Staffers at two current Foundation grantees in Israel–Orit Sulitzeanu, Executive Director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, and Maki Hacham Neeman, founder, and Tamar Schwarz, CEO, of Women’s Spirit–as well as Efrat Pudem, who works for a former grantee, the Tmura Center—were lauded for their work on behalf of women victims of violence at a special ceremony at the Israel President’s residence late last month.

The women all received the Minister of Social Equality 2016 Award for Organizations Fighting Violence against Women to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.  The Award – given for the first time in Israel – was granted to five organizations that significantly contributed to combating violence against women in Israel.

 The Minister for Social Equality, Gila Gamliel, said in her speech that:  "The violence against women crosses sectors. It is a problem for all of us and is reflected at all levels, and therefore should be fought against using new legislation initiatives, stronger enforcement measures, more educational means and rapid developing of legal tools. A healthy society should encourage and acknowledge the importance of organizations operating to eradicate violence against women and humankind. I pledge to introduce soon a national plan to combat violence against women, with the aim of having zero incidents of violence against them. This is not just a wishful thinking; it rather is a strategic objective essential to securing the social strength of Israel."

President Reuven Rivlin also supported this mission at the ceremony, stating in his speech: "Violence against women is everywhere, it is present and persistent. It is not only physical and verbal, but is also emotional and sometimes even financial. Even today, despite advances in the legal sphere, social and mass media still report every day about the devastating effects of violence against women."
Mazel tov!