NEWS

Jewish Women’s Collective Response Fund Grants $125k to Support Israeli Women Post-Oct. 7

Courtesy of Itach Ma'aki

The Jewish Women’s Collective Response Fund, a new effort led by the Hadassah Foundation and Elluminate, is awarding grants of $25,000 each to support, elevate and empower Israeli women in the aftermath of October 7. (The grants are in addition to the Hadassah Foundation’s regular grantmaking for 2024.)

The Fund — representing the commitment of a total 11 Jewish women’s organizations throughout the country — was created by The Hadassah Foundation and Elluminate to support Israeli nonprofits actively and effectively working to give voice to women and advance equality in government and civil society as Israelis reprioritize and rebuild during and after wartime.

The five Israeli organizations receiving grants, each for $25,000, are:

The Adva Center, based in Tel Aviv, advances equality, social justice and gender-responsive policies in Israel, including giving voice in the Israeli government to women at a time when they are often excluded from decision-making.

Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, based in Jerusalem, raises awareness within Israeli communities and government of gender-based sexual violence and harassment; provides support, resources and advocacy for survivors; and leads calls internationally for accountability for the sexual terrorism committed against Israeli women on Oct. 7.

Itach Ma’aki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice, based in Tel Aviv, empowers and gives voice to Israeli women facing social, geographic, national, ethnic and economic discrimination by providing legal aid, engaging with activist groups and other allies, and identifying and promoting changes in national policy and legislation.

The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center, based at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, promotes the status and rights of women in matters of family law and works to end gender discrimination and inequality in Israel through advocacy and legislative change.

WePower, based in Azor, works to elevate women to influential and decision-making positions in Israel, focusing on erasing the gender gap in public and political arenas by identifying potential female leaders and training them for leadership positions, promoting gender-aware legislation to remove barriers, and advancing gender equality as a societal foundation.

All five are current or recent grant recipients of the Hadassah Foundation.

“We believe that women have and are bearing the brunt of this war, in multiple respects, revealing both specific and broad inequalities and challenges in familial, social, economic and civic spheres,” said Audrey Weiner, Chair of The Hadassah Foundation.

“These five grantee organizations have been and will continue to be on the forefront of changing the status quo for women and girls in Israel at a time when their voices and place in government and society are no less than crucial to the country’s reemergence from October 7th.”

In addition to Elluminate and The Hadassah Foundation contributing partners include the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago; the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh; the Women’s Amutot Initiative of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation; National Council of Jewish Women; Propel – The Jewish Women’s Fund (San Francisco); The Fund for Women and Girls at the Jewish Community Foundation of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington; The Miriam Fund (Boston); Women of Vision of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia; and Women of Reform Judaism.

The collaborative fund represents the second time the Hadassah Foundation has convened Jewish women’s funds to provide emergency support for Israeli women’s needs. In 2020, in response to the Covid pandemic and resulting increase in domestic violence, it brought together four other women’s funds to provide  financial resources to three Israeli nonprofit organizations that support survivors of domestic violence.

“Out of the darkness of October 7th came a real opportunity for leading Jewish women’s organizations to come together in the moment and to meet the moment,” said Stephanie Garry, President of Elluminate. (She is also a board member of the Hadassah Foundation.)

“We saw not only an opportunity to step out of our individual silos, but most importantly the imperative to do so, and create a collaborative paradigm of what women’s leadership can and should be to meet outstanding needs, work for permanent change, and unleash the visionary and philanthropic power of our collective community.”

Elluminate empowers trailblazing Jewish entrepreneurial women and visionary feminist philanthropists in their pursuit of systemic social change in the U.S., Israel, and beyond. Bringing together a diverse coalition of bold Jewish women, Elluminate addresses the unique challenges faced by female leaders, ensuring that they are supported and elevated as they battle to change the world.

Photo: Volunteers at a Jewish-Arab emergency relief center in the Negev that was co-created by Itach Ma’aki soon after October 7, 2023. (Courtesy of Itach Ma’aki)

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