2024: The Year After

domestic violence in the shadow of war

In so many ways, we are all still stuck in 2023, on October 7, 2023 to be more precise. But life must, and does, go on. In 2024, WIZO charges ahead to the new year with strength, determination, and hope for a brighter future. Here’s a brief recap of what’s been happening since we marked the beginning of 2024 a month ago and a look ahead at what’s to come. 

memorial for fallen druze soldiers

Memorial for Fallen Druze Soldiers

The WIZO Daliyat al-Karmel branch hosted a moving event and WIZO’s leadership were all in attendance. “This branch doesn’t emphasize only activism and female solidarity but also partnerships between peoples and religions, among communities that have chosen to adopt one another and create a commonality that transcends everything that once divided them,” said WIZO Israel Chairperson Ora Korazim.

wizo missions to israel

WIZO Missions to Israel

We are pleased to be hosting more and more missions and groups coming to show solidarity with WIZO and Israel, and experience firsthand what our nation is going through. Those of you who have come on such journeys can testify how deeply you were affected by being here, meeting the survivors, volunteering in farms, seeing the destruction of the kibbutzim, cooking for soldiers, touching, and being touched, by Israel after Oct 7. We encourage you all to come. 

egm 2024 via zoom

EGM 2024 – via Zoom

Last month, over 500 WIZO members from around the world joined us for the first virtual EGM, Enlarged General Meeting, in history. Although it was disappointing not to meet you all face to face, it is a testament to the strength of our movement that wars cannot come between us, will never weaken the unity of our movement, our spirit, or our sisterhood. We stand united, more than ever.

world wizo president anat vidor

Meet our Newly Elected World WIZO President, Anat Vidor

Anat Vidor was elected as the new World WIZO President, following in the footsteps of Esther Mor who served as President for the past 8 years. We honored Esther for her great contributions to WIZO and bestowed upon her the title of Honorary Life President. We look forward to Anat bringing her energy, passion and vision to this new leadership role.  

wizo in wartime emergency campaign

WIZO in Wartime: Emergency Campaign

We are extraordinarily grateful for the outpouring of support from the very first hours of this war. Within a few weeks, our federations raised tens of millions of shekels for our emergency campaign. We have reported on WIZO’s activities during the war, and on our priorities in using these funds, but the war is ongoing, and so is the need for assistance. We are continuing to raise funds for current and future needs, including via our “I am not ok” campaign for mental health support, more shelters, memorial projects for fallen WIZO graduates, and more. Below is a link to continue giving. 

Here are some specific projects that are underway in the coming months of 2024.

domestic violence in the shadow of war

Domestic Violence in the Shadow of War

Economic stress, severe disruption in life routines, children at home, rocket attacks, and of course the  inescapable trauma of October 7 resulted in a huge spike in domestic violence across Israel, and created a double trauma for the women and children in our two shelters, and the hundreds we care for in our Safety Net post-shelter program. We are working to increase the emotional, financial and educational support we provide for this affected population in order to guide them through this difficult time. 

new and renovated bomb shelters

New and Renovated Bomb Shelters

We have had to invest in our shelters and safe rooms in youth villages, schools, WIZO Israel Centers, and our women’s shelter in the south. In the photo is the shelter in the Geffen dormitory in WIZO Nachlat Yehuda in urgent need of repair. Bomb shelters are a critical part of Israel’s infrastructure and this war has only served to emphasize the life-saving capacity of these structures. 

building national resilience

Building National Resilience

We are conducting intensive and ongoing emotional and professional support activities and workshops for our children, youth, and women, as well as for our professional teams in our day care centers, schools, villages and shelters. The enormous scope of Israel’s mental health crisis is a serious long term problem that we will need to continue to address on many levels.

it disaster preparedness

IT Disaster Preparedness

We are reinforcing our physical and technological infrastructure in WIZO Headquarters in Tel Aviv, making necessary preparations for disaster scenarios. In the event that our headquarters is hit by a missile or rendered unusable for other reasons, we have put in place emergency procedures so that we can immediately resume our work from a safe location. 

There is much work ahead of us in rebuilding our country – physically, emotionally and mentally. WIZO’s unique status as one of the largest providers of social services in Israel makes us a critical partner in these rebuilding efforts. Stay tuned for more details of exciting new initiatives, as well as important existing services.

Our annual Meeting of Representatives (MOR) is taking place today, also on Zoom rather than in person. I hope to see many of you there. In the meantime, please continue your incredible work. It is you that keeps the WIZO flame burning bright in dozens of countries, on six continents.

You are an inspiration to all of us, and together we will do ever greater things for our movement, and for Israel.

Warmly yours,

Anita Friedman
World WIZO Chairperson

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