Press Releases


CONTACT: Naomi Paiss
202-513-7824 phone
[email protected]

New Israel Fund Sponsors Programs, Issues Grants as Women’s Issues Heat Up

12 December 2011

Jerusalem/Washington. As part of an international campaign to restore the sight and sound of women to the public sphere in Israel, the New Israel Fund (NIF) and its grantee Yisrael Chofshit (Free Israel) sponsored a rally for women’s rights in downtown Jerusalem yesterday evening. Dubbed “Singing for Equality,” the event featured some of Israel’s leading female vocalists and was aimed at protesting the increasing erosion of women’s rights in Israel including attempts to banish women’s voices from public place. (See rally photos here.)

The event also featured the debut of the first poster of NIF’s “Women Should be Seen and Heard,” campaign, which solicited photos from supporter of NIF worldwide to restore images of women to the public sphere in Jerusalem. Launched a week ago, NIF has now received nearly 300 photos. The images are being made into posters, the first of which can be seen here and dozens of which will be hung next week in public places in Jerusalem.

Earlier this week, NIF disbursed $35,000 in a series of grants to organizations working to call attention to the issue of exclusion and segregation of women. Eight grants were distributed, which will be used for efforts at outreach, community-building and public events. The beneficiaries of the grant include: WIZ”O; Jerusalem Secular Yeshiva, ELUL, and Yeshivat Talpiyot; the Secular Forum; Kolech, Hiddush; Tmura Secular Humanistic Rabbis; Yerushalmim, and Yisrael Chofshit, the sponsor of last night’s rally.

The attrition of women’s rights in Israel has become a topic of hot debate and controversy. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently voiced concern over Israeli democracy and women’s rights during an event in Washington. And syndicated columnist Ruth Marcus dedicated her latest column to the topic, In Israel, women’s rights come under siege.

Shira Ben-Sasson, NIF Grants Officer, commented, “We can’t let women be erased from the public eye. That’s a dangerous erosion of the status of women. And it’s a slippery slope.”

For more, please visit

New Israel Fund is the leading organization committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis.

# # #