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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