Mavoi Satum, Targum Shlishi Legal Aid Fund for Agunot, Jerusalem
Targum Shlishi’s multi-year support of Mavoi Satum (“dead end”) has allowed the organization to make a structural change in the way it provides legal aid to Jewish women whose husbands will not grant a get (Jewish write of divorce). In the past, the organization outsourced the services of private attorneys; recently, Mavoi Satum added two in-house professionals, a lawyer and a law student, to provide all legal services to the organization’s clients. Mavoi Satum reported that this change has led to a dramatic improvement in the services provided to their clients. Mavoi Satum typically counsels fifty to sixty women at any given time. As of September 2006, seventeen women received their get this year with the help of Mavoi Satum.
During 2006, Mavoi Satum made frequent headlines, in part for two well-publicized public demonstrations: a rally demanding that the Knesset take responsibility for the problem ofmesuravot get, which was widely covered in the Israeli press and included as part of the election platform for many of the political parties; and a demonstration held in March outside the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court. As a result of Mavoi Satum’s advocacy work, the issue ofagunot has become one of public discourse in the press and among politicians.
LILITH magazine, Latina Jewish Women Project, New York
How do Latin American Jewish women in North America differ from Latino men? From other Jewish women? From other Hispanic women? Young Latin-American Jewish women are finding their way professionally, personally, and spiritually. LILITH magazine decided to focus on this often-ignored cohort by convening a series of roundtable discussions with a group of Latina Jewish women in their twenties and thirties. The project will also include interviews and additional research, and will culminate with a special section in the magazine in 2007 that will focus on this group and their triple identity as women, Jews, and members of their community in America. The goals of the project include providing an accurate portrait of this population and helping these women feel part of the American Jewish world and, ultimately, participants in it. LILITH’s mission is to be a catalyst for action and an agent for change, challenging the Jewish community to rediscover and rework traditions, find exemplary role models, and work for inclusive social change.
ATZUM, Task Force on Human Trafficking, Trafficked Women, Jerusalem
ATZUM – Justice Works is an organization devoted to social justice for all of Israel’s citizens and workers. The organization, established in 2002, has three major initiatives, one of which is its Task Force on Human Trafficking. Targum Shlishi awarded ATZUM a two-year grant for 2006 and 2007 to help support this initiative. While less persistent than in other countries, Israel has become a destination country for human trafficking. The victims are women and children, mostly from the eastern bloc of the former Soviet Union, who are smuggled into Israel to be exploited as sex slaves. Rabbi Levi Lauer, founding executive director of ATZUM, reports that an estimated 2,500 women are brought into the country annually. ATZUM is the only organization focused primarily on closing Israel’s borders to traffickers and on prosecuting the slave owners. ATZUM’s efforts include increasing awareness and education of the issue, lobbying government officials, advocacy, and research and public reform.
Women’s International Zionist Organization (Florida), general support, Miami
The Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) is an international organization that works for the welfare of Israeli citizens, particularly those segments of society in need of help and people in distress. Established in 1920, WIZO has more than fifty federations and 250,000 volunteer members worldwide. WIZO Florida supports four special projects in Israel: The Miami Beach Community Center in Ramat Gan; a day care center at Rishon Le Zion; a day care center in the Hadassah Hospital; and the Nir Haemeck School and Youth Village.