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May 14, 2024

Collective Grantmaking Focuses on Israeli Women in a Post-10/7 World

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation continues to prioritize the support of women and girls in the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attacks, this time, in partnership with other nonprofit organizations through the Jewish Women’s Collective Response Fund (JWCRF). JWCRF is a collaborative grant of 11 participating organizations — the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Hadassah Foundation, National Council of Jewish Women, Women for Reform Judaism, Jewish Women’s Funds of Boston (Miriam Fund), Chicago, New York (Elluminate), Philadelphia (Women of Vision), Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, DC (Tikkun Olam Jewish Women’s Foundation) — that contribute dollars to a collective effort that help women’s organizations in Israel respond to the war, with a focus on advocating on behalf of women’s rights and ensuring women are at the decision-making tables.

Allocated from Federation’s Israel Emergency Fund, which raised more than $29.6 million as part of the national effort led by the Jewish Federations of North America, “The grant gives us the opportunity to leverage resources and enables our work to have a larger impact,” said Tracey Spiegelman, Federation’s Israel and Overseas Committee Chair, who worked alongside Ilene Kossman, Women’s Amutot Initiative (WAI) Committee Chair in evaluating the nonprofits.

“One of our last meetings with the members of the Collective occurred not long after we had returned from our Amutot Study Trip,” said Kossman. “All of the funded organizations are current or past recipients of a Women’s Amutot grant, so we were able to speak to the legitimacy of the organizations and our strong funding relationships. We know from experience that they have demonstrated a history of success and the ability to pivot in times of crisis.”

Spiegelman added, “We have fostered impactful relationships with organizations driving meaningful change. The knowledge gained by all committee members over the years has enriched engagement and created a deeper connection to Israel.”

The selected organizations each received $25,000 and included Adva Center, Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, Itach Ma’aki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice, The Rackman Center at Bar-Ilan University and We Power. “We visited nearly all of the grant recipients during our trip, which enabled us to explain to the other members of the Collective how the organizations were responding to the tragedy of October 7,” added Kossman. “It was an honor to share the critical work of these organizations and it solidified our mission to address a post-October 7 world.”

See below to learn more about the grant recipients.

  • Adva Center works to increase equity and social justice for all groups in Israel, with a special emphasis on women and girls. Adva engages in research and policy monitoring, advocacy, popular education and community action projects and maintains an intensive presence in new and conventional media channels. In collaboration with the Women’s Organizations Coalition, they are compiling a comprehensive document detailing the specific, direct impact of the war on women, teens and girls.
  • Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI) is an umbrella organization for nine regional Rape Crisis Centers whose main aim is to combat sexual violence. ARCCI trains professionals with war-trauma-informed therapy and tools, provides direct assistance to survivors, offers support groups for survivors and witnesses and ensures evacuee hotels are as safe as possible. They have been instrumental in documenting the gender-based violence of October 7 and issued an evidence-based report, Silent Cry: Sexual Crimes in the October 7 War, which was shared with the UN and received international media attention.
  • Itach Ma’aki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice represents women experiencing social, geographic, national, ethnic and economic discrimination in Israeli society and provides a comprehensive solution to legal and social challenges among Bedouin women. The organization focuses on assisting single mothers and survivors of domestic violence throughout the Negev.
  • The Rackman Center at Bar-Ilan University is Israel’s leading organization of legal and social change for women in family law. Since October 7, there has been an increase in calls for assistance to their helpline offering pro bono legal consultation to women. They are advocating at the UN and around the world to recognize the atrocities Hamas committed, apply international law against Hamas and seek justice for the victims.
  • WePower proactively promotes women’s leadership to high levels of decision-making and elected positions. The organization aims to advance women’s leadership and gender mainstreaming at all levels of society, particularly in the political and public arenas, increasing awareness of gender inequality, creating social change and a more equal civic society.

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