Haifa Feminist Institute (HFI)

Hannah Safran smiling and sitting at a desk

Hannah Safran (1990)

Several women holding large banners from Haifa Women in Black

Several women holding large banners from Haifa Women in Black.

Library, Archive and Research Center at Isha l’Isha

Haifa Feminist Institute logo with Hebrew textThe Haifa Feminist Institute (HFI) hosts the first, the largest and the only feminist archive and library collection in Israel. Their mission is to collect and document the history of feminist activism in Israel from 1970 to the present, to make women's social and political contribution visible and to inspire future generations. The HFI is based on a growing network of local feminist scholars from diverse ethnic, national, class and sexual backgrounds who work in various fields, inside and at the margins of academic institutions. Founded in 2007 in Isha L’Isha-Haifa Feminist Center by a group of volunteers, the Institute is now seeking to expand its activities, libraries and collections and in particular it's LGBT and Arabic collections, to create a full dataset of all items, to digitize important documents and to establish an online archive and exhibition in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

Their collection is expanding each year as individual women activists and social change organizations are donating their personal and institutional archives. In total, the archive hosts thousands of documents in 40 collections including 12 personal archives. These include a wide variety of materials: personal and organizational archives of Israeli women's groups and organizations, conference papers, dissertations, books, oral histories, media excerpts and feminist journals. There is also a visual collection comprised of leaflets, photographs, video and audio tapes, posters and unique artistic materials. Topics covered by the collection are organized according to  seven topics: Israeli women's organizations, the women’s peace movement, women and Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, the LGBT movement, women's political and economic rights, violence against women (domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking), health and reproductive rights and Mizrahi feminism.

In order to enhance its community outreach and academic capacities, the HFI is now launching a new website, expanding the 'feminist fellows' program and hosting regular activities: lectures, workshops, reading groups, exhibitions and cultural events. Hopefully, in the future the HFI will have the capacity to offer small grants for researchers and visiting scholars.