Jewish Women Leaders in the News

For those of you who fund to nurture Jewish women’s leadership and/or immigration/refugee issues, I recommend you research Rebecca (Becca) Heller, the Director and Co-Founder of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP; formerly Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project) at the Urban Justice Center, the first organization to provide comprehensive legal representation to refugees in the registration, protection, and resettlement processes. IRAP works to create enforceable legal and human rights on behalf of one of the world’s most vulnerable populations.  Becca was awarded the prestigious Charles Bronfman Prize in 2016.

Becca turned out 1600 lawyers in emergency response when President Trump first tried the travel ban; and subsequently is the person who bought the case to the 4th Circuit.

Since IRAP's founding, this visionary organization has become a world leader in the treatment and resettlement of the world's most vulnerable refugees and displaced persons. Its representation relies on a cadre of volunteers--1,200 students from 29 law schools in the United States and Canada and over 700 pro bono attorneys from 75 international law firms and multinational corporations--assisting thousands of refugees on urgent registration, protection, and resettlement cases. IRAP has helped to resettle over 3,600 refugees and displaced persons to 18 different countries, and provided legal assistance through its online advice hotline to more than 20,000 individuals from 55 different countries. IRAP has played a leadership role in enacting eight pieces of Congressional legislation, changing the lives of more than 160,100 individuals.

NCJW Comment on Women's Access to Western Wall

Israeli Government Abandons Deal to Ensure Women’s Access to Western Wall

June 26, 2017, New York, NY – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today denounced the Israeli government’s renunciation of the 2016 agreement that guaranteed an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“The decision by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to abandon the carefully crafted agreement reached in 2016 to ensure access to the Western Wall by all branches of Judaism on an egalitarian basis steps up the assault on values of gender equality and religious tolerance, and distances the majority of the world’s Jewish community from Israel.

“The agreement previously negotiated was a compromise achieved through the efforts of the Reform and Conservative movements, the Women of the Wall, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and was accepted by a majority vote in the Israeli government. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to bow to the wishes of the ultra-orthodox at this late date is an affront to all who participated in those negotiations and who put their faith in the willingness of the Israeli government to support their religious freedom to pray at the Wall. It appears to be a purely political move by the Prime Minister to appease his ultra-religious supporters.

“All Jewish women and men should be able to have egalitarian prayer access to the Western Wall – the agreement to create an egalitarian space at the adjacent Robinson’s arch was already a compromise position. When fundamentalist ideas dictate the State’s approach to access to holy sites that are sacred to ALL Jews whatever their particular denomination or gender, the vision of Israel as a homeland for all Jews, including women is threatened. NCJW urges the Israeli Government and all Israeli and Diaspora Jews to defend equality and the rights of millions of Jews who are not ultra-orthodox from the imposition of profoundly misogynist and anti-democratic policies.”

JWF of New York host Women Of Color: Beyond the Hyphen

On June 7th, the The Jewish Women's Foundation of New York hosted an event that was committed to amplifying the voices of our diverse Jewish community. In the greater New York area alone, there are 66,000 women of color in the Jewish community. The panelist for this event included: Yavilah McCoy, Shoshana Brown, Tamara Fish, and Natasha Nelson. Below is the Facebook Live post from the event for you to enjoy and learn from.

Click on the image above to view the event recording

Click on the image above to view the event recording