Fund for Women and Girls

Fund for Women and Girls

About the Fund for Women and Girls

In June 2023, the Jewish Community Foundation launched the Fund for Women and Girls leveraging the incredible assets and work of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Fund. The Fund is designed to promote social change, and to help shape an equitable world in which all women and girls can thrive. The Fund supports efforts to address immediate obstacles and systemic challenges holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential, domestically and in Israel. The Fund engages community members in collective learning and giving to deepen our understanding and connection to the most vulnerable in our community and amplify the impact of our Jewish community.

Continuing to Learn

The Fund is eager to create opportunities for our community to learn together. Currently, we are focused on raising awareness about the brutal, systematic sexual violence inflicted on Israeli women and girls during the October 7th terror attack and shedding a light on the ongoing mental health crisis and other critical needs, including greater investment in women’s political power. To learn about what women and girls are experiencing in Israel during wartime, you can hear from local leadership who spoke out at our special briefing on March 4th. We look forward to sharing more lessons as we hear from our grantee partners.

Grantmaking in Israel

Since the October 7th terror attacks, women in Israel have been navigating layers of distinct and overwhelming challenges, including severe trauma and loss, single parenthood (often the result of a partner leaving for war), enormous caretaking demands, internal displacement, and more. And yet, as is often the case during times of conflict, support tailored uniquely to women and girls is falling by the wayside.

In response, the Fund for Women and Girls has made two rounds of grants to support women and girls impacted by the Israel-Hamas war. The inaugural round of grantmaking directed $100,000 to organizations focused on trauma and therapeutic services, relocation support, and aid for single mothers. Our second round of grantmaking provides an additional $100,000 in ongoing support to organizations supporting women’s trauma and mental health needs, as well as to organizations focused on amplifying women’s voices and gaining access to positions of power and influence.

April 2024 Grants Announced

Women-centered trauma and therapy services: Israel is in a mental health crisis and rates of intimate partner violence spike when a country is at war, making the work of the following centers that much more urgent.

Counseling Center for Women (CCW) | $20,000

Counseling Center for Women (CCW) is a therapy center run by women for women. It has a staff of 25 clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, and psychiatrists that treats more than 300 women each week according to women’s unique emotional and psychological needs. CCW is currently training other agencies in feminist therapy, contributing to Israel’s ability to cope with nationwide trauma. This general operating grant builds on our initial grant of $15,000 to expand their work and serve the growing number of women and girls seeking services.

Tahel Crisis Center for Religious Women and Children | $20,000

Tahel Crisis Center helps victims of abuse and their families overcome crisis; prevents further abuse by providing educational training; increases the awareness of abuse and domestic violence within the religious community; develops and implements “safety” programs and protocols for communities and institutions; and lowers the incidence of PTSD by providing post-trauma workshops. This general operating grant provides critical funds so that Tahel can care for an increasing number of women and girls who are seeking services to due the impact of the war and often unable to seek services through broader organizations.

Building women’s power and influence: The gender gap when it comes to positions of political power in Israel is at an all-time high (Van Leer Jerusalem Institute puts it at 61%), which means women are not receiving adequate representation when they need it most.

We Power | $30,000

We Power promotes women’s leadership within all tiers of Israel society, increases awareness of gender inequality, and brings about social change to advance a more equitable civic society. We Power, which consults the U.N. on women’s leadership, recognizes that women in positions of power promote more balanced decision-making processes and allocate resources in a more equitable manner that better address women’s needs and concerns. This general operating grant will support We Power’s work to ensure that women have decision making power in Israel’s future.

Itach Ma’aki | $30,000

Known as Women Lawyers for Social Justice, Itach Ma’aki empowers women subjected to social, geographic, national, ethnic, and economic discrimination in Israeli society. Itach Ma’aki provides free legal aid and representation for women in need, promotes discourse about gender within Israel’s diverse communities, promotes female leadership, and advocates for important legal and legislative policies. This general operating grant supports Itach Ma’aki’s work to ensure that women have a seat at local decision-making tables.

Inaugural Grants | December 2023

The Fund for Women and Girls focused its inaugural grantmaking on three urgent and unique needs: trauma and therapeutic services, relocation support, and aid for single mothers.

Women-Centered Crisis Response and Relocation Services

Bonot Alternativa | $25,000

Funding will provide support for emergency operations and centers, which is leveraging over 100,000 volunteers and deploy Bonot Alternativa’s team to provide treatments (e.g., psychologists, speech therapists, physical therapists, etc.) to services such as laundry and babysitting, as required. The first Bonot emergency communal center is up-and-running in Eilat where scores of families from Sderot and the surrounding kibbutzim are in hotels and empty flats. They plan to open 8 more centers.

Eden Association | $25,000

Funding will support the Eden Association’s ability to maintain psychological and trauma services for the 60 displaced young women (ages 12-18) who were evacuated from the Eden School in Kibbutz Karmiya (which is in the Gaza Envelope 3 km from the border) while simultaneously rebuilding the structures that were destroyed by missiles during the attack.

Women-Centered Trauma and Therapy Services

Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI) |$15,000

The October 7th attack has created trauma for survivors and victims that is resulting in huge increases in outreach and need for services. This grant would help the ARCCI and nine regional Rape Crisis Centers (RCCs), the only centers in Israel whose main aim is to combat sexual violence, meet that need. The RCCs provide services, including hotlines, support groups, workplace education, help through the legal process, and counseling for victims of sexual violence.

Counseling Center for Women | $15,000

Funding will provide psychotherapy to community members impacted by the October 7th attack, including survivors of the music festival; citizens from the South who were able to escape the Hamas attack; evacuees; families who lost close relatives; journalists, social workers and other psychotherapists experiencing 2nd degree trauma; and others. The Center is also helping evacuees via support groups for single mothers, English-speaking Israeli women, women volunteering in emergency relief initiatives, and women with family members in the armed forces, among others.

Social Services and Financial Support for Single Mothers

Ruach-Nashit (Women’s Spirit)| $20,000

Ruach-Nashit  helps victims of violence find employment and establish financial independence so that they can escape from situations of poverty and risk. Funding will support three social workers and help purchase computers for the organization’s southern branch. Their staff in the south have been overwhelmed with an increased flow of physical and psychological requests as well as growing needs from their participants, women survivors of abuse, many of them living in the cities that were infiltrated by terrorists.

A National Effort to Accelerate Gender-Based Grantmaking

The Fund for Women and Girls was able to amplify the impact of our community’s philanthropy by participating in a national collaborative effort. The Jewish Women’s Collective Response Fund, created by Elluminate and The Hadassah Foundation, granted a total of $125,000 to five organizations doing this important work. This funding, coupled with the additional $200,000 granted to Israeli organizations by our generous local community, will empower Israeli non-profits to give voice to women and advance equality as Israelis reprioritize and rebuild during and after the war.

You can help us build toward a better future by supporting our future grantmaking efforts.

The Fund for Women and Girls is continuing to identify ways we can provide ongoing support to organizations in Israel and domestically that advocate for equal rights, decision- making power, and provide crisis support. We are doing this by building relationships with leaders and women on the ground who are most impacted and in the best position to highlight the opportunities for change. We believe that all women deserve peace and safety, and a seat at the table. We ground our decision making in trust-based philanthropy practices and center relationships and impact. Help us build toward a better future by giving today.

Here are three ways to give:

  • Visit our contribution page to make a donation via credit card.
  • Make an allocation through a Donor Advised Fund to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington indicating “Fund for Women in Girls” in the note section. (Learn more about DAFs and open a DAF with the Jewish Community Foundation)
  • Send a check to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, 6101 Executive Blvd, North Bethesda, MD 20852, with the name “Fund for Women and Girls” in the memo line.