Genesis Prize Foundation Announces Competition for $1 Million in Grants to Israeli Women’s Rights NGOs


May 27, 2018 Tel-Aviv – Today The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) and its partner, Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn, announced the start of a $1 million grants competition aimed at supporting Israeli non-profit organizations working to advance women’s equality.  The competition will be administered by Matan-United Way Israel and is open to Israeli NGOs working in this field. GPF will announce the winners of the competition in September 2018, prior to Rosh Hashanah. 

“Advancing women’s equality in all aspects of human endeavor” was Genesis Prize’s chosen philanthropic theme for 2018 when it selected Natalie Portman as its 2018 Laureate,” said Sana Britavsky, Deputy CEO of The Genesis Prize Foundation.  “While Ms. Portman has declined to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony in Jerusalem, our foundation is committed more than ever to advancing the cause of women’s equality – a matter of great social importance globally as well as here in Israel.”

GPF has identified the following four areas as priorities for its grant-making in Israel:

  • Socio-Economic Participation and Opportunity, in particular for women from Israel's geographic and social periphery. This area was recognized in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gapas a topic with vast discrepancies between women and men in Israel;   
  • Creating Gender Equality, particularly around marriage and divorce, and supporting women who are contending with the exclusive jurisdiction of halacha. Women's inequality in this context has been one of the most acute topics on the agenda for Israeli women, with a disparate and extensive impact on Orthodox women.
  • The Rights and Status of Women from Minority Groups: Arab, Druze, Bedouin and Haredi women, women in the LGBT community, new immigrants, and those living on the social periphery all suffer compounded discrimination in almost all areas of life: education, family, political participation and economic security.
  • Empowering Women to Resist Violence: While violence has been a pervasive problem for decades, only in the recent past have an increasing number of Israeli women found the strength to speak up, tell their stories of sexual harassment and assault and take action.

Dafna Jackson, CEO of the Kahn Foundation, said: “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.  We are proud to partner with GPF in its work to empower women and help them advance in Israeli society. Gender equality and equal opportunities, protection of minority women and empowering women to resist violence is something very important to Morris.  We look forward to working with GPF and making a tangible impact in improving the lives of Israeli women and girls.”

Rivka Carmi, President of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and member of The Genesis Prize Foundation Advisory Board, said: “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. We have many things to be proud of, and yet so much more remains to be done before we can say that we have achieved true equality for all Israeli women. I am very pleased that The Genesis Prize Foundation is investing significant financial resources and working to focus public attention on this important area in Israel. I will be watching for the outcome of the competition with great interest.”

Ahuva Yanai, CEO of Matan-United Way Israel, said: “Empowering women in Israeli society is an inseparable and integral part of Israel's social strength. Promoting gender equality of rights and opportunities is an important challenge we are facing. Women lead, donate, volunteer, create and establish, and they deserve respect in both their personal and public spheres. Harming or disrespecting women because they are women is discrimination based on ignorance and we must demolish it. I am happy to once again partner with the Genesis Prize in this important endeavor. I have no doubt that together, we will make an impact.”

Non-profit organizations interested in applying for grants should follow this link for more information:

Previously, GPF had announced that it would 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 (JFN).  Details about the North American competition will be announced by June 30. Proposals will be reviewed during the course of the summer and grantees will be announced in the fall of 2018.



The Genesis Prize is a global award, which celebrates Jewish achievement and contributions to humanity. Launched in 2013, the Prize is financed through a permanent endowment of $100 million established by The Genesis Prize Foundation. All previous laureates have selected causes that were important to them, and award funds in their honor have been donated to these causes. These included support of social entrepreneurship based on Jewish values, inclusiveness of intermarried families in Jewish life, improving the lives of individuals with special needs, and helping to alleviate the global refugee crisis.

Contact: Contact: Nadav Berkowitz;

The Genesis Prize Foundation