Jerusalem, Lebanon War, Ethiopian Jews Aliya
: 1980-1989

In 1980, the Jerusalem Law is passed by the Knesset, declaring reunited Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

In 1981, the Iraqi nuclear reactor is destroyed by the Israeli Air Force.

The Lebanon War against PLO strongholds in Lebanon is launched by Defense Minister Ariel Sharon in 1982, and the PLO relocates its leadership to Tunis.  Following the massacre of Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Israel’s Christian allies, Sharon resigns from his post following the Israeli Government Kahan Commission’s recommendations.


In 1984, Operation Moses brings 7,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
Rampant inflation endangers the Israeli economy. An emergency economic plan initiated by Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai in 1985 stabilizes the situation.

In 1987, the first intifada (uprising) begins in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  In the late 80’s, Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev announces a new policy of peristroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness).

In 1989, the second mass wave of Soviet immigration begins.


WIZO Milestones:

1980- WIZO sends a delegation to the UN Women’s Mid-Decade Conference in Copenhagen.
         Two classes for disadvantaged girls opened in WIZO centers in Eilat and Beersheba.
         WIZO Israel opens Third Age Department to work with senior citizens.

1981- The Mothercraft Training Center (MTC) is closed at the request of the Ministry of Social Affairs, 
         in keeping with early age psychologists’ new policy against closed institutions for young children.
         WIZO USA Federation established in New York and Miami at the initiative of Raya Jaglom, following 
         a “gentlewomen’s agreement” between WIZO and Hadassah. Evelyn Sommer is elected president.

1982- Neve WIZO, 4 special foster family homes for children, opened in Herzlia, sponsored by WIZO South Africa, 
         to provide a solution for children from the MTC who had no alternative family arrangement.
         Beit Heuss expands its activities, begins regular week-long recreational and support workshops for groups 
         of women and couples with problems, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
         First WIZO club for Bedouin women opened in Shibli.
         First WIZO club for Circassian women opened in Reihania.

1983- WIZO Israel opens Rachel Kagan Leadership Seminar.

1984- First Shelter for Battered Women opened by WIZO Israel Status of Women Department, at the
         initiative of Michal Modai, following 1980 decision.
         Pupil’s Club for children of working mothers opened at Jerusalem Baby Home and Family Center.
         First non-residential Therapeutic Child Center opened in Azur by WIZO Israel Dept. for Family and
         Community Welfare, headed by Tamar Lewin, for children from problem homes, in cooperation with 
         Ministry of Social Welfare. Today there are over 20 around the country.

1985- WIZO sends delegation to the UN End of Women’s Decade Conference in Nairobi.
         Permanent premises of WIZO Jerusalem Vocational School for Girls, sponsored by British WIZO, 
         opened at Jerusalem Family Center. Became co-ed in 2003.

1986- WIZO Paula Gold de Leonescu Parents Home for senior citizens inaugurated in Tel Aviv on the site 
         of the former Mothercraft Training Center.

1987- WIZO Israel’s 24 hour emergency telephone hotline for battered women, the first in the country, 
         is established, initiated by Ruth Tekoah.
         Opening of the first  and only Shelter for Girls in Distress, later named in honor of Ruth Tekoah.

1988- Opening in Tel Aviv Yad Eliahu neighborhood of Judith Moshevich Center, first after-school center 
         for homework assistance and hot lunches, run by WIZO Israel’s Department of Family and Community 
         Welfare for children of working mothers.

1989- 300 young women from Israel and around the Jewish world mark l0th anniversary of International WIZO 
         Aviv Seminars and 50th anniversary of outbreak of WW II with special seminar – “From Holocaust to Rebirth” 
         – in Poland and Israel, initiated and organized by Rachel Limon, head of World WIZO’s Organization Department,
         with Raya Jaglom.  Includes demonstration at Auschwitz against presence of Carmelite convent.
         With beginning of second wave of mass immigration from the Soviet Union, WIZO recruits and trains 
         volunteers and prepares infrastructure to assist in their absorption.
         Chain of after-school centers expanded throughout the country.