Yerushalmim, Inclusive Jerusalem: The Struggle Against Religious Extremism, Jerusalem, Israel
Yerushalmim’s program “Inclusive Jerusalem: The Struggle Against Religious Extremism” is a legal defense initiative to counter gender segregation and gender discrimination in Jerusalem. Spearheaded by segments of the ultra-Orthodox community, gender segregation is a growing concern, as it is increasingly prevalent on transportation systems as well as at the Western Wall and in the Jewish Quarter. This pioneering initiative, established in 2010, seeks to raise public awareness of the issue of gender discrimination, generate public pressure against the new extreme practices, and use the legal system to fight the discrimination. Next steps will focus on the issues of women’s images in the city and the increasing expression of ultra-Orthodox extremism currently impacting the Jewish Quarter. Yerushalmim (Jerusalemites) is a grassroots nonprofit organization founded in 2009 by a group of young Jerusalem residents from across the religious spectrum who realized that civil society must mobilize in order to reverse the growing radicalization in Jerusalem. The high poverty levels, steady exit of young professionals, and increasing religious extremism in the public arena are distorting Jerusalem’s place as a pluralistic, vibrant, and inspirational city.
JOFA, General Support, New York
The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) is the leading organization advancing social change around gender issues in the Orthodox Jewish community. JOFA expands the spiritual, ritual, intellectual and political opportunities for women within the framework of halakha (Jewish law), by advocating meaningful participation and equality for women in family life, synagogues, houses of learning, and Jewish communal organizations to the full extent possible within halakha. The core JOFA belief is that fulfilling this mission will enrich and uplift the entire Jewish people.