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cooperation feminine report 2012/2013

Since the last Executive held in Berlin in May 2012, the Cooperation Feminine has continued to carry out its different activities in the cultural and social fields in line with what was presented in the previous report. 

However some special events deserve to be pointed out. 
 
In November 2012, the General Assembly of the association has elected new members of the Board of Directors and Evelyne Berdugo has been reelected as President. 
 
In December, took place the Braderie, a very popular event during which clothes and accessories donated by sympathizing companies are sold at very good prices in order to provide some funds for the Cooperation Feminine which is not allowed to do any fundraising. 
 
During all the year the Cooperation Feminine has been very active and worked to promote and support the fights of Women towards equality in the Jewish French world. 
 
First, there exists in France a very important problem concerning the Agounot towards whom many Beth Dins show an adverse and retrograde attitude The Cooperation Feminine has actively participated at the Yom Agounot held on May 13th 2012, under the patronage of the Chief Rabbi of France Gilles Bernheim and his wife Joelle.  It was a day of mobilization, information and prevention, devoted to the problems that many women encounter when they try to obtain the guet that their husbands refuse to give them or use as a means to obtain some money from their wives. Evelyn Ascot, member of the Cooperation Feminine devotes a lot of time to help, advise and support these suffering women.(Her report will be sent to the Executive). 
 
Secondly as we face a general trend in the Orthodox Judaism as well as between members of the Official “Consistory” to impose a complete separation between men and women, in the name of the Halakah, not only in the Synagogue but also in other places, the Cooperation Feminine has initiated a series of courses during which a highly versed in Jewish texts woman explains the biblical texts to the participants in order for them to understand and see by themselves the principles of the Halakah. These courses are very interesting and have led to passionate discussions in the audience.
 
The CF is also working to support a group of women, who have been discriminated against in their synagogue because some rabbis wanted to forbid them to read the Torah even in a women’s only service. 
 
For Purim, the Cooperation Feminine has organized a joyful and delicious lunch bringing together all the women who work in the Centre Rachi where different Jewish organizations are located. 
 
Noa Oser le Dire, the help line established by the CF in collaboration with different Jewish organizations, experiences a substantial and constant increase of calls. It has organized, on December 26, an important Conference on the following topic: “Domestic Violence, let us understand and react.” Among the speaker were a rabbi and specialized psychologists. The Conference was attended by more than 300 persons. 

The Jardin des Roos, established in December 2010 as an open space where families and children have the opportunity to meet and spend some time with volunteers and, if needed, with psychologists, is a very big success for a multicultural population .It offers also painting and music workshops for the children. Unfortunately one of the most devoted volunteer, our friend Anne Lepage passed away and we miss her deeply. 
 
The Cooperation Feminine is a member of the National Council of French Women CNFF which works for equality between men and women, parity and against violence against women and participates at its activities.
 
The ESAT, the social Center for handicapped Jewish men and women, providing them work and salaries, initiated and run by the Cooperation Feminine has faced big problems in finding work for these persons. Elisabeth Birene, member of the Cooperation Feminine and of the ICJW team has helped find a solution to these problems by working there once a week. It is important to remind that 67 men and women are working at the “Ateliers de la Cooperation “ which give them hope and security in their daily life .
 
                                      Lilianne Picard
                                      Vice President for France