual harassment within the U.N. itself. It was painfully clear, based on statements from U.N. personnel, that the Hadassah Foundation-supported project, to create a workable anti-sexual harassment code in the workplace, could make a real difference there.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Snow Days...and an Extention for Tannenbaum Prize Applications

Because our office has been closed so many days over the past couple of weeks due to snow/inclement weather—and we know that so many of our friends have also experienced disruptions due to the weather—we have decided to extend the deadline for the Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize until Tuesday, March 27, 5 pm ET, in order to accommodate those who asked for a couple of more days to complete the application.

As you may recall, the prize provides $2500 for a professional development activity (e.g. to attend a class or conference, or coaching) to an emerging professional (less than about 15 years of experience) who is working to advance the cause of Israeli women or Jewish girls and women in the United States.

The application can be downloaded here:

A Timely Haggadah for the #MeToo Era

A year before #MeToo hit the mainstream, a program supported by the Hadassah Foundation, the Jewish United Fund of Chicago's Research Training Internship (RTI) program, created a Passover haggadah that explores sexual violence and rape culture. This year, they are aiming for the haggadah to go viral.

"The Revenge of Dinah: A Feminist Seder on Rape Culture in the Jewish Community," was compiled last year by students participating in (RTI), a 10-month paid internship that brings together a dozen high-school-aged girls from across the Chicago area to complete a project using feminist research methodologies.  Stephanie Goldfarb, who leads up the program, received the Foundation's Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize, which is awarded annually to an emerging professional making a difference in the lives of girls and women in Israel or the United States' Jewish community.

Last year, the girls used the haggadah at seder for about 50 peers and a handful of adults.  This year, however, they feel the timing is ripe to share it with the larger Jewish community.  Download the haggadah here  and read more about the program and haggadah in this featured article in

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Combating Violence Against Women

At the Force for Change Israel Mission today, we heard from a panel of experts who are attempting to limit violence against women.  These included the director of our former grantee, Women's Spirit, which helps female victims of domestic violence regain their economic footing, as well as Orit Sulitzeanu (above right), director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel. The problem is particularly acute in the Israeli Arab population, which is exacerbated by the Israeli police force's inattention to the issue--80% of the so-called honor killings/femicide in the Israeli Arab community remain unsolved.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

NextGen Israeli Feminists

The Force for Change Mission heard from the next generation of Israeli feminists today, including those who represent the Arab Israeli and Russian immigrant community. Not surprisingly, social media is an important organizing tool for these young women, who each have thousands of followers on various platforms. But all agreed that face-to-face meetings and gatherings is an important strategy in their toolkit. They stressed the need for Israeli feminists to address the needs of a wider range of women  (e.g. non-Askenazi women, those of lesser means, and those who live beyond Israel's largest cities.)

Knesset Visit

The Force for Change Mission met yesterday with two female members of the Knesset: Penina Tamanu-Shatu (top), the first Ethiopian woman in the Knesset (and an alum of Olim Beyachad, a Foundation grantee) and Aida Touma-Sulieman (above), chair of the Knesset Committee on Gender Equality and founder of another former Foundation grantee, Women Against Violence. Touma, in particular, spoke about the challenges of being a politician who is seen as a representative of her demographic community (female, Palestinian Israeli)--she said her male peers in the Knesset do not face the burden.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

#feministsinIsrael explore Israeli politics with Foundation grantees

Today's sessions at the Force for Change Conference focused on women making a difference in Israel's political system.  This included Maha Shehade from Itach-Maaki (top left), Galit Shaul from the Rackman Center (top middle) and Liel Even Zohar (WePower.) Shaul even announced that she herself was running for Mayor of her town!
We capped the day with a performance and conversation with feminist actor/writer/director Gabriella Lev, who runs the Theatre Company Jerusalem, yet another former grantee!

#feministsinIsrael Mission Begins!

Yesterday was the first full day of the joint feminist mission to Israel sponsored by the Jewish Women's Funding Network, the National Conference of Jewish Women, and the Dafna Fund.  We are 60 strong from across the US ( and two Aussies!) Last night's panel featured Hamutal Gouri, director of Dafna, (above left) and two Hadassah Foundation grantees, the Center for Women's  Justice's director, Susan Weiss (above right) and Yael Yechieli-Persico, from Shatil-New Israel Fund. The topic: religion and state in Israel, and its negative impact on women, particularly in respect to marriage and divorce.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

JWA's Rising Voices Fellowship Seeking Applicants!

Our grantee, the Jewish Women's Archive, is seeking applications for its next cohort of the Rising Voices Fellowship.  This is a leadership development program for female-identified teens who have a passion for writing, and a strong interest in feminism and Judaism—particularly as they relate to social justice.  Applications are due March 28th, 2018. For more information, and to apply, go to:

Seeking an Up-And-Coming Feminist Leader!

The Hadassah Foundation is seeking nominations for its annual Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize. 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 that is all-too-rare in the Jewish community: funds to pursue a professional development activity. 

All (electronic-only) applications are due by Noon, ET, Monday, March 19, 2017. The application and guidelines can be downloaded at

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Hadassah Foundation Now Accepting Proposals for US Grants

The Hadassah Foundation is seeking proposals for projects, curricula, and training programs that will enhance the leadership capacity of Jewish girls and young women ages 12-30 in the United States. All applications, to be submitted by email only, are due by February 5, 2018.  The grant term will be July 1, 2018–June 30, 2019.  The Foundation will provide a limited number of one-year grants of up to $40,000, and, potentially, one three-year grant of up to $25,000 a year for three years.
Complete guidelines, as well as the cover sheet and project budget sheet that all applicants are required to use, can be downloaded at

Know Someone Improving the Lives of Girls and Women?

The Hadassah Foundation is seeking nominations for its annual Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize. 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 that is all-too-rare in the Jewish community: funds to pursue a professional development activity. 

All (electronic-only) applications are due by Monday, March 19, 2018.  Application and guidelines can be downloaded at