Department of Ed must support the Dear Colleague letter

Jewish Women International (JWI), a leading advocate against campus sexual assault and dating violence, condemns Secretary of Education Betsy Devos’s announcement today as an attack on survivors of sexual assault and dating abuse. The guidelines issued by the Department of Education in 2011 have helped school administrators and students provide all students with equal protection and have improved student’s rights. Rolling back these guidelines will further victimize the one-fifth of female college students who experience rape or sexual assault.

"Today’s action is an insult to victims, advocates, administrators and campus sexual assault coordinators throughout the country," said JWI CEO Lori Weinstein.  "The facts speak for themselves-- every year, hundreds of victims of sexual assault do not get the justice they deserve. This is why the Obama Administration put the Dear Colleague letter in place. Devos’s action today erases the progress we have made in the past eight years.”

JWI provides critical proactive programming on college campuses, teaching students about sexual assault, dating abuse, and bystander intervention.  We call on the Department of Education to support the Dear Colleague letter and further bolster the rights of survivors of sexual assault, dating abuse, and stalking on college campuses across the country.

Ending DACA runs counter to the very ideals of our country

Jewish Women International (JWI) is deeply disappointed in the Trump Administration’s decision today to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Over 800,000 young people who call America home will now be deported to a country they haven’t lived in for at least a decade. 
DACA recipients have used the protection of this program to enroll in college and graduate school and participate in the workforce as social workers, EMS professionals, and members of the military. Sending away our best and the brightest will do unconscionable harm to our economy and to families across the country. 
Ending DACA runs counter to the very ideals of our country.  It is imperative that Congress act now and pass the bipartisan DREAM Act to provide a pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young people who are Americans in every way, except on paper. Call your senators and representative to demand action!

LET'S GET TO WORK: Civic action to-do list for 8-7-17

3. Speak Out During Recess

With both houses of Congress in recess for the month of August, now is the perfect opportunity to tell your Representative and Senators about your policy priorities!  You can attend a town hall or call one of their local offices to schedule a meeting. Push for bipartisan healthcare reform, advocate against concealed carry reciprocity, or demand that the Administration continue collecting important data about the wage gap. Take this time to engage with members of Congress about what's important to you!

2. Demand Accountability for Sex Trafficking Websites

A two-year Senate investigation into online sex trafficking found that the website knowingly aids the criminal sex trafficking of women and girls. Current federal law doesn't allow survivors whose abusers used to file lawsuits, even though it is well-established that Backpage facilitates sex trafficking. In an attempt to close this unconscionable loophole, a bipartisan group of Senators has introduced the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA).  Call your Senators and tell them to co-sponsor this bill to make it clear that websites like Backpage should be held accountable!

1. Stand Up for Paid Family Leave

Only one in three employees in the United States has access to paid parental leave, reports a new study published by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The study also shines a light on the large gap in access to paid sick days that leaves part-time workers at a great disadvantage. This disparity is indefensible - every new parent deserves paid time off. The Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act would guarantee this right to every American. Call on your elected officials to sponsor the FAMILY Act!

And for you... 

If you haven't given much thought yet to the impending solar eclipse, NASA is here to help you plan your viewing; the New York Times recommends some reading material for historical context; and Bonnie Tyler has you covered for a soundtrack to this once-in-a-lifetime event. Protect your eyes, and prepare to be amazed!

Trump's transgender military ban is an insult to all servicemembers

President Trump’s commitment to ban transgender people from serving in the United States military is blatant discrimination, and his use of social media to announce this measure adds insult to injury. This ban runs counter to JWI's work and beliefs, and disparages the brave service of all members serving in our military. Instead of moving backward to the days of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell," we must continue the progress made in the last few years to create inclusive policies for all military personnel. 

America's healthcare remains intact - for now

Late last night the Senate’s final effort to repeal and replace Obamacare failed. Thanks to the leadership of Senators Murkowski, Collins, and McCain, who voted against the “skinny repeal" bill, our healthcare system remains intact and millions of Americans remain protected!

JWI applauds the sentiments expressed by Senator John McCain - that it is time for members of both parties to come together and govern in the best interest of our nation. We hope - like all Americans, of every political affiliation - for a Congress that can leave partisanship behind and work toward a better future for every citizen.  

Call your senators NOW to protect healthcare!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017:

At this moment the Senate is voting on ways to repeal and replace Obamacare, which provides the elderly, poor, and disabled children, as well as people with pre-existing conditions, access to affordable health insurance.

The cost of repeal is high – in dollars, and in lives.

With less than 20 hours of debate remaining, now is the time to make your voice heard. Call your Senators to demand they vote against any measure that repeals Obamacare and takes healthcare coverage away from millions!

Act now: Call (202) 224-3121!

The Better Care Reconciliation Act is WORSE

After months of trying to formulate a healthcare plan, Senator Mitch McConnell re-introduced a disastrous new version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act last week. The legislation fails us in so many ways: It strips millions of Americans of healthcare; creates a two-tiered system with astronomically high insurance premiums and deductibles for people with pre-existing conditions; and eliminates all of the protections Obamacare provides. It is unconscionable that members of the Senate could vote to kick children, the disabled, and the elderly in nursing homes off of Medicaid with no viable, affordable alternatives.

Even America's Health Insurance Plans, the healthcare industry’s main trade group, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association spoke out against this craven legislation, telling the Chicago Tribune on Saturday, "It is unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with significant medical conditions, increase premiums and could lead to widespread loss of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market."

We cannot go back to the days where women were charged more for healthcare solely based on their gender, nor the days when insurance plans didn’t include coverage for even the most basic care. As the wealthiest nation in the world, we must ensure that affordable, quality health care is a right of all of our citizens and not a privilege for the wealthy.

The vote on this bill may be temporarily delayed, but as in any good horror story, it’s only sleeping – not dead. We must not give up or relax until this bill has been buried! It is imperative that we keep up the pressure and call on the undecided Senators Heller (NV), Murkowski (AK), Lee (UT), Capito (WV), and Portman (OH)  to vote NO.


JWI Awarded Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York Grant


Meredith Jacobs, VP Communications
direct: 202.464.4803// cell: 301.529.8591

Funds will bring programs to N.Y.-area universities to change the culture on campus

Washington, D.C. – Jewish Women International (JWI), the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls, has been awarded a two year, $80,000.00 grant from the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York (JWFNY) to educate and engage students in social change to end sexual assault. This funding is the second grant from the foundation supporting JWI’s Change the Culture initiative and specifically funds expansion to New York-area universities (including Orthodox colleges) and creation of New York-specific materials.

JWI works directly with students from Greek-life, Hillel, and the at-large student body for peer-led training, discussion groups and public awareness campaigns as well as Jewish-themed programming. The organization has been recognized for its expertise in bringing healthy relationship programs to both university and Orthodox Jewish communities.

“This partnership with the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York will allow us to foster conversations and create meaningful programs with New York-area college students to make a real difference in their everyday lives while changing the culture on their campuses,” said JWI CEO Lori Weinstein. “We know that campuses are experiencing record numbers of incidences of sexual assault and unsafe dating practices. But by educating students and giving them tools to become active bystanders, supportive allies, and advocates for change, we will create that positive change that will make our campuses safe for all students to learn and grow.”

“We were impressed by the difference JWI is already making on campuses with both healthy relationship and financial literacy workshops,” said Stephanie Blumenkranz, assistant director of JWFNY. “Our Foundation is focused on providing women with the opportunity to make real change in their lives and in the lives of other women. We are thrilled that we will be continuing our relationship with JWI and empowering students to address one of the most critical issues for their generation.”

“We are honored that the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York has entrusted us to oversee this expansion in New York,” Weinstein said. “We are deeply appreciative for the foundation’s long-term support, beginning years ago with the seed-funding they gave us to create our financial literacy program, Life$avings® for Teens. We look forward to continuing our partnership using effective programming that will in turn influence the greater community.”


Jewish Women International (JWI) is the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls domestically and internationally. JWI is a Steering Committee member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women and convenes the Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Clergy Task Force to End Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community, and is a member of the Gun Violence Table. JWI’s advocacy efforts focus on the passage of legislation that supports women and girls, ensures their economic security, and protects their right to live free of violence.