Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two projects I want to share with you, one you already know about from my earlier entries. Isha L'Isha, the Haifa Women's Center, needs our support to keep going. Think of all the separations between Jewish and Palestinian and Ethopian women in Israeli society--then think of Isha L'Isha where women from all these backgrounds, lesbians and straight and bisexual and trans, work together, think together and plan for a fuller life for women. Even the smallest donation would help and you would know that you are supporting one of the few unifying communal spaces in Israel. Isha L'Isha's website is http://www.isha.org.il/defaultphp?Ing=3. Or just google it.
From Hannah--Isha L’Isha, established in 1983, is the oldest grassroots feminist organization in Israel and one of the leading voices of women’s rights in the country. Isha L’Isha is based in Haifa and works primarily in the northern part of Israel. However, many of our projects—past and present—focus on implementing system-wide solutions to problems of women. As a result, Isha L'Isha has a national influence, reaching target audiences throughout the country.
Our current projects include Women, Peace and Security, fighting against trafficking of women for the sex industry, achieving economic empowerment and advancement for women and, our most recent project, Women and Medical Technologies. We are active in raising issues onto the public agenda that affect the lives of women through conferences, public awareness campaigns, demonstrations, and coalition work. Isha L'Isha is a multi-cultural organization, and all of our activities reflect our devotion to achieving equality for all women and promoting peaceful coexistence between Arab and Jewish women.
Our mission is to advance the status of all women in Israel by:
empowering them and encouraging them to become leaders in their communities;
campaigning for full civil rights and equal opportunities for women;
opposing all forms of violence against women;
developing and encouraging new projects to address women's needs; and
promoting collaboration between women’s organizations.
Our vision is an Israeli society where all women—regardless of religion, ethnicity or cultural background—enjoy equal rights in all fields, including economic, social, and political; a society without gender-based violence; a society in which women's voices are heard, and in which women have full and equal access.
While our mission remains constant, over the years the focus of our activities has varied to include a range of projects and issues. Isha L'Isha is also a social change incubator. Over the years numerous Isha L'Isha projects have evolved into independent organizations, among them the Hotline for Battered Women, the Kayan Arab Feminist Center, and the Women's Economic Empowerment Association. Isha L'Isha also serves as a resource center that provides information to women over the phone and maintains a feminist library that serves the entire community.
Isha L'Isha has 25 years' experience in running grassroots projects and has earned a national reputation for professionalism and dedication to feminist causes. Our staff members and activists are frequently invited to participate in coalition and Parliamentary meetings to provide the input, ideas and know-how that result from our experience. We are repeatedly called upon to lecture and provide comments on social events shaping women’s daily lives.
For further information, ways you can support or contribute to our work, or to subscribe to our newsletter, please contact Khulud Khamis at khulud.kh@gmail.com.

The other project I want to bring to your attention is from my old friend, Ann.
"Dear Friends,
Please come to the fund raiser for the Network of East-West Women described below or make a contribution. I'm afraid that the course about gender I have been teaching, mostly for East and Central European students in Krakow for the last sixteen years may die if we cannot raise scholarship money. The course has been madly successful, and its graduates have so often launched into a life of feminism that I can't bear the thought of abandoning this project. Please help."
For those of you in New York, Ann is referring to a "garage" sale in New York City, on January 20, 2008, 11am to 4 pm, at 167 Spring Street, Bell #3. For the rest of us, we can make a donation to NEWW (tax deductible)--newwny@igc.org.
Both these projects grow out of the history so many of us share--and reflect the wisdoms we gathered throughout the 60s and 70s--to create what is missing, to keep it alive. This is the other world below the gaze of conventional power, the world we dreamed and worked into being. The world which gave birth to the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

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