WIZO leads in women’s rights, child care and youth at risk rehabilitation

Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary.  WIZO is awarded the Israel Prize, the country’s most prestigious honor, recognition of all it has done to improve Israeli society. WIZO loses teachers and students to suicide bombings. Youth Villages receive new campuses. Over 1,000 women from all over the world come together for WIZO conference.

Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary.  WIZO is awarded the Israel Prize, the country’s most prestigious honor, recognition of all it has done to improve Israeli society. WIZO loses teachers and students to suicide bombings. Youth Villages receive new campuses. Over 1,000 women from all over the world come together for WIZO conference.2000-1

In May 2008, Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary.  WIZO is awarded the Israel Prize, the country’s most prestigious honor, recognition of all it has done and is doing to improve Israeli society, at a ceremony held on Yom Haatzmaut (Independence Day).

WIZO Milestones:

2000- 1,000 WIZO women from Israel and around the world come to participate in the 22nd World WIZO Conference in Tel Aviv, marking WIZO’s 80th anniversary, in an extraordinary display of solidarity with WIZO and Israel as we enter the 21st century.  A highlight is the appearance of 13 boy and girl students and graduates of  WIZO schools. 

The World WIZO website www.wizo.org  is launched

WIZO Israel opens the first School for Political Leadership for Women in Jerusalem, with the participation of 45 women, aged 24-52, left and right, religious and secular, Arab and Jew.  Minister of Immigration Prof. Yuli Tamir gives the opening address.

WIZO Israel plays a major role in the fight sex trafficking, led by lawyer Meira Segev, chair of the Department for the Status of Women.         

As the second intifada explodes, WIZO’s Jewish-Arab day care center in Jaffa remains a calm oasis in the storm.   WIZO youth clubs in the Jordan valley north of Jericho provide encouragement and psychological help during troubled times.  The WIZO day care center in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem, which is under fire, provides support for parents and their children.

Hadassah-WIZO Canada leaders, among them President Marion Mayman and Executive Vice President Lily Frank, participate in a l,000 strong solidarity mission of American and Canadian Jews to Israel. Two delegations from British WIZO, led by British WIZO Chairman Sarah Glyn, inaugurate the new Lily Sieff Community Center in Petach Tikva  and the Gaby Botello Center in Givatayim.

2001- 21 youngsters are killed in a suicide attack at the Dolphinarium Disco in Tel Aviv, among them Marina Berkovski, a 17 year old who attended the WIZO youth club in Yad Eliyahu, Tel Aviv.  During the ensuing period, many WIZO pupils, staff and service receivers are killed and injured.

Despite the difficult atmosphere, 41 women from around the world and 23 Israelis participated in the International WIZO Aviv and Lapid Seminars.

At the Durban Anti-Racist conference, Brenda Katten, chairperson of World WIZO’s Public Affairs and NGO department and WIZO South Africa chaverot, led by Tamar Lazarus, are at the forefront of the struggle against anti-Semitic and anti-Israel demonstrations.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visits the WIZO Battered Women’s Shelter during Hanukkah, emphasizing the importance of the struggle against violence.

2002- 9/11 and the second intifada do not prevent delegates from 26 countries from joining their Israeli colleagues at the annual Plenary, now the Annual General Meeting (AGM) the concept used for a not-for-profit Amuta (Association).  

Security Campaign launched by Helena Glaser, to reinforce shelters, provide gates and guards at WIZO institutions. 

Re-branding of WIZO by the World WIZO Publicity and Information Department promotes a fresh, up-to-date image for the 21st century. 

Pamela Meron, the wife of the Israeli Ambassador, founds a WIZO group in Moscow.

2000-2Former President Bill Clinton says “I want to thank WIZO for 80 years of wonderful work for children, women, values and family” at a special gala honoring WIZO Florida’s 20th anniversary

WIZO staff, teachers and students are killed in Haifa suicide bombings.

Ravid Ben-Ze’ev, 17, from WIZO Nir Haemek School and Youth Village, elected first female chairperson of the National Student Youth Council.

The Girls’ Basketball Team at the Hadassah-WIZO Canada Hadassim Youth Village wins the Israeli national high school championship and plays in the World Championship in Brazil.

2003- 17 former Soviet Union orphans find a home at WIZO Hadassim.

With difficult economic times, and every 4th child living under the poverty line, WIZO launches a “Poverty is not only Food” campaign, initiated by Vice President and Chairperson Helena Glaser.

A suicide bomber hits at the doorstep of WIZO Haifa, hilling 17 year old Smadar Firstater, a student at the WIZO Art and Design High School.

A record number of leaders from around the world come to WIZO’s Annual General Meeting to demonstrate solidarity with Israel and WIZO.

Thousands of chaverot  from all over Israel attend an extraordinary demonstration of Women Power at a park near Tel Aviv, organized by WIZO Israel Chairperson Yochy Feller.

The Neri Bloomfield WIZO College of Design, sponsored by Hadassah-WIZO Canada, moves to new picturesque location in German Colony quarter, with aid of generous donation from Neri Bloomfield.

Family Club for single parents in Jaffa is a site of Jewish-Arab cooperation.

2004- 800 delegates from WIZO Federations around the world attend the 23rd World WIZO Conference, now called 
the Enlarged General Meeting (EGM).

Helena Glaser is elected the 4th President of World WIZO.

Graduates of WIZO School for Political Leadership begin to succeed in municipal politics – Ayelet Cohen in Petach Tikva and Meital Lahavi in Tel Aviv

Outgoing World WIZO President Michal Modai becomes Distinguished Citizen of Tel Aviv, joining veteran WIZO 
activist Yedida Lahav (2003) and Raya Jaglom. 

Former WIZO Hadassim student actress Gila Almagor and music teacher Gil Aldema win the prestigious Israel Prize.2000-3

World WIZO begins a campaign to fight the New Anti-Semitism, initiated by Helena Glaser. 

WIZO Holland plays central role in Hague protests outside International Court of Justice supporting Israel’s right to build a security fence, joining WIZO France and other Federations in activity against the New Anti-Semitism.

WIZO Israel visits Poland, “a journey in the footsteps of a Federation that disappeared.”

British WIZO is now called WIZO.uk, a new brand for the 21st century.

A beautiful new campus is launched at the WIZO Nahalal School and Youth Village, sponsored by Hadassah WIZO Canada.

WIZO Israel holds its first General Assembly in Haifa, with hundreds of delegates from WIZO chapters around the country.

2005- Chairperson Tova Ben-Dov leads a new working agreement between the Histadrut, WIZO and the worker’s committee.

As 652,000 children fall below the poverty line, WIZO’s Anti-Poverty Fund serves as a lifesaver for thousands of Israeli families.

World WIZO launches its first International Membership Campaign, under the slogan “We’ve been expecting you,” initiated by Helena Glaser.

Mrs. Tova Ben Dov launches an EduCaution Campaign to help Israel’s many children at risk.

With the change of leadership among the Palestinians and the disengagement plan, many WIZO tourist groups come to visit Israel, including a large delegation to the 17th Maccabiah annual Jewish sports Olympics.

The WIZO Baby Home, now the Rebecca Sieff Center for the Family, sponsored by WIZO.uk, celebrates its jubilee, with many graduates and a large delegation from WIZO.uk led by Michele Vogel and Ruth Sotnick.

WIZO Israel launches first national emergency hotline for women who suffer from violence in the family and children at risk.

2006- Annual General Meeting dedicated to WIZO’s 85th Anniversary, with celebrations at the President’s Residence and the Knesset.

Graduates of the Neri Bloomfield WIZO Academy of Design and Education in Haifa will be authorized to receive BA degrees in their fields of study.

WIZO organizes pioneering training program for 23 Bedouin women from the Negev town of Rahat to run educational frameworks in their homes for preschoolers at a WIZO day care center in Beersheva.

WIZO builds a protected day care center against Kassam missiles in Sderot.

25 chaverot from WIZO Israel participate in a special seminar in Poland – "In the Footsteps of a Lost Federation".

Mrs. Tova Ben-Dov, Chairperson of the World WIZO Executive, initiates an emergency campaign, with the outbreak of the second Lebanon War in July and August, to help evacuees from the  North. 

WIZO opened its schools and youth villages throughout the country to receive thousands of Jewish and Arab residents seeking refuge from the Katyusha rockets. 

A special WIZO  emergency team led by Tova Ben-Dov functioned throughout the war to help meet the challenges, and WIZO volunteers provided both necessities and warmth to the relocated families. 

Over 900 chaverot from WIZO Israel celebrated WIZO's 85th anniversary in Jaffa in a wonderful pageant of word, song and dance.

2007- The pupils at WIZO Hadassim organized a special project to aid the children of Darfur.

Noted Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman designs a special Haggadah for WIZO Israel to support women and children.

As Israel marked the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War, and the taking down of the walls between West and East Jerusalem, many of WIZO's activities were devoted to WIZO's role in the capital city, past and present.

2000-4In a special interview to WIZO Review, Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski says that "WIZO is one of the most important social organizations, not only in Jerusalem, but throughout Israel."

The 23rd WIZO Israel Conference in Kfar Hamaccabiah in Ramat Gan is organized around the theme of "Women for the Benefit of Everyone."

2008- At the initiative of Helena Glaser, a new WIZO Federation is opened in India.

Over l,000 delegates from Israel and around the Jewish world participate in the 24th World WIZO Enlarged General Meeting (EGM) coinciding with WIZO's 88th anniversary and Israel's 60th, the largest conference ever. 

The theme is "Investing in People for Israel's Future." 

Following the ongoing firing of Katyusha rockets at the Negev development town of Sderot, a Saving Sderot campaign is launched at the World WIZO EGM.

WIZO is awarded the Israel Prize, the country's most prestigious award, granted annually on Independence Day at a special ceremony in Jerusalem. The award was granted for WIZO's efforts "to promote gender equality and its struggle to promote humanitarian social, cultural and educational issues, while focusing on the central position of women in society and the need for equality between the sexes within Israeli society."

2009- Dedication of WIZO Nir Ha’Emek’s first “Mishpachton”, a foster home for children at risk. 

World WIZO launches its Facebook page.

Australia-sponsored Ahuzat Yeladim, a residential boarding school for disadvantaged youth who suffer from behavioral, emotional, and psychiatric problems, celebrates 70 years since its founding.

The Lego Company of Denmark donates 1000 Lego kits to the Bruce and Ruth Rappaport Day Care Center in Sderot to help Israeli children cope with the trauma and fears caused by rocket fire.

2010– 100 Zionist lay leaders from 30 countries arrive in Israel to attend the annual World WIZO MOR (Meeting of Representatives) marking 90 years since World WIZO’s establishment.

On International Women's Day, WIZO Israel launches a new emergency hotline for female victims of violence.

WIZO brings 500 disadvantaged youth from across Israel together to celebrate their bar and bat mitzvahs at the Kotel. 

2011– WIZO Nir Ha’Emek hosts European Wheelchair Basketball Championship.

Tova Ben-Dov, Chairperson of the World WIZO Executive, is awarded the “Tel Aviv 2011 Prestigious Citizen’s Award” on Israel's 63rd Independence Day. 

2012 –WIZO Nachlat Yehuda Youth Village celebrates its 90th anniversary with a gala event attended by former and current students and staff, families and friends.

WIZO's Early Age Division initiates a countrywide healthy eating campaign aimed at enhancing children's meals within WIZO's day care centers

2013 – “Personal Relations”, a short film created by the young filmmakers of the WIZO Helena Kagan Community Center for Youth and Communications in Jerusalem, wins 1st Prize in Nation-Wide Film, “48 – Hours” competition in which film crews must write, shoot and produce films within two days.

Inauguration of Ecological Garden at WIZO Nir Ha’Emek for the Research and Protection of the Quality of the Environment.

Women residing in WIZO's battered women's shelters experienced a day of beauty and pampering at WIZO House in Tel Aviv, including manicures and pedicures, as well as individualized style and fashion advice from famous stylists. Aside from providing the women distraction from the daily challenges of starting over after escaping from domestic violence, it gave them an opportunity to invest in themselves as individuals and build self-confidence.  

2014– WIZO Delegates from the MOR (Meeting of Representatives) meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu who commends them on their important WIZO work strengthening the Israel-Diaspora relationship abroad

WIZO’s Early Age Division teams up with the Green Light organization to launch innovative road safety educational programming for two-year-olds.

Using the hashtag ‘#SpreadingLight, WIZO chaverot around the world participate in The Shabbat Project, calling on women across the globe to promote Jewish unity by lighting Shabbat candles in their homes and communities.

2015– Ghada Kamel, long-time chairperson of WIZO in the Druze town of Daliyat El Karmel, receives the President’s Prize for Volunteerism from President Reuven Rivlin in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of the women of her community, changing their lives while preserving their traditions.

Students at WIZO Nir Ha’Emek Youth Village establish “A Day Without Hunger” to battle the apathy surrounding the issues of poverty and hunger in Israel. The students enlist dozens of eateries in the north to sell meals on that day for just 2 NIS each.

Two new innovative specialty educational tracks: fire & rescue services at WIZO's Nahalat Yehuda youth village and veterinary medicine at WIZO's Gan Ve’Nof youth village are introduced

2016– “Women and their Olive Trees” WIZO art exhibition of olive trees, a well-known symbol of peace, drawn by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women from the Afula area as part of project to promote and symbolize coexistence in Israel, is successfully displayed at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and at the UN in Geneva.

The WIZO summer camp for Israeli children and children from abroad is launched at WIZO Nir Ha’Emek.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett visits WIZO Nir Ha’Emek for the opening of the 2016-2017 school year.

Four WIZO schools, WIZO Nir Ha'Emek Youth Village, WIZO Nachlat Yehuda Youth Village, CHW Nahalal Youth Village, and WIZO Technology High School in Rehovot, are awarded grants from the Ministry of Education for the high achievements of their pupils.

Ahuzat Yeladim facilities were evacuated in time from devastating brush fires in the region. Thankfully, no students, staff, or animals were hurt in the process. Restoration began in the following weeks.

2017– WIZO Nir Ha’Emek is awarded Israel’s Ministry of Education’s prize in Educational and Economic Achievements in Agriculture for Israel’s northern district.

Inauguration of a new rocket-proof WIZO Day Care Center in Sderot.

"The Aurora", a solar lawnmower created by tenth grade students from the CHW Hadassim Youth Village wins the national "Fuel Choices and Smart Initiative competition", held by the Prime Minister's Office

WIZO Australia funds the opening of Makom BaLev in Be’er Sheva, providing emergency housing and treatment for 16-26-year-old women at extremely high risk

2018– CHW Hadassim Youth Village wins the National Award for Educational Excellence presented by Israel’s Education Minister, MK Naftali Bennett.

WIZO celebrates 70 years of independence of the State of Israel at gala event honoring all WIZO’s schools and youths villages and their contributions to shaping the country

WIZO Nachlat Yehuda’s Fire & Rescue Cadet Program celebrates its first graduating class.

50 of WIZO's Tel Aviv headquarters staff members pitch in at WIZO’s day care centers, youth villages and parents’ home on International Good Deed’s Day

“The Mother Federation” WIZO UK celebrates 100 years since its founding, elects Ronit Ribak Madari as Chairperson, the first Israeli native to ever hold the position.

2019– Following a four-year struggle waged by WIZO, which included an appeal to the High Court of Justice, the Ministry of Education announces an equalization of the terms of study of 9,500 special education students.

Samir Azzam, a graduate from WIZO’s Political Leadership Program becomes first woman to serve on city council of Isfiya, the second largest Druze village in Israel

WIZO Ireland officially becomes an independent federation