Isha Koach (Women of Strength) addresses the global needs of women and girls through a Jewish and gender lens and works to advance the efforts and profiles of Jewish women social entrepreneurs who lead organizations that improve the quality of life of the world’s most vulnerable women and children.


Announcing the 2016-2017 Isha Koach Grantees:

Afya Foundation
Founded by Danielle Butin

Afya aims to provide an environmentally responsible solution to the dire shortage of healthcare supplies in underserved communities globally. Funds support the distribution of medical supplies, hospital equipment, and humanitarian aid to IDP camps in the south of Syria.

Empower Generation
Founded by Anya Chernoff and Sita Adhikari

Empower Generation builds clean energy markets in emerging Asia by seeding and supporting women-led enterprises serving the energy poor. Funds support the training of over 100 women and girls in rural Nepal to become sales agents, earning their own incomes from the sale of energy-efficient lighting.

Innovation: Africa
Founded by Sivan Yaari

Innovation: Africa brings solar energy to rural communities to transform rural healthcare and education, and provides rural communities with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Funds support the installation of a solar system at the health center in southeast Uganda, connecting power to all parts of the clinic and staff homes; and emergency humanitarian aid for communities in northern Uganda experiencing famine.

Israel Flying Aid
Founded by Gal Lusky

Israel Flying Aid delivers humanitarian lifesaving aid and relief to communities in areas struck by natural disaster or territorial conflicts.

Mother Health International
Founded by Rachel Zaslow

Mother Health International is dedicated to respond and provide relief to pregnant women and children in areas of disaster, war and extreme economic poverty. They are committed to reducing perinatal mortality rates by creating culturally competent and sustainable birth centers using the midwifery model of care. Funds support the creation of a mobile midwifery unit for South Sudanese women living in refugee camps in northern Uganda, offering prenatal care in women’s huts and transport for women in labor to health facilities.

Founded by Ayla Schlosser

Resonate believes that all women have the potential to lead change in their lives and communities. They train women to reframe what they believe to be possible, build on their strengths, and create change in their lives and communities. Funds support workshops that unlock the leadership potential of women and girls in East Africa so they are leaders in creating changes they want to see in their lives, communities, and the world.

S.O.U.L. Foundation
Founded by Brooke Stern

S.O.U.L. Foundation empowers women by developing business cooperatives to provide and additional source of income to the women of rural Uganda. Funds support a village emergency transport system and a mobile messaging platform to address the delay in accessing quality medical care in southeast Uganda.

SPARK MicroGrants
Founded by Sasha Fisher

SPARK MicroGrants enables communities to design and launch their own social impact projects by combining capacity building support with a microgrant. Funds support the rollout of a village strengthening program with a new village partner in northern Uganda and working with the Rwanda government to increase female leadership.

Founded by Erin Zaikis

Sundara’s mission is to reduce preventable hygiene related diseases and deaths in vulnerable populations (especially children and women) through sustainable solutions that involve female empowerment, local involvement and intensive hygiene education. Funds support the expansion of soap recycling workshops in India to provide women with fair wage jobs and reduce preventable hygiene related diseases in deaths.

Vital Health Africa
Founded by Leah Greenspan Hodor and Janis Simon

Vital Health Africa is a humanitarian, medical, and educational mission providing low cost, high impact intervention in maternal, newborn, child health in Sub Saharan Africa.

Founded by Gigi Pomerantz

Youthaiti is dedicated to helping and encouraging Haitian young people in their development of ecological projects in sanitation and water source protection, community gardening and reforestation in their own communities. Funds support the expansion of ecological sanitation and menstrual hygiene projects in southwest Haiti with the goal of creating a cultural shift away from open-defecation practices.

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Click the map below to check out the work that Isha Koach is doing all over the world!



Building the Foundation: A Look Back at the First Year of Isha Koach

The launch of Isha Koach in 2012 exceeded expectations. See what Isha Koach has set out to accomplish and learn about the Jewish women entrepreneurs Isha Koach is supporting in this exciting video.

Past Isha Koach Grantees:

Afya Foundation Emergency Ebola Relief Grant

Founded by Danielle Butin, Afya collects and delivers critically needed surplus medical supplies, hospital equipment and humanitarian provisions for acute and ongoing health crises worldwide. This emergency relief grant was used to aid in the shipment of $1.7 million worth of critical, life-saving supplies, including 170 pallets of personal protective equipment to protect healthcare workers on the frontline of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, where as many as 75% of Ebola victims are women. The vast majority of nurses in the affected region are women, and it is women who are most often the primary caregivers nursing their husbands, children and other family members at home putting them at high risk for contracting the virus, inspiring Isha Koach to support Afya. Read more about JWFNY’s Emergency Ebola Relief Grant here.

Afya Foundation

In addition to the Emergency Ebola Relief Grant, Isha Koach awarded a grant to enable Afya to ship 32,000 lbs. of maternal and children’s health supplies, including hospital beds and diagnostic tools, to the Ghanaian Ministry of Health to reduce maternal and child mortality rates. Clinics in Ghana are undersupplied and many births still take place outside of an emergency obstetric and neonatal care facility. In an effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality rate, Afya supplies underserved, rural clinics with maternal and children’s medical supplies.

Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village

Isha Koach made a special grant to Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in memory of the Village’s late founder, Anne Heyman (z”l). ASYV seeks to enable orphaned and vulnerable youth to realize their maximum potential by providing them with a safe and secure living environment, health care, education and necessary life skills. Education and service are used to model and create socially responsible citizens in Rwanda and around the world. The grant will be used to improve the lives of the women and girls living in the village.

Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Program

Founded by Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, the Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Program, based at University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, is a collaboration among universities, NGOs and Ministries of Health to improve the health and educational potential of children in developing countries by early promotion of nutrition and oral health. Women’s and children’s oral health are closely connected, and oral disease has severe adverse impacts on the health of mothers and their children, including preterm delivery and low birth weight. This grant will support the COHNP, India Smiles, in Mumbai, India to improve the oral health of mothers through the development of the mothers’ oral health intervention program model to train local health workers to provide nutritional counseling and oral health education to over 300 mothers and their children and provide stipends for volunteers to travel to India to participate in the program to gain hands-on experience, mentorship and leadership opportunities for undergraduate and graduate health professional students.[/read]

Empower Generation

Founded by Anya Cherneff, Empower Generation empowers women to power communities with clean energy to lead their communities out of energy poverty. This grant award will build the capacity of Empower Generation’s women-led clean energy distribution network in Nepal – the EmpowerGrid – to mentor, train, and microfinance female entrepreneurs; monitor and conduct home energy assessments; and market the solar energy campaign to new entrepreneurs, directly impacting over 100 women and girls who had previously been denied education and economic opportunity and providing over 70,000 people access to clean energy. As a result of Empower Generation’s work, these women and girls will have income generating opportunities, access to non-formal education and the resources they need to succeed in a male-dominated industry.

Global Goods Partners

Founded by Catherine Shimony, Global Goods Partners provides a reliable, fair market for women artisans around the world and supports their women-operated community cooperatives, which provide vital services to their communities. Past grants helped build GGP inventory levels and funded the production of large custom orders that pays partners – over 3,000 women artisans – directly in India, Nepal, Bolivia and Guatemala, and funded a training initiative that targeted promising women-led craft enterprises in Guatemala, Peru, and India.

Goods for Good

Founded by Melissa Kushner, Goods for Good turns excess into progress by distributing donated surplus goods to community centers and schools in Malawi (Southeast Africa) enabling the institutions to care for and support vulnerable children and community members. Past grants were used to build a community-owned and operated agriculture business at one of Goods for Good’s partner community centers in Malawi. The proceeds from this business will be directly invested in the children served by the community center, impacting the lives of 65,000 orphans and their caregivers, and funded the expansion of the successful poultry business model that  goods for good have pioneered in partnership with communities in Malawi. The proceeds from this business will be directly invested in the children served by the community center, impacting the lives of 65,000 orphans and their caregivers.

Ikamva Labantu

Founded by Helen Lieberman, Ikamva Labantu commits itself to uplift communities in South Africa and create sustainable change by using innovative methods to find practical solutions for the challenges they face. Many children in township communities have been left without a mother and/or father due to HIV/AIDS, neglect, violence or abuse. Through the support of Ikamva Labantu, families within their communities welcome and foster these orphans and vulnerable children. Ikamva community-based workers conduct frequent visits to foster homes, providing them with support, practical advice, addressing their immediate needs (such as food, school clothing and supplies, and accessing government grants), and by providing health screenings for the family. This grant will be used to support Ikamva Labantu’s work caring for and educating orphans and vulnerable children, impacting over 1600 children.

Innovation: Africa

Founded by Sivan Ya'ari, Innovation: Africa brings Israeli technologies to rural African villages in order to improve quality of life and promote sustainable development, support Israeli innovation and foster a positive image of Israel abroad. Past grants were used to support the installation of a solar powered water pump in Nakaloke Village, Uganda which will serve 1,600 people in the area, and to install 10 tap solar powered water pumping systems in Kolonyi Village, which will supply 2,841 people with clean water. Now, for the first time, instead of walking hours to collect water, Kolonyi’s women will be able to raise healthier families and generate income in their new-found free time. Girls will be able to pursue the education they deserve, empowering them to reach their full potential.

Jevaia International, Oral Health Care Project

Founded by Laura Spero, Jevaia International partners with communities in Nepal to transform health and wellbeing in a sustainable, respectful manner.  Jevaia Oral Health Care (JOHC) establishes community-based oral health programs in rural Nepal, where oral caries is the most prevalent childhood disease in the country.  Oral disease is closely associated with malnutrition, heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, pregnancy health, and general immune competency.  And yet this vital aspect of primary healthcare receives very little attention the public health community, and JOHC is the only oral health program in Nepal that builds long-lasting, comprehensive oral health care systems based in villages.  In each of its working areas, Jevaia establishes a locally-based dental clinic staffed by a local health care provider, school brushing programs for all primary school children, and two years of community advocacy and education run by residents in their own villages.  JOHC currently serves an area of over 50,000 people.  This grant will support capacity building and data analysis that will improve the efficacy of and evidence behind Jevaia’s programs.

Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic

Founded by Amy Lehman, Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, positively impacts the people and environment in the Lake Tanganyika basin by delivering health care by boat and providing health care worker training and local health center support while acting as a source of knowledge and research platform for stakeholders in the region. Currently, women and girls in the area live in extreme poverty in isolated villages, making them unable to access education and prenatal care, leading to pregnancy complications and a high maternal-fetal mortality rate. This grant will support capacity building to gather data from 12 health areas on the Democratic Republic of the Congo peninsula in order to begin implementing programming, such as prenatal care and family planning support as well as expanding communications network for epidemiologic data collection.

Project Muso

Founded by Jessica Beckerman, Project Muso empowers women in Mali (West Africa) to care for the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families through education, microfinance and community based malaria early-detection programs. This grant will support Muso to train, hire, support and supervise 20 Malian women as community health workers in order to bring life-saving health care into the homes of 20,000 community members thereby offering free health care to the poor and improving clinical infrastructure.

Shining Hope for Communities

Founded by Jessica Posner, SHOFCO, mobilizes grassroots leadership to link schools for girls to community services for all, building vibrant, gender equitable communities where all are able to realize their full potential. This grant award will directly help SHOFCO’s Maternal and Child Health Program in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya, to reach 5,000 more women to improve their health status, as well as their infants’ and children’s through prenatal care, postnatal care, family planning, and cervical cancer screening.

S.O.U.L. Foundation

Founded by Brooke Stern, S.O.U.L. Foundation works to foster sustainable and vibrant Ugandan communities through unique partnerships focused on women’s empowerment, education, food security, and maternal health. In rural Uganda, women continue to deliver their babies in unsanitary and dangerous environments, with less than half (48%) delivering with a skilled birthing attendant, making preventable conditions fatal. This Isha Koach grant will help S.O.U.L to develop a comprehensive Maternal Health Education program and build an Antenatal Education Center at the community center in Bujagali, Uganda. These programs will mobilize local women leaders to manage referral services for all mothers and educate 700 women in vital maternal and child health issues, including antenatal care visits and family planning, inspiring and empowering Bujagali women to take control of their infants’ and their own health.


Founded by Laura Stachel, WE CARE Solar reduces maternal mortality in developing countries by providing health workers and centers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and blood bank refrigeration through solar electricity using the revolutionary “solar suitcase.” Past grants supported WE CARE Solar to continue this work in Nigeria and bring the same solar technology and life-saving equipment to Sierra Leone, and to deploy Solar Suitcases to under-resourced health centers in Ethiopia, Philippines, and Tanzania; train health care workers in installing, using, and maintaining the Solar Suitcase; and advocate for sustainable energy for health facilities to improve health care for women and their families, impacting over 350,000 mothers and infants.