On December 26, 2017, the Mandel Graduate Unit held a Hanukkah study and discussion event on Combatting Violence against Women, with the director general of the Mandel Foundation–Israel, Moshe Vigdor, in attendance. The session presented the unique efforts of four women graduates of Mandel programs who have dedicated their professional lives to fighting violence against women. In their work, they treat both the victims and the perpetrators, with the aim of changing attitudes, behavior, and legislation. The graduates heard about their work, the barriers they face, their accomplishments, and the challenges still ahead.
The four Mandel graduates who participated in this event were:
Doris Mor, graduate of Cohort 12 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and the director of Oganim, a unique therapeutic framework that helps violent men end the cycle of violence and become rehabilitated
Samah Salaime Egbariya, graduate of Cohort 21 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and founder and director of AWC (Arab Women in the Center or “NAAM” in Arabic), a non-profit organization combatting violence against women in Arab society
Dr. Galit Shaul, graduate of Cohort 4 of the Mandel Senior Civil Service Program for Social and Economic Affairs and CEO of the Rackman Center for the Advancement of Women's Status at Bar-Ilan University, whose work concerns legal representation and female activism in the field of family law
Tamar Schwartz, graduate of Cohort 22 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and director of Women’s Spirit (Ruach Nashit), a nonprofit organization that provides financial empowerment for women who are victims of family violence, and helps them recover after they leave women’s shelters
After the panel presentations, a discussion was held in which the presenters shared insights and spoke about how they deal with the issue within their own professional contexts. All those in attendance also shared ideas about how Mandel graduates, individually and as a community, can lead change to reduce violence against women in Israeli society.
At the end of the evening, the artist
Liron Breier-Danziger spoke about the two-year personal and artistic journey that led to “Lack of Public Interest,” an exhibition that tells the story of her sexual abuse by a friend’s father as a child. Her parents also attended the evening and spoke openly about what they had been through as individuals and as a family. They shared thoughts and insights about the ways in which Israel’s educational and social systems deal with this issue, and made practical suggestions for how the issue can be addressed.