HF Grantees in the News

Aug 30, 2023

It’s been a hot summer, and our grantees have been hard at work in both Israel and the United States. They are fighting to stop rollbacks of women’s rights, to protect women from violence — and much more.

Our almost 25 years of grantmaking has helped cultivate and grow a vibrant community of women’s leaders in Israel and the American Jewish community. Their work is critical right now. 

Last week our Visionary Partner grantee Jewish Women International led an amicus (friend of court) brief in the Supreme Court case United States v. Rahimi, to stop domestic abusers from owning firearms, a step that could save the lives of countless women in the United States.

Similarly, the relentless advocacy of several of our grantees, including the Israel Women’s Network and the Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women, led to the passage last month of a law that protects Israeli domestic violence survivors from their abusers by requiring those under restraining orders for domestic abuse to wear an electronic surveillance bracelet. It’s not as strong a law as they would have liked, but it’s a start.

And just a few weeks ago, when the New York Times ran a front-page story on the growing threats to women’s rights in Israel, it quoted the Rackman Center’s Ruth Halperin-Kaddari on  the expansion of Israel’s all-male rabbinical courts: “There is no other country in the global north, among states that are considered liberal democracies, that gives formal powers to a system that is totally, completely male and excludes women. Instead of abolishing this, Israel is going in the exact opposite direction and expanding their power.”

More News Articles Featuring Current and Recent HF Grantees

  • Government Excludes Women from Mechanisms of Governance, Data Shows In this Ynet article, Col. Maya Heller, chair of the executive committee of current grantee Forum Dvorah, which advances women in Israel’s foreign policy and national security sectors, says: “The absence of women from key positions is a serious injury to the women’s community in Israel and to the public as a whole. The message conveyed by this to women is that they are not citizens with equal rights. Beyond that, a situation has arisen where there is no one to represent the women’s voice.”
  • Separate, Not Equal: Religious Women Against Gender Segregation in Netanyahu’s Israel In this Haaretz article, leaders of our recent grantees Nivcharot (2020-’22) and the Center for Women’s Justice (2021-’23) explain why many Orthodox women are against Israel’s growing gender segregation efforts.
  • What Matters Now to Women’s Justice Lawyer Susan Weiss: The Rise of Theocracy. This Times of Israel podcast (a transcript is also provided) interviews the founder and executive director of recent grantee Center for Women’s Justice (2021-’23)
  • Teens as Partners in Combating Intimate Partner Violence Writing in eJewish Philanthropy, Shoshanna D. Frydman of recent grantee Shalom Task Force (2021-’23) details the success of the Purple Fellowship, a yearlong educational experience that equips juniors at Jewish day school students, nationally, with the skills, knowledge and real-life experience to become leaders in their schools and communities through the lens of gender violence and Jewish values.

Additional Recommended Articles About Threats to Women’s Rights in Israel

  • Why Women in Israel Are Terrified (Haaretz, August 30): An opinion piece by Lisa Namdar-Kaufman, an American-born Israeli screenwriter and translator, describing a recent protest she attended after Israeli women soldiers were prevented from singing at their army base.
  • After Latest Sacking, Only 1 of 33 Ministries Left with a Woman as Director General (Times of Israel, August 30): After Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel Atbaryan on Sunday fired her ministry’s director general, only one woman remains at the helm of the professional echelon in any of the government’s 33 ministries.
  • The Slippery Slope of Gender Segregation (Times of Israel, August 23): In this opinion piece, Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll, co-founder of Chochmat Nashim, explains why separate is almost never equal when it comes to gender segregation.

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