Ushering In a New Year

Illustration: Michal Rapeport 

Dear Friends, 

As I write these lines, Israel is undergoing one of the most trying chapters in its history. One cannot sugarcoat the reality we are experiencing. Recent events are a cause for deep concern for the future of women in our country, in particular those who have suffered violence.

"The personal is political" - so we were taught by proponents of the second-wave of feminism. The past months have demonstrated that the political, too, is personal. 

Through it all, I am overcome by the realization: nothing is to be taken for granted!

A woman raises herself up from the horror of violence and sets out to embark on a new life for herself and her children. This cannot be taken for granted.

The delicate fabric of life in the shelter and halfway apartments continues, even amidst national turmoil. This cannot be taken for granted.

Together with the families we serve, we have embarked on a journey that has much pain, but also much hope. This cannot be taken for granted. 

The human mosaic that forms Woman to Woman is multifaceted. We assist women and children from all walks of life regardless of race, nationality, religion or economic situation. Our staff and volunteers represent diverse identities and viewpoints, as do our donors and supporters. 

This is the Israel I am proud to be part of, an Israel that acknowledges differences, that recognizes complexity and remains dedicated to a common goal, an Israel of mutual respect and love of humanity. 

Even during these difficult times, we do not forget, even for a moment, the privilege we have been given.

Thank you, dear friends, for your support!

Warm wishes for a Happy New Year,

Naomi Schneiderman, Executive Director 

"There is no recovery from violence and abuse.

There are ways to cope."

From the opening words given at Woman to Woman's annual event, July 2023

Photo: Hadar Epstein

"My name is Ruth, I am the mother of three children. I recently left the halfway house apartment operated by Woman to Woman and today, I stand here, strong and stable, looking back at the way I've come so far.  

I got married when I was 20. From the very beginning it was a poisonous relationship. It began with criticism and humiliation, blame, open contempt in private and in public, in front of my family and my friends. My husband took no responsibility for the house and the children, he was physically and economically abusive. I couldnt have any money without his permission. He would disappear from home all the time, claiming that he wanted to be with his friends after his workday, and he was an addict. 

He became even more obsessive and violent, toward me and the children. At one point I felt I had no choice but to go to the police, and there I was referred to a shelter. 

Life at the shelter was very different. It felt almost like a holiday. It was quiet and peaceful all around. There was no shouting, no violence, no background noise. My children and I were offered a space in which we could begin to understand what we had undergone.

Even after about a year in the shelter, I still needed an environment that could support and hold me. I was offered a halfway house apartment. The program allows a gradual return to independent life, while offering ongoing therapy and support.

Today, were living in an apartment I rented in Jerusalem. There are still struggles. There is no recovery from violence and abuse. There are ways to cope. 

I want to pass it on to other women who find themselves in a similar process: make good use of the year, only look ahead. Despite all the difficulty, you can find another way." Click for further reading. 

"One Door Opens Another Door"

The video above summarizes a collaboration project this past year with students at the College for Management Academic Studies aimed at changing the misconception maintained by some of the public regarding shelters for victims of domestic violence. 

Under the slogan "One Door Opens Another Door" an exhibit, meant to resemble the living space inside a shelter, was displayed in Dizengoff Center, Tel Aviv. Passersby were invited into the "living room" in an attempt to eradicate prejudices that, unfortunately, still exist regarding organizations such as ours. 

The visitors of the "shelter" were invited to learn about our work, to write down their impressions from the visit and to share the way in which it affected their view of shelters. 

Special Thanks To:

Director, Rama Burshtein - for a talk with women of the shelter during the Jerusalem Women's Film Festival, which was organized by the Women in the Frame association, directed by Lihi Sabag and Shiri Meishar. 

Devorah and Meir Charash - for a fundraiser in memory of their son, Ariel, z"l, who volunteered at the children's center, and for a party for the children of the shelter. 

Bank of Jerusalem - for organizing an exceptional fun day at the Superland amusement park for the children of the shelter and halfway-homes.

The Moshiko Land Company - for donating artificial turf for the children's center yard. 

Additional Thanks To:

The hundreds of friends who joined as at Woman to Woman's annual event, on July 19 at the Gesher Theater.

Thanks to you, we were able to raise close to 220,000 NIS, after expenses. 

The Ban Family - for organizing and hosting a fundraiser for our organization at their home for the second year in a row. 

Ms. Rama Zuta - for contributions for her 90th birthday.

Dr. Wanda Folman - for contributions for her 100th birthday, dedicated towards purchasing equipment for the Children's Center. 

Studio Lee Pilates - for a significant contribution to mark Good Deeds Day. 

The Morrocanoil Company - for a significant contribution to mark Good Deeds Day.

Your Donation is Greatly Appreciated!
Now, more than ever, we need donations to continue to help those who have no economic backing or family support.
 USA - tax-deductible contributions can be made on-line 
or by check/wire transfer via  PEF Israel Endowment Funds.

Woman to Woman is partially funded by the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. 
We gratefully acknowledge the support of our many friends and donors: 
Anatta Ltd. (cc); The Clore Israel Foundation; Coca Cola Israel; The Jerusalem Foundation; Arlene R. Kogod; Kol Nashim (Colorado Hebrew Chorale); The Jennifer Lalin Memorial Foundation (Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey); Matan - Investing in the Community; PEF Israel Endowment Funds; Rochlin Foundation; Schusterman Foundation Israel (SFI); Lady Nancy Wald, and all our generous private donors in Israel and abroad.