Edinburgh WIZO was founded after the First World War and has been active ever since, closely affiliated with the rest of WIZO's national and international network of Jewish women.
Every WIZO cell in the world is responsible for one project of social importance to women and children in Israel. WIZO is a voluntary society of Jewish women who raise funds from 57 countries through its 1/4 million members to provide education, care and support for women of all ages and backgrounds in Israel . WIZO's projects are non-denominational, non-political and non-racial. It is WIZO women who help to care for the elderly in day centres around Israel and WIZO women who help to provide social care for new immigrants from Ethiopia and Russia who often have difficulty adjusting to a new modern, urban lifestyle.
Edinburgh WIZO is responsible for part-funding a crèche in the new town of Dimona in the Negev desert. There, children from all racial backgrounds are catered for on a daily basis. Lately the Edinburgh group has provided funds to modernise and extend this facility to help take on more children in this ever-growing community.
A series of well-attended social functions are held throughout the year, including lunches in members' homes, dinners with guest speakers, theatre evenings and bridge tournaments.
WIZO also have a small shop in the hallway of the Synagogue, selling Judaica to the community, with an emphasis on festivals and simchot
The shop, manned by volunteers, is open on Sunday mornings before each festival and at other times by arrangements. A large selection of New Year cards, greetings cards, kippot and memorial candles, is always available, whilst a small number of chanukiyot, seder plates and covers, mezuzot, tallitim, and various gift items may be purchased or ordered. Any books of Jewish interest may be ordered, although some Hagaddot and children's books are in stock.