Left to right: President Reuven Rivlin, Shirly Shavit, director of Na'amat International Department, Masha Lubelski, Na'amat representative of the World Zionist Organization and First Lady Ruhama Rivlin..
(photo credit: ISRAEL MALOVANI)
Some 125 delegates from eight countries are in Israel to participate in the weeklong NA’AMAT-Movement of Working Women & Volunteers International Solidarity Conference dedicated to strengthening the ideals of Zionism and the links between the Jewish state and the Diaspora.
The participating delegates, including from the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Belgium, Argentina and Uruguay, are here to express their support for the state and for Na’amat’s activities worldwide.
“It is not obvious to me that 125 Na’amat delegates from the Diaspora would clear a week from their schedule and arrive at their own expense for a solidarity conference with the Na’amat movement in Israel,” Galia Wolloch, president of Na’amat Israel told The Jerusalem Post. “These are women who feel a deep commitment to the Zionist enterprise and work for the welfare of women, children and families in Israel.”
Na’amat’s top priority is to advance and strengthen the status of women in the family, in the workforce and in society. To this effect, the organization mobilizes and leads women to bring about social change by initiating campaigns to influence public opinion and increase public awareness.
In addition, Na’amat provides support services to women, children and families through the operation of daycare centers and technological high schools, as well as university scholarships and professional training programs for women to improve their standing in the workforce. The organization also helps the underprivileged and victims of domestic violence through its shelters, counseling programs and legal services.
“Without the infrastructure of their financial support, Na’amat could not have set up hundreds of daycare centers, run projects for youth at risk and provide shelter for women victims of violence and their children,” she said.
The organization’s delegates abroad work voluntarily to raise the funds necessary to run Na’amat Israel’s programs throughout the country. As such, the conference also provides an opportunity for the delegates to visit the numerous institutions and programs they helped establish.
“I am sure that the exciting visit in Israel will give our members from abroad great satisfaction when they see the fruits of their labor,” Wolloch said.
As part of the visit, the delegates met with President Reuven Rivlin and visited Na’amat daycare centers, schools and shelters around the country.
“We are interested to be here and to see firsthand the installations that our fundraising efforts made possible, as well as to participate with delegates of other countries in this [conference] who share a passion for the tradition of Na’amat and for Israel,” Sarah Beutel, National President of Na’amat Canada told The Post.
The delegates also laid the foundation for two new daycare centers for children up to the age of three in Karmiel and Beersheba, sponsored by Na’amat USA and Na’amat Canada.
“This center is a project of Na’amat Toronto and they have raised funds to make this possible and it is very exciting to build a new installation and be part of a ceremony to honor those whose efforts made it possible to build this and to be able to see the progress of what the Na’amat movement is building in Israel,” Beutel said.