Funding Projects in Israel - June 10, 2022

I am very proud of how the Jewish Federation manages its allocation processes – both locally and overseas. We have committees of volunteers who spend months reviewing grant proposals and organizational information.
Following our annual meeting next week, I will share more details about our local allocations for next fiscal year. Today, I want to focus on our overseas funding (this does not include the incredible community response to the Ukraine crisis).
We fund overseas projects in two ways. An unrestricted “core allocation” is made to our historic partners working with global Jewry – American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), and World ORT -- supporting work in Israel and 60 other countries. Every Jewish Federation provides to this “collective” and together provides some $101 million per year to these three organizations.
In addition, our community makes grants to what we call “Overseas Special Projects.” These are organizations with smaller budgets (less than $10 million are given preference), and our funding ranges from $5,000 to $20,000. It is an extraordinary way for us to make an impact.
It is important to reiterate -- no funding from the Jewish Federation goes to fund the Israeli government, nor do any dollars fund projects “over the Green Line.” Our support is for social service purposes only. Feel free to reply to this email with any questions.
Here is who we are funding next fiscal year:
Ongoing Recipients:
  • Ofanim provides extracurricular enrichment in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to children living in peripheral communities in northern and southern Israel—Jewish and Arab, religious and secular, native-born and new immigrants. Ofanim has nine mobile labs, is reaching 56 different municipalities, and has 40,000 graduates. Our funding supports three children’s groups in Kiryat Malachi—two of them in the STEM enrichment program 3D Modeling and Printing and one in Biomedicine.
  • Neve Michael is a safe haven for over 280 needy children at-risk (ages 5 to 18 from all over Israel) whose biological parents can no longer care for them. The organization provides sustenance, education, therapy, and a family-like environment for children from broken homes who have suffered physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse. The program also includes a therapy petting zoo for severely abused children. Our funding will purchase “Personal Arrival Packages” for children who arrive at the center.
  • Krembo Wings is Israel’s only all-inclusive youth movement for children with special needs, enabling children with severe psychological, motor, and cognitive disabilities to enjoy the benefit of a structured social environment with their able-bodied peers. At present, Krembo Wings operates 84 branches throughout Israel that each week welcome 8,300 young people with and without disabilities aged 7-22 from all cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds, who often have no opportunity for social interaction outside of the formal education system. The weekly social activities are conducted by dedicated able-bodied youth counselors, between the ages of 14-18, who come from the same local areas as the special-needs participants. Our funding will support the operations of Krembo Wing’s new branch in Beit Shemesh, which will be the first chapter to serve ultra-Orthodox children.
  • Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Victims -- There are 168,500 survivors living in Israel today -- 25% of whom are living in poverty. Among the Foundation’s programs are home visits, medical emergency support, dental care, and the provision of eyeglasses. Our funding will provide financial assistance to 100 vulnerable Holocaust survivors to obtain: medicines and essential medical treatments; medical appliances (e.g., hearing aids, walkers); home appliances, and basic home furniture.
  • Beit Yossi provides a therapeutic home and intervention for severely underprivileged Ethiopian Jewish families in Ashdod. It promotes equality, social justice, equity, and a dignified life for families in distress, especially those living in poverty and who are marginalized. Our funding will support therapeutic intervention for 16 parents and 22 children.
  • ERAN provides mental health first-aid to all residents of Israel in emotional distress via the telephone, mobile phone, and the Internet free of charge, anonymously and confidentially. ERAN operates 13 branches across Israel, including four branches in North America (providing emotional first aid during night hours in Israel). In 2021, ERAN volunteers answered approximately 305,729 calls, of which 920 were suicide attempts in progress (2-3 per day) and 9,172 calls with suicidal content (thoughts, intentions, and threats). Our funding will support ongoing training for volunteers in multiple branches.
  • Hasharon Sexual Assault Crisis Center provides practical and emotional support to survivors of sexual violence and their non-offending acquaintances and strives through education and outreach to create social change to end sexual violence in Israel. Programming encompasses 24-hour crisis intervention, confidential counseling, support groups, victim advocacy and community-wide education and training programs. In 2021, 8,500 individuals accessed the center’s services.
  • Ma’avarim (passageways, crossings, or transitions) is a trans-led organization by and for the Israeli trans community. Ma’avarim serves the entire trans spectrum, gender variant people, and those questioning of all ages, families and loved ones, and service providers assisting trans people and gender variant youth. Our funding for Ma’avarim in partnership with Israel Gay Youth will be used for an Employment Assistance Coordinator position for the trans community, employer competence training, job seeker application assistance, and coaching through workshops and marketing activities.
First-time Grant Recipients
  • Mabat leads transformative programs on Israeli college campuses developing multi-cultural awareness, counter prejudice and racism, and promoting diversity and co-existence. Jewish and Arab students and alumni engage in year-long accredited leadership seminars and community volunteering. Our funding will support capacity-building for Mabat’s Alumni Network. This involves funding the position of the Alumni Community Coordinator, increasing media outreach and engagement, and strengthening the ability of alumni leadership to manage and leverage community initiatives.
  • Shira Banki’s Way is named after 16-year-old Shira Banki, who was stabbed to death in 2015 by an ultra-Orthodox man during the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem. The organization implements educational, social, cultural, and media activities among the range of communities and ideological and religious movements to promote a more tolerant and open society. We are funding the “Teachers’ Lounge Tel Aviv-Jaffa.” This program creates encounters between Jewish and Arab educators to foster a working relationship between them. A second component of the project is implementation of a special educational curriculum teaching values of tolerance and acceptance in local schools.
  • Feuerstein Institute teaches people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of ability to think, learn and better function. The Institute targets students from the socio-economic periphery, special-needs children, and adults and elderly people with cognitive impairment. Using the “Feuerstein Method,” the Institute identifies a person’s learning profile, learning potential, and the process necessary to maximize that potential. We are supporting “Aim Higher,” a program that helps high-potential Israelis from the Ethiopian community and the socio-economic periphery pursue their goals in higher education.
It is amazing the wide array of initiatives we are supporting in Israel.
Two important items:
Please join us at the Jewish Federation Annual Meeting on Monday night from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Register here if coming in-person to the MJCC or register here for the Zoom link.
On June 15, I am excited that we will officially open registration for the Centennial Trip to Israel, which will coincide with Israel’s 75th. The trip is set for March 20-28, 2023 and only 80 spots remain. We would love for you to join us. Check your email on June 15.
Shabbat shalom and mazel tov to all the high school graduates in our community.


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