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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.