NCJW Convenes Meeting on Women's Rights Issues in Israel

March 13, 2012, New York, NY — The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today announced that it is convening a meeting of Jewish organizations about the growing threat to women’s rights in Israel. The meeting will take place Wednesday, March 14, in New York City. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“The growing problem of women’s rights and gender segregation issues in Israel has raised concerns in many Jewish organizations, regardless of the focus or orientation of their Israel-related work. NCJW has taken the step of convening representatives of interested Jewish organizations here in the United States in order to discuss their ongoing efforts on this issue and how we can best work with and assist those in Israel struggling to end discrimination against women generally.

“The Israeli Supreme Court has taken a strong stand against gender segregation in public transportation. Rabbis and organizations in Israel and the US, including leading Orthodox rabbis and institutions, have joined in condemning both forced gender segregation in public secular places, as well as the use of violence against innocent women and children. They rightly assert that nothing in the Jewish religious tradition condones such behavior, yet the controversy continues. NCJW looks forward to a discussion of what is at stake, what is being done, and how we may develop a strategy together to make a difference.”

Those participating represent a broad spectrum of organizations, including funders and foundations, religious groups, community federations, civil rights and women’s organizations, among others. Presenters include:

Hamutal Gouri, executive director of The Dafna Fund, Israel’s only women’s foundation, and Founder of consult4good, a consulting practice specializing in program and leadership development for social change;

Hillet Zwick, associate director, New York, New Israel Fund; and

Shari Eshet, director of NCJW’s Israel Office, based in Jerusalem, where she oversees NCJW’s funding and advocacy efforts in Israel.

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

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