WIZO was founded in the UK in 1918 in direct response to the needs of women and children in Israel. WIZO continues to evolve to support the ever changing needs of society changing lives and building futures for thousands of Israel’s most vulnerable men, women and children, regardless of race or religion.
WIZO is one of 50 Federations worldwide with the primary objective of raising money for vital social welfare and education projects throughout Israel. WIZO’s supporters are women and men of all ages and interests.
1918 – 1929
WIZO was founded in Great Britain in 1918 by Rebecca Sieff, Vera Weizmann and Romana Goodman with a focus on caring for people and helping them to achieve a better life.
1930 – 1939
WIZO members witnessed the annihilation of Jewish communities in Europe and the dissolution of WIZO Federations in countries under the Nazi regime. The large migration of Jews from Eastern and Central Europe to Latin America created 19 new Latin American WIZO Federations.
1940 – 1949
The United Nations resolved to partition the former British mandate over Palestine, setting up a Jewish and an Arab state. WIZO’s Head Office was transferred from London to Israel and Rebecca Sieff was elected 1st President of World WIZO.
1950 – 1959
WIZO worked 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 recognised as a non-governmental organization (NGO), and given consultative status with ECOSOC.
1960 – 1969
WIZO was given a seat in the Executive, and voting rights, at the 26th World Jewish Congress. WIZO assisted the Six Day War effort and built new Day Care Centres in Jerusalem.
1970 – 1979
WIZO helped in the rehabilitation of Israeli victims of war and terror.
1980 – 1989
WIZO responded to the mass immigration of Jews with absorption programmes across Israel.
1990 – 1999
WIZO responded to victims of violence and terror, opened the 1st school for political leadership and played a major role in the fight against sex trafficking.
2000 – today
WIZO launched the first emergency national hotline for women suffering from violence in the family and children at risk and built the 1st protected Day Care Centre against Kassam missiles in Sderot. WIZO also sheltered Jewish and Arab residents from the Katyusha rockets in Lebanon.