NCJW Celebrates Long-time Commitment to Israel and Looks Ahead to New Efforts to Empower Women and Push for Gender Equity
June 6, 2012, New York, NY – At its annual Israel Benefit Luncheon, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today celebrated its long record of assistance to innovative social welfare projects in Israel and its new focus on funding women’s empowerment and gender equity projects. Noted feminist philanthropist Barbara Dobkin delivered remarks at the luncheon, which was held today at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City’s Central Park.
Dobkin and NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman announced that NCJW will be working with the Dafna Fund, chaired by Dobkin, in a project to address the challenges arising from a new social justice protest movement that swept Israeli society last year. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets for the first time in more than a decade to demand economic and social justice and government accountability. The social movement drew men and women, religious and non-observant, Jewish and Arab, young and old, led by a cadre of mostly young women and men. The Dafna Fund and NCJW are launching an effort to link the new younger female activists to the feminist movement; to identify needs, concerns, and issues insufficiently addressed by that movement; and to foster an exchange among young feminist leaders and across different generations within the feminist arena to develop long-term collaborative relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
In her remarks, Dobkin referenced the importance of women’s issues to peace in Israel, “In the activist tradition of Hannah G. Solomon, Virginia Snitow, Marcia Freedman, and those women who dared to make a difference, and who are on the front lines every day, we must not be mute. We too must raise our voices … I ask you today, how can there be peace without the contribution of women’s ways of knowing, of leading, and of caring. How can there be peace without women at the table?”
“We at NCJW jumped at the chance to help develop this vision and be part of implementing it” said NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman.
NCJW President Linda Slucker called attention to the organization’s historic work “enabling many women and girls in Israel to have a real voice and the courage to demand equality, to create better lives for themselves and their families, and to contribute to Israeli society their much needed insights and understanding.” Attendees were treated to a presentation of NCJW’s efforts in Israel dating back to before the state of Israel was founded presented by NCJW Israel program director Shari Eshet.
Phyllis Snyder, NCJW president from 2005 to 2008, pointed out that “the projects we fund in Israel, and the causes there that we support, mirror the Jewish values that inspire all our work,” adding that “it is very special to be here with so many generations of NCJW leaders who have dedicated their time and philanthropic support to our projects and causes in Israel over the years.”
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.
Contact: Melissa Yekell
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