Next Steps for Women in Israel

On December 19, hundreds of people attended “The War’s Impact on Women in Israel,” featuring Dr. Cochav Elkayam Levy of the Civil Commission on Oct. 7 Crimes By Hamas Against Women and Children ; Tal Hochman of Israel Women’s Network; and Shirin Abu Amar Alkrinawi and Stav Salpeter of Itach Ma’aki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice. Twenty-one organizations co-sponsored this program. Below is a directory of resources and action items from the program speakers and cosponsoring organizations with additional information and actions you can take to support women in Israel.

We hope you will find this guide useful, and we encourage you to share it widely. If you haven’t already viewed the program recording, you can find it here. Learn more about how the Hadassah Foundation and our grantee organizations have responded to the crisis in Israel here.

If you have additional resources to share on this topic, please contact the Hadassah Foundation using this form. Please note that we reserve the right to determine whether or not a resource is appropriate for this page.

Funding Women’s Needs

JFN Women in War Grantmaking with a Gender Lens: A Guide for Donors and Foundation Leaders
Produced by Jewish Funders Network, contains information on understanding the field and mapping gender implications of the war, as well as key guidelines for effective grantmaking during war.

Trusted Agencies and Nonprofits in the US and Israel 
Jewish Funders Network-compiled directory of trusted organizations assisting Israelis in the aftermath of October 7. Contains a section on women’s organizations in Israel. (Many organizations are current or past grant recipients of the Hadassah Foundation.)


Documenting and Condemning Hamas War Crimes

Tell Congress to Condemn Rape as a Weapon of War
This action page managed by Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, connects U.S. users to their elected officials to urge them to support resolutions to condemn war crimes and demand an unbiased investigation and accountability. (More information here and here.)

Amplifying Our Voices
A WhatsApp group chat moderated by Dr. Cochav Elkayam Levy

Hear Their Voices: Sexual Violence on October 7 (December 12, 2023)
Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA)’s podcast episode on the sexual violence of October 7, the effort to collect evidence, and the international response—or lack thereof. Includes interviews with Hadas Ziv of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council for Jewish Women, as well as excerpts of testimonies given at the UN by people who saw evidence of sexual violence on the bodies of women killed by Hamas. Note: JWA is a recent grantee organization of the Hadassah Foundation.

Story Aperture: October 7 and the Israel-Gaza War
Use this set of questions to help Jewish Women’s Archive document and preserve the experiences of Jewish women and gender-expansive people worldwide during this inflection point in Jewish history. You can submit your own story or an interview with a Jewish woman either in writing or by uploading an audio recording from your mobile recording app, Zoom, or a digital recorder. Submissions in any language are accepted. Note: JWA is a recent grantee organization of the Hadassah Foundation.


Supporting Individuals and Families Impacted by Gender-Based Violence

Shalom Task Force Confidential Hotline
Assists victims of domestic abuse and their families in obtaining and maintaining safety. Highly trained advocates help callers address concerns about family abuse, sexual assault, healthy relationships, dating, and more. We provide emotional support, encouragement, safety planning, and referrals to local resources. Note: Shalom Task Force is a recent grant recipient of the Hadassah Foundation.


Mobilizing Women of All Backgrounds

Global Women Leaders #VoicesForHostages
On this action page managed by National Council of Jewish Women, sign on to an open letter from women leaders and activists calling for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas; humanitarian aid and medical care to be provided until the hostages are released and the enforcement of international humanitarian law.


Miscellaneous Resources (Updated on January 5, 2024)

Supporting Israel: More Ways to Help Now
This resource page managed by JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance) has information on a solidarity mission it is leading in January with Yeshivat Maharat (a recent grantee organization of the Hadassah Foundation), as well as other actions one can take to support Israel. Note: JOFA is a past grant recipient of the Hadassah Foundation.

In Times of Crisis, Women’s Employment is More Precarious than Men’s
This article by the Adva Center, an Israeli think tank and recent Hadassah Foundation grantee, explains the disparate economic impact the war has on women in Israel.

Related News & Opinion Articles (Updated on January 5, 2024)

The Media Line Interviews Israel’s First Lady Michal Herzog on the War and the Need To Fight Ignorance With Truth (The Media Line)
This conversation (both video and transcript) revolves around the realities of the current war with Hamas, the lack of world response to the violence against Israeli women, her priorities as first lady at a time of great need, and her takes on the viability of the Abraham Accords and responses to the wave of antisemitism being witnessed worldwide.

‘Screams Without Words’: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7 (New York Times)
This investigative report uncovers new details showing a pattern of rape, mutilation and extreme brutality against women in the attacks on Israel.

Safety, Respect and Equity Is for #UsToo (eJewish Philanthropy)
Article by Elana Wein of SRE Network about efforts to engage the broader feminist community in condemning Hamas’ gender-based violence. (December 21, 2023)

Why Have Feminists Been So Slow to Condemn the Hamas Rapes? (The Nation)
In this essay, feminist author Katha Pollitt writes that it is concerning how, “up until recently, feminist groups in the United States have had little to say. This silence sits oddly with how quick our movement has been to credit much iffier claims and to raise consciousness around sexual misconduct that falls far short of rape. What happened to the clarion call to ‘believe women’? What happened to #metoo?” (December 15, 2023)

Denying the Gender-Based Violence of Oct. 7 Helps No One (New York Times)
In an op-ed, Jill Filipovic, a a lawyer and author who writes on gender, politics, law and global affairs, notes that “denials and deflections have come from people with vast reach. Some work at prominent magazines; others run popular podcasts, YouTube channels and websites. These denials have migrated into global leftist discourse and seem intended to sow doubt or prompt wholesale dismissal of the subject.” (December 13, 2023)

The Scope of Hamas’ Campaign of Rape Against Israeli Women Is Revealed, Testimony After Testimony (Haaretz)
A profile of Dr. Cochav Elkayam Levy and her work leading the Civil Commission on Oct. 7 Crimes By Hamas Against Women and Children. (November 30, 2023)

Jews, Bedouins unite in face of Hamas terror attacks on Israel (Jewish Insider)
Article about the Jewish-Arab emergency operation center in Rahat, established by Itach Ma’aki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice in partnership with Have You Seen the Horizon Lately. (November 14, 2023)

(Photo at top, of women at the Jewish-Arab emergency operation center in Rahat, courtesy of Hadassah Foundation grant recipient Itach Ma’aki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice)

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