Dear Friends, This edition of the Division's Lapid magazine focuses on the theme of "Gender" and approaches the subject from different perspectives.

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Dear Friends,

This edition of the Division's Lapid magazine focuses on the theme of "Gender" and approaches the subject from different perspectives. Sometimes it is hard to understand exactly what is meant by the term "gender" and for many the terms “gender” and “sex” are interchangeable. "Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women."Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.

For more than 94 years WIZO as a feminist movement has been in the forefront of advocating for gender equality and women's empowerment. In recent years Israel has made positive strides towards gender equality. We have broken ground but much remains to be done. We will not not rest on our laurels and will continue to fight the gender norms ingrained in Israeli society.

Wishing you a Shana Tova Umetuka - may the the New Year bring security, prosperity and peace.

Chag Sameach

Janine Gelley
Chairperson, Organization and Tourism Division
World WIZO


New Year’s holidays offer a universal message

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's op-ed piece explores the universal meanings behind the High Holidays. Embedded within Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are three of humanity's cardinal touchstones: accounting and judgement, mercy and atonement, and the joy of life. Read more...


An orthodox woman on the bima

Best-selling American-Israeli author Naomi Ragen leaves her comfort zone and accepts an aliyah for the first time. She says that Orthodox Jewry is aspiring to foster more gender equality in ritual and greater tolerance for diversity of practice and opinion. Read more...

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WIZO carries the torch for gender equality

The struggle for gender equality in Israeli society, which began with the arrival of the first pioneers in pre-state Israel, continues until today. Women's Organizations like WIZO are those that have mainly led this struggle. WIZO Israel's Division for the Advancement of the Status of Women directs its activities toward improving the status of women in all areas—family, work, society, political life and legal matters. Read more...

gender medizin 1

Gender specific medicine – an aspect of gender equality

The right to healthcare is a basic human right and a gender specific healthcare system is essential for better healthcare for women and for men. Through its collaboration with the Austrian Society for Gender Specific Medicine and the international NGOs in Vienna, WIZO Austria has been instrumental in promoting gender specific healthcare in civil society and international UN bodies. Read more...

sex trafficking

Fighting the flesh trade

One of the lesser known facts about Israel is that this tiny country is leading the battle against international human trafficking. In fact, Israel is considered a top tier country in this battle that is becoming more and more prevalent around the world. It has not always been this way. In the past, Israel had an abysmal record when it came to catching the pimps and purveyors of vulnerable men and women. Read more...

lihi lapid


Lihi Lapid, best-selling Israeli author and journalist preaches "happiness feminism"; women giving themselves (not anybody else) the right to establish their dreams. Her philosophy is summed up in this incredibly beautiful and inspiring declaration. Read more...

gender children

Gender roles detrimental to physical/mental health?

It’s no secret that we live in a society where gender roles rule the masses, however, according to a fascinating study that observed 14-year-olds’ interactions over a three month period, fixed ideas about what should be considered “masculine” and “feminine,” can actually be detrimental to a child’s physical and mental health. Read more...

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WIZO cookbooks are a source of inspiration

Holiday celebrations are a highly effective means of binding families and community and of passing traditions down to the next generation. It follows that Jewish holidays have been highly important to the Jewish People, who have faced external threats to their survival throughout history. And food has always played a primary part in the celebration of Jewish holidays. For those who value tradition as well as creativity when celebrating holidays we share with you cherished recipes from WIZO cookbooks around the globe. Read more...


As always, we welcome your comments as well as feedback on news and features you'd like to see included in our magazine. Please feel free to email us at


Compiled by World WIZO Organization & Tourism Division

Co-editors: Lisa Moss, Raquel Dar, Rolene Marks