Emunah Strives to Broaden the Areas of Influence of Women in the Public Arena in Israel.
To achieve this goal Emunah cooperates with and often leads a wide range of umbrella organizations and recognized public forums, including the Council of Women’s Organizations in Israel, the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women in Israel, and the religious Education Council. Emunah is active in promoting the interests of women in rabbinic courts, provides support for battered women, and vigorously supports legislation advancing women and the family in Israel.
In addition, Emunah operates women’s business clubs, providing the opportunity for young entrepreneurs to network, exchange ideas and develop vital skills to enhance their businesses.
Emunah Encourages the Inclusion of Women in Public Life
One of the main goals of Emunah in the public sphere is to encourage the inclusion of women in Israeli public life and in leadership while remaining absolutely loyal to the precepts of Jewish law.
Emunah Promotes Legislation
Emunah is involved in the work of Knesset committees with regard to various areas of legislation, especially those to do with women, and was even among the initiators of certain laws and amendments to existing legislation, including maternity leave for foster families, division of property, supervision over frameworks for the care of infants, maternity leave and tax benefits for working mothers, court jurisdiction, and others.
Emunah Ensures Effective Representation of Women
In addition to its public and legislative activities, Emunah constantly maintains efforts to ensure effective representation of women in general and religious women in particular in all areas of influence, both within the religious-Zionist sector and beyond it.
Emunah Participates in Public Organizations and Forums
Emunah and its representatives take part in public organizations and forums, such as the Council of Women’s Organizations in Israel and abroad, the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women, the ICAR Coalition on behalf of the rights of Agunot and Mesuravot Get, UN women’s forums, the Religious Education Council, the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women, the Committee to Establish National Civil Service, the Committee of the Advisor to the Chief of Staff of the IDF on Women’s Issues, and others.
Often Emunah finds itself alone, or together with other organizations, in the forefront of various public struggles on behalf of the status of women. These have included appeals to the Supreme Court or other authorities, appearances in the media, demonstrations, etc. Among the topics are the inclusion of women in the Committee to Appoint Dayanim, increasing the wages of the metaplot in the day care centers, increasing the state subsidies for children of working mothers with children in day care centers, dealing with personal status issues and preventing violence in the family, protesting sexual harassment in the work place and trafficking of women, legislation pertaining to women’s retirement age, obtaining equal rights for the National Service volunteers, advancing solutions for mesurovot get and agunot, and others.
Emunah Maintains Ongoing Public Agenda on Women’s Issues
Emunah as an organization takes a stand with regard to current events, yet also maintains an ongoing public agenda, especially with regard to status of women issues.
Appeal to the High Court on the “Appointment of Dayanim”
An injunction that Emunah requested against the Committee to Appoint Dayanim demanded the nullification of the present composition of the committee until a woman would be included on the body. The purpose is to bring before the committee women’s voice and perspective in the deliberations.
Appeal to the High Court on “Mesuravot Get”
This refers to the request by Emunah to be added as a “Friend of the Court” to an appeal that dealt with a woman who has been a mesurevat get for 16 years.
Course for “Mashkichot Kashrut”
It is well known that no one takes greater care with regard to the kashrut of the home than the homemaker, the one who cooks in the home. Thus, it seems to us only natural and acceptable that women can also be employed professionally in kashrut-related areas, especially since there is no halakhic problem for a woman to be a mashkiach.
There are many more public activities undertaken by Emunah, and the short description above provides just a small sample. In future we will continue to broaden our work.