Hadassah Foundation Awards Visionary Partner and Spark Grants

Photo: Moving Traditions

Moving Traditions, an organization that uses a gender lens to embolden North American Jewish youth to thrive, has been awarded a $130,000 “Visionary Partner” grant from the Hadassah Foundation.

The organization, which combines positive psychology with Jewish values, partners with Jewish institutions across North America to engage Jewish teens, families, and communities. It joins the Israel-based WePower and the U.S-based Jewish Women International, which were awarded Visionary Partner grants in 2022, in this honored group of Hadassah Foundation grantees.

The Visionary Partner grant, payable over five years, goes to trusted past grantees whose missions align with the Hadassah Foundation’s and whose work is especially timely. This unrestricted grant allows organizations that promote gender equality in Israel and the United States to enjoy a modicum of security about their operating revenues. The Foundation relies on Visionary Partner grantees for their advice and expertise and seeks to encourage partnerships and networking among their leaders. Unlike the Foundation’s other grants, which require an application process, the Visionary Partner grant is awarded based the strength of the organization and its leadership, and the success of prior grant awards..

The Hadassah Foundation also announced the three inaugural recipients of its Spark grant, a $20,000 grant specifically designed for innovative startup organizations. They are:

  • ASLI: Israel White Ribbon Organization, which works to engage men and boys in the effort to eliminate violence towards women in both public and private spheres. ASLI is the only men-led and men-oriented organization in Israel working to prevent violence towards women.
  • The Friendship League of Culture and Sports (Israel), which empowers women and girls from diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities in Israel by engaging them in the highly participatory and enjoyable game of catchball.
  • Kamochah (United States), which aims to normalize the presence and experiences of Black Orthodox Jews in all sectors of Jewish communal life, including camps, schools, and synagogues. In addition, it celebrates the richness of Black Jews’ racial heritage while holding fast to Torah observance.

The Friendship League grant is underwritten by the Julie Morris Ner Tamid Fund, which was established earlier this year in memory of past board chair Julie Morris.

“We are pleased to be supporting a diverse group of organizations this year, all of which are focused on improving the lives of women and girls,” said Hadassah Foundation Chair Audrey Weiner. “Our Israel grants will be even more important as the country recovers from the Oct. 7 attack and its war with Hamas. And the Hadassah Foundation has been investing in Moving Traditions, our new Visionary Partner, not just since its founding in 2005, but even before, when it was a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. It has been gratifying and inspiring to watch it grow and develop into one of the leading organizations serving Jewish youth in North America and an organization that works beautifully in partnership with others.”

Spark Grants Committee Co-Chair Joanna Golden said, “By funding startups, as well as established organizations, the Hadassah Foundation is both seeding and cultivating the gender equity ecosystem. Just as our early investment in Moving Traditions enabled it to grow and flourish, we hope our support for the three Spark grantees ultimately helps them achieve comparable success and impact.”

Shuli Karkowsky, Moving Traditions’ CEO, said, “We feel honored and grateful to be selected as a Hadassah Foundation Visionary Partner. The Foundation’s commitment to funding Moving Traditions over many years has taught us not just that the Foundation invests in organizations continually committed to deeply Jewish and feminist work, but also that it rewards organizations as they adapt and evolve.”

“Most recently, it’s helped us teach teens how to find their voice and to become changemakers in the world,” she added, referring to Moving Traditions’ Meyer-Gottesman Kol Koleinu (All Our Voices) program, a fellowship for Jewish feminist teens. “We’re excited by what the Visionary Partner grant will enable us to achieve.”

Along with the Visionary Partner and Spark grants, the Foundation awards two other categories of grants:

  • Core: $80,000 grants paid over three years, for leading organizations that advance the status of girls and women of all backgrounds in Israel and within the Jewish community in the United States. The Foundation’s 2023 Core grantees are Forum Dvorah (Israel), the Gender Equity in Hiring Project (U.S.), Israel Women’s Network (Israel), Itach Ma’aki Women Lawyers for Social Justice (Israel), and QueenB (Israel). Learn more about these organizations and other Hadassah Foundation grantees here.
  • Discretionary: Four $5,000 grants selected annually at the discretion of the Foundation’s director. These grants, which this year will go to current and past Israeli grantees responding directly to needs from the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and Israel’s ongoing war, will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Foundation recently supplemented its regular grantmaking with two emergency gifts in response to the crisis in Israel: $36,000 to Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America for the Hadassah Medical Organization’s trauma services, and $10,000 to Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel Crisis Fund.

Established in 1999, the Hadassah Foundation is the largest Jewish women’s foundation in the world. It has invested more than $11 million in social change organizations serving women and girls in the United States and Israel, bringing needed attention to pressing issues that impact gender equality.

Photo courtesy of HF grantee Moving Traditions

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