July, 2012 – The Jewish Women’s Collaborative International Fund Promotes Gender Equality




WEST PALM BEACH , FLA.– Recent acts of illegal exclusion and discrimination against women in Israel have spurred the formation of The Jewish Women’s Collaborative International Fund, with the mission of raising awareness about such important concerns as gender disenfranchisement and discrimination in the work place affecting women and girls in the Jewish and broader Israeli community.


The Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches (JWF) is one of 14 foundations in the United States and three in Israel that are pooling resources to effect social change for women and girls in Israel, awarding a two-year $150,000 grant to Itach-Maaki, lead organization of “Bringing Women to the Fore: A Feminist Partnership.”


The groundbreaking collaboration, co-led by Assistant Director of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago Jennifer Elvey Schnepper and Associate Director of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York Rebecca Garrison, became possible through the support of Barbara Dobkin, a feminist funder in the United States and Israel .


“Many funders pay lip service to collaborative grant-making, but this type of sweeping collaboration is unprecedented in American Jewish life,” said Dobkin.


“People have come together to talk about issues, but they haven’t funded an effort collaboratively,” said Schnepper.


JWF Director Lori Warner said members of her organization are pleased to be a part of this important, international effort to improve Jewish women’s lives in Israel . “The project is a reflection of our JWF’s core values and demonstrates the power of women’s collective voices,” she noted.


“Awarding funds to Israeli organizations to address an issue in Israel is not new to the Jewish community; but collaborating on a solution is,” added Edith Gelfand, JWF co-chair.


The Feminist Partnership will use the grant to promote gender equality and women’s rights, and to minimize gender gaps on a variety of issues in Israel through large-scale social and media campaigns. This Israeli coalition aspires to lead effective change in social perception and public policy, to promote equality and reduce gender gaps in the economic, social and occupational spheres — making Israel a more gender-equal society. Participating organizations include: Itach-Maaki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice; Adva Center; The Israel Women’s Network (IWN); Economic Empowerment for Women (EEW); Achoti (My Sister) for Women in Israel; Mahut Center, Supporting Community – Women’s Business Development Center; and Women’s Spirit – Financial Independence for Women Victims of Violence.


The Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches, a fund for social change of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, is a vital part of the growing Jewish women’s fundraising movement committed to improving the status of Jewish women and girls through social change. Grants are strategically invested in leading-edge projects designed to change the attitudes, behaviors and practices of individuals and systems locally and overseas, focusing on health and safety, economic empowerment and leadership. Jewish women who want to take an active role in the community are invited to join as trustees and share in JWF’s mission. For more information on JWF, contact Lori Warner at (561) 242-6673 or email Lori.Warner@JewishPalmBeach.org.