History Of WIZO

  • 1920 - 1929

    • WIZO founded in Great Britain in 1920
    • Rebecca Sieff and Vera Weizmann make a fact-finding trip to Palestine and are shocked by the conditions in which women and their families were living and working
    • They plan to provide social and welfare services, training in agriculture and domestic science
    • This focus on caring for people and helping them to achieve a better life, rather than building infrastructure, remains a guiding principle of our movement today
  • 1930 - 1939

    • WIZO members witnessed the annihilation of Jewish communities in Europe and the dissolution of WIZO Federations in countries under the Nazi regime
    • Large migration of Jews from Eastern and Central Europe to Latin America, created 19 new Latin American WIZO Federations
  • 1940 - 1949

    • The United Nations resolves to partition the former British mandate over Palestine, setting up a Jewish and an Arab state
    • WIZO Head Office was transferred from London to Israel and Rebecca Sieff elected 1st President of the World WIZO
  • 1950 - 1959

    • WIZO works with new immigrants, hosting families, providing educational and welfare services. The Equal Rights for Women law was passed, and the first WIZO advice bureau opened
    • WIZO was recognized as a non governmental organization, NGO, and given consultative status with ECOSOC
  • 1960 - 1969

    • WIZO provides hundreds of women with work in the work shops set up by the Department of Home Industry
    • WIZO given seat in the Executive, and voting rights, at the 26th World Jewish Congress
    • Six Day War breaks out and WIZO assists the war effort
    • WIZO builds new Day Care Centres in Jerusalem
  • 1970 - 1979

    • A period of great turmoil in Israel WIZO helps in the rehabilitation of victims of war and terror
  • 1980 - 1989

    • A secret airlift, Operation Solomon, brings 8,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel and mass immigration of Jews from the Former Soviet Union
    • WIZO responds with its absorption programmes across Israel
  • 1990 - 1999

    • Following the 2nd intifada and 9/11 WIZO responds to victims of violence and terror
    • WIZO opens the 1st school for political leadership, arab and jewish women join the school
    • WIZO in Israel plays a major role in the fight against sex trafficking
  • 2000 - date

    • WIZO launches first emergency national hotline for women suffering from violence in the family and children at risk
    • WIZO builds the 1st protected day care centre against Kassam missiles in Sderot
    • WIZO shelters Jewish and Arab residents from the Katyusha rockets in Lebanon
    • WIZO has 800 projects in Israel and continues to provide world-class social welfare and educational projects to its citizens

Irena: I was from a broken dysfunctional home. Thanks to the love and care from my WIZO teacher – who is like a mother to me – I am now studying chemical engineering.

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