The Genesis Prize Foundation announced Sunday the start of a $1 million grant competition aimed at supporting Israeli non-profit organizations working to advance women’s equality. The competition, being run in collaboration with Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn and administered by Matan-United Way Israel, is open to Israeli NGOs working in this field.
“The Genesis Foundation is committed more than ever to advancing the cause of women’s equality,” Sana Britavsky, deputy CEO of the Genesis Prize Foundation told The Jerusalem Post.
The foundation chose advancing women’s equality in all aspects of human endeavor as its philanthropic theme for 2018, which led to the foundation’s selection of Natalie Portman as its 2018 Laureate. Although Portman declined to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony in Jerusalem, the foundation will continue with its chosen theme and plans to announce the winners of the competition in September, prior to Rosh Hashanah
The foundation has identified four areas as priorities for its grant-making in Israel: Socio-economic participation and opportunity; creating gender equality; the rights and status of women from minority groups; and empowering women to resist violence. Details of the competition can be found on the Matan website
“Over 70 years of its existence as an independent country, Israel has achieved enormous progress in the field of women’s rights and ensuring equal opportunity for its women,” said Rivka Carmi, president of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and member of the Genesis Prize Foundation advisory board. However, she cautioned that there is “so much more remains to be done before we can say that we have achieved true equality for all Israeli women.”
Similarly, Ahuva Yanai, CEO of Matan-United Way Israel, said that, “Empowering women in Israeli society is an inseparable and integral part of Israel's social strength… Harming or disrespecting women because they are women is discrimination based on ignorance, and we must demolish it.”
Yanai said she is happy that her organization will once again partner with the Genesis Prize Foundation.
“In the past five years, The Genesis Prize Foundation has become a pioneer in shining a light on important social problems in Israel and the global Jewish community that are not receiving sufficient attention and funding,” said Dafna Jackson, CEO of the Kahn Foundation. “We look forward to working with the Genesis Prize Foundation and making a tangible impact in improving the lives of Israeli women and girls.”
The foundation will also conduct a matching grants competition in North America for $1-2 million in grants, with the total depending on the amount of matching funds attracted by applicants. The North American competition also will be conducted in partnership with Morris Kahn and will be administered by Jewish Funders Network. Details about the North American competition will be announced by June 30.