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An Israeli method of women’s self-defense goes global

by Abigail Klein Leichman (Israel 21C, November 12, 2019)

In this ISRAEL21c visits the Jerusalem headquarters of El HaLev, a nonprofit teaching violence prevention and self-defense in Israel and other countries. Yudit breaks down what makes El Halev different and why it is a leader along with its sister organization ESD Global in the work preventing violence and promoting self-defense.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             



ESD Course - The Freedom to Choose

Empowerment Self-Defense — A Vital Pillar in the Global Refugee Response

by Negar Tayyar (Medium, October 14, 2019)

Through her personal story, Negar Tayyer tells the story of how Empowerment Self-Defense, the techniques taught at El Halev, became an integral part of the global refugee response in Greece and how training women in the harshest environment, in the most vulnerable circumstances, saves their lives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              



Of Course Colleges Should Teach Women How to Defend Themselves

by Evan Gerstmann (Forbes, May 6, 2019)

The horrendous statistics of sexual assault on college campuses is putting pressure on campuses to find solutions and sight against sexual violence that is perpetrated against students, particularly women. This Forbes article provides a brief history of what college campuses have done in the past, what they are trying to implement now, and why self-defense provides immediate and positive results for the targets of violence.

5 Self-Defense Tips Every Woman Should Know

by Tracy Schorn  (The Girlfriend, 2019)

What you see is what you get with this short list. Five basic tips for self-defense that almost mirror El Halev's 5 Principles of Self Defense regarding maintaining boundaries, finding support, and raising your voice.

#YesAnd Campaign to End Sexual Violence

by Self-Defense Impact Chicago  (Self-Defense Impact Chicago Blog, September 2019)

This blog post by Self-Defense Impact Chicago discusses the way the efficacy of Empowerment Self-Defense is downplayed by more mainstream violence prevention associations who wish to tackle the root of rape culture as opposed to focusing on self-defense. Impact Chicago suggests a multi-pronged approach when it comes to preventing violence: Yes, tackling rape culture, and empowering women to defend themselves in that culture.

13 Manifestations of GBV Using Technology 

by Take Back the Tech  (Take Back the Tech, 2019)

This is a list of red flags to look out for when it comes to the way gender based violence can occur through technology and the social media associated with it.

A Feminist Response to Critique of Self-Defense

by Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman  (Medium, February 2019)

The CEO of El Halev, Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman, dismantles the idea that giving women and vulnerable people the tools to defend themselves against violence is victimizing. Social change is incremental, it happens, but it is slow. Through the tools empowerment self-defense, which are immediate and evidence based, there are in the realm of violence prevention. This article provides information regarding the self-defense, the role of men in social change, and why women need to be at the front and center of it all.

The Rackman Center Was Thrilled to Attend a Meeting at El Halev

by the Rackman Center  (Rackman Center, March 2017)

Situated in the highest realm of academia, and acting as a grassroots organization, the Rackman Center is a junction between research and activism; between legislative work and litigation; between public advocacy and individual support; between the domestic and the international; and between the religious and the secular legal spheres. On March 30, 2017, they attended a meeting at El Halev, the aim of which was to provide an understanding of the impact of the programs they help support, as well as learn more about critical issues facing women in Israel today.

EU Delegation and El Halev public self-defence and empowerment event for women and teenage girls

by Delegation of the European Union to Israel  (Delegation of the European Union to Israel, April 2017)

On Wednesday 26 April 2017, the European Union Delegation to the State of Israel and El Halev hosted an outdoor self-defense and empowerment event for women and teenage girls. The free event included a workshop for gaining practical skills of self-defense empowerment, information and expert demonstration and concluded with women breaking concrete blocks with their bare hands. As part of the 2016-2020 EU Gender Action Plan in external relations, the EU will continue investing in women and girls whose rights are violated across the world.

One Universe at a Time

by Ellen Snortland  (The Huffington Post, December 2016)

In this op-ed by the director of "Beauty Bites the Beast", Ellen Snortland discusses the way the way empowerment elf-defense, IMPACT, and El Halev have saved lives and in doing so, saved entire universes. The film "Beauty Bites the Beast" breaks the stereotypes and cycles of helplessness inculcated in women and vulnerable people, and Snortland credits Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman and El Halev in the process.

Bring Back Self-Defence Classes for Women – It’s the Feminist Thing to Do

by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett  (the Guardian, May 2015)

Self-defense classes for women were the thing to do in the early days of the feminist movement of the 1970s and the 1980s, giving women the opportunity and teaching them that they did not have to follow the social dictate of passivity. The critique that teaching women self-defense while the blame for harm lay solely with perpetrators of harm is not without merit i.e. men are responsible for the rape they commit, women are not responsible for being raped. However, rape culture is the culture in which we must live. In this op-ed Cosslett endorses the idea that El Halev believes in.


We must work towards changing culture towards ending rape, but at the same time, women must be given the opportunity and ability to defend themselves within that culture of violence.

Until Safety is Guaranteed: Women and the Fight Against Violence 

by the Radcliffe Institute  (Harvard University, August 2015)

In a special exhibition put up in the spring and summer of 2015, the Schlesinger Library show cased the history of the women's liberation movement's fight against violence. Including evidence that self-defense courses developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s to prevent violence committed against women. These courses are the forebears of the Empowerment Self-Defense techniques taught by trainers at El Halev and beyond today.

Female MKs Get Self-Defense Lesson

by Neta Sela  (YnetNews, March 2008)

On International Women's Day 2008, Female members of Knesset are taught how to thwart sexual assault through classes provided by El Halev. El Halev taught MK's how to shout "no!" and gave them lessons physical self-defense, showing the holistic approach taught by non-profit in Israel.

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