Our Impact: Overseas & Israel

Read some of our recent impact stories:

June 2024                       May 2024

April 2024                       March 2024                   

February 2024           

Read about our 2nd disbursement of grants

Updates from our grantees in Israel 

HaOgen helps 14,000 families of reservists

4/18 Update from Leket Israel's National Food Bank

Six months into the Gaza War and hostilities in northern Israel, countless Israelis continue to struggle with the new reality. While some residents are gradually returning to their communities, a significant portion of the population remains displaced with no clear timeline for their return. 

Since October, Leket has witnessed a staggering 30% surge in demand for assistance which we will continue to meet while developing initiatives to meet the evolving needs of our citizens, including:

  • Leket Express: Leket Israel is currently distributing 24,000 lbs. of fresh fruit and vegetables weekly to citizens on the geographic and social periphery, providing 4,800 individuals with 5 lbs. of produce each week.
  • Produce for Evacuees: The organization has assembled produce stands for evacuees residing at hotels, to ensure free access to fresh fruit and vegetables. The project currently serves 3,000 evacuees, providing each with 5.5 lbs. of produce weekly.
  • Volunteers: Leket has engaged 80,000 volunteers from Israel and abroad since October 7th, assisting Israeli farmers throughout Israel, harvesting produce, sorting and repackaging produce before its redistribution, and assembling food packages. 

Despite the recent challenges faced in food rescue, Leket is pleased to announce the resumption of rescue efforts from IDF bases as well as the development of new rescue routes and additional food suppliers. Where rescue is not possible, meal purchase will continue. Food rescue remains at the heart of our organization’s mission, being both economically and environmentally efficient, and even during these trying times, we remain dedicated to adapting our activities to meet the changing landscape we are operating within.

JDC/Southern Cities

Brothers and Sisters for Israel

JDC/Dead Sea

Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) Update `12.20.23

Direct Relief for Victims of Terror:

  • We have reached the threshold of more than 7,057 grants distributed and answered 6,000 calls on the hotline.
  • 308 mid-term grants distributed to the most vulnerable (10,000 ILS)
  • 4,015,000 ILS in loans approved for 55 small businesses.
  • 11,819,000 ILS in emergency grants to 1,542 small businesses in south

Supporting Vulnerable Populations

  • 100,043 nights in evacuation stays (accumulated)
  • 300,129 meals provided to evacuees (accumulated)
  • 520,000 ILS in grants distributed to 404 olim (immigrants)
  • 21,000 food baskets delivered to Amigour residents (seniors)

Support Around the World

  • 5,408 educational activities organized by Jewish Agency Shlichim with 242,838 participants.
  • 97 Israel Fellows on college campuses supporting 13,600 students who are encountering rising antisemitism.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) updated 11.16

  • 20 Bedouins with disabilities are benefitting from an online support group opened by JDC and partners.  Through weekly meetings, participants gather in a safe space for socialization and support, where they can share their unique challenges and receive professional guidance. Also, 500 kits with toys and craft materials are being distributed to Bedouin families with small children and toddlers. These families live in unrecognized villages with no sheltered spaces, face the ongoing threat of rocket fire, and need help keeping their young children who are still not in school engaged.
  • The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute is developing a comprehensive dashboard to monitor the status of Arab society in Israel during the war. The dashboard was commissioned by the Israeli Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry for Social Equality and will measure progress in key areas including employment, education, welfare, and social resilience. Dashboard indications will help decision-makers address the needs of Arab Society and mitigate disparities during this time of crisis.
  • JDC procured first aid supplies including 6,288 burn treatment kits, 3,000 IV kits, 300 first aid kits, and 200 basic life support kits for Jewish and Israeli-Arab local municipalities in areas under threat, and which lack basic medical equipment. JDC continues to source critically needed supplies for local emergency response units in towns close to Israel's borders.
  • 400 youth counselors doing National Service are receiving JDC training to provide educational activities for evacuated children residing in hotels. Some 20 training courses are currently taking place across Israel, empowering the trainees with tools for informed trauma intervention and to help build resilience.
  • JDC released 7 informational videos and leaflets containing guidelines and tips for effective communication with people with disabilities during emergencies. These resources are being circulated by government ministries and are available to all volunteers and professionals who work with people with disabilities. Watch a sample video (in Hebrew) here.

Most students at the Kfar Silver Youth Village were home for the holiday and were not in the region. ORT was able to evacuate the village’s remaining Na’ale students and shinshinim and staff to the country’s north. A small number of staff remain in the village to care for the animals.

World ORT - Update 10.18
Amos Gofer, CEO of World ORT’s Kfar Silver Youth Village – just a few miles from the Gaza border – recent told his story to audiences on Zoom, of what transpired on October 7.

Amos explained how the day unfolded:

“There was an emergency alarm – but it is something we are used to. We woke up and we were calling the people in the boarding school, telling them to take all the students to the safe rooms. A lot of those students are from Russia and Ukraine, children aged 14, 15 – it was very upsetting for them. We understood within a few minutes that this was different because of the magnitude of the bombs and the noise.”

The students were quickly moved to a building which the village uses to keep safe for longer-term operations – with significant provision of food, activities and other essentials. But with many of Kfar Silver’s High School students living in the kibbutzim close to the Gaza border, calls and messages soon flooded in making clear the extent of the situation.

As Amos called police and other security services it became clear that no immediate assistance would be available as forces dealt with the emergency across the south of the country. “We were willing to die for the students,” he explained. “After a few hours I said I’m evacuating all the students and everyone from the village because no one was coming to help us.”

Thanks to the heroic actions of two bus drivers who were prepared to travel to the village despite the rocket attacks, it was possible to evacuate more than 60 students to safer areas in the north of the country. Thankfully, the vast majority of Kfar Silver’s 1,000-plus students were already off-site for the festival of Simchat Torah.

After the evacuation, only a small number of staff members now remain, ensuring that animals on the village’s farm are looked after and that the security of the village is not compromised.

Although thankfully the students and teachers are now in safer areas, tragically many of them have lost family members and friends in the attacks. It is thought that more than 30 people with ORT links have been killed or kidnapped by terrorists. Of those, a number of Kfar Silver graduates have been killed serving in the IDF.

First Round of Emergency Grants:

Core Partnerships:   

  1. JFNA: $10K to be distributed through their emergency fund allocations  
  2. JDC: $5K to go to their emergency efforts in Israel 
  3. JAFI: $5K to go to their emergency efforts in Israel 

Targeted Grant Partners:  

  1. Crossroads: $3600 – has continued to see all their clients during the crisis and has gotten numerous calls from anglo teens/young adults in distress; they need help with funding to meet these needs  

New Grantees:  

  1. Lev Echad (One Heart): $7500  This organization has emerged as a key coordinating body for addressing needs and volunteers through local “command centers” in different cities/regions called chamals.  About | One heart | Civilian Assistance at Times of Emergency (levechad.org)  
  2. Dror: $3600 – a youth program dealing with kids and teens throughout the country focused on the periphery; they have mobilized and are provided important services during this crisis.  Education | Dror Israel | Israel   
  3. Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin: $2500  Several lone soldiers (i.e., soldiers in the Israeli army without family in the country) have already been killed in this conflict; there will be many more who are in need of support.  This program helps meet their needs and provide an extended family for these soldiers.  The Lone Soldier Center – In Memory of Michael Levin  
  4. Koby Mandell Foundation: $2500  This program, born out of tragedy, helps families of those killed in terror attacks and has several programs especially for kids.  KobyMandellFoundation  

2022 Grant Updates to Help Global Jewry

2022 Grant recipients: Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), ORT, and Hillel

Hillel Russia seeks to fill a gap in Jewish life by rebuilding a talent pipeline to support and advance opportunities for engagement, education, and capacity building for young Jews in Russia. Over the last 12 months Hillel Russia’s most experienced local directors and program staff have left Russia due to the war. As a result Hillel Russia had to fully replace teams in Ekaterinburg, St Petersburg, Khabarovsk and partly in Moscow and Novosibirsk so that they can continue to serve young Jewish adults in the region.

 

In many communities there is now a lack of experienced Jewish educators and engagement professionals. Hillel Saratov was closed in June 2022 due to the majority of the student community having left along with the rabbi. Still, Jewish students remain in the communities where Hillel serves them and demand has grown over the past months.

 

Over the coming months, Hillel Russia will focus on strengthening existing Hillel communities who have experienced an exodus of Jewish professionals, so that local communities with new staff hired can be reinforced with both access to online Hillel knowledge base and training, but also to in-person practical help and interventions by selected Russia Headquarter staff and Jewish educators along with interns from Moscow and St Petersburg.  

ORT

Kfar Silver Youth Village

JDC

Szvara Camp in Hungary

Jewish youth discover the shared roots of Jewish history and potential for a brighter Jewish future.

Read an 1.13.23 update from  Szvaras 

Jewish Agency For Israel

Just one story! Felegu and her husband, Abay, are both 35 years old and have two children, ages six and two. About 25 years ago, together with her father, her brothers and sisters, Felegu moved to Addis Ababa in order to immigrate to Israel. After about three years of waiting, Felegu’s father and one of her brothers immigrated to Israel while Felegu and her other three brothers were left behind. They made Aliyah on the September 14.

When the brothers received the exciting news that they would immigrate to Israel soon, the brothers called their father to share their joy with him and Gatnet said it was an emotional conversation, filled with tears of happiness, for which they had been waiting for many, many years. The brothers and Felegu finally got to see their father and hug their nephews and nieces whom they had never met.  Felegu describes the moment of meeting and hugging her father as “the day I was born again.”

Felegu’s dream is to educate and raise her children to love Israel and its people, and to serve the country as well. She hopes to successfully integrate into society and engage in her field of expertise, accounting.

They are settled at The Jewish Agency’s absorption center in Ashkelon.

 

2022 Grants

 

Thanks to our 2022 Israel Grants Committee: Cantor Jake Greenberg, Avi Kotler, Annabel Lindenbaum, Shelly Newman, and Fred Schragger we're proud to announce this year's recipients - Shutaf and Crossroads

 

We're happy to continue to help youth-at-risk and will have videos to share from the programs we're funding soon.

Crossroads

Shutaf

Shutaf does amazing work since 2007,  providing quality, inclusive services for children, teens, and young adults with disabilities. They have camps, year long programs, and a focus on inclusion education. 
 
This year we will be supporting there afterschool teen club, the Shutaf Moadonit project would be most impactful and helpful for the organization. The teens arrive directly from school at different times, they have a snack and choose from a variety of activities - sports, arts and crafts, social games, etc. until everyone arrives and the evening programming begins. This is an important piece of the Young Leadership program for teens, giving them a semi-structured time of relaxation and socializing. The Moadonit also gives parents an opportunity for a long day at work, quality time with other children or for themselves.
 
 
Our new grantee is Crossroads, they've been around since 2001, to meet the needs of at-risk English-speaking teens and young adults who were not receiving the professional support that they needed. As a result of language and cultural barriers, these vulnerable young people and their families often end up 'falling between the cracks' of the traditional social welfare system in Israel. This frequently results in these young people becoming involved with unsafe, unhealthy, risky behaviors.
 
The project we're going to be supporting is Crossroads Theater Shed is an innovative drama enrichment program offering a fun-filled positive developmental experience for teens & young adults. It provides a foundation of vital skills to help them succeed in school, work and throughout their lives. Drama classes provide participants with several fundamental abilities, including self-esteem, confidence, creative thinking, acting skills, public speaking skills, as well as leadership and teamwork skills. Whether an individual has an active interest in acting in the theater, or they simply want to make new friends and explore the development of important attributes, Crossroads Theater Shed is a safe, positive and caring environment to pursue these experiences

 

Many participants discover the joy of acting and decide to pursue further stage work; other students attend just because Crossroads Theater Shed helps them build important skills that are used in whatever future endeavors they pursue

 

The creative drama curriculum and teaching methods are great fun and highly developmental. Participants learn experientially through imaginative learning experiences that include, among others, improvisational acting sessions, writing scene vignettes / monologues, participating in rehearsals for staging actual performances.

 

Crossroads Theater Shed has continued weekly online engagement and acting classes during the pandemic and staged a very innovative and successful online Play Festival.

 

The program is also fully integrated within their holistic therapeutic support system. Participants have ongoing access to and support from Social Workers through informal relationship building or formal therapeutic counseling.

keep checking for updates!

2021 Grants

Some of our pre-High Holiday and pre-Passover grants to combat food insecurity went to Israeli and overseas organizations: Leket, Israel; JDC; and Yad Ezra v'Shulamit. 

 

We also contributed to JFNA's grant to aid Operation Guardian of the Walls during the Israel Crisis in May.  Funding went to JDC, The Jewish Agency for Israel, MASA, The Fund for Victims of Terror, and Israel Trauma Coalition.

 

Now we want you to help us decide the remaining overseas grants.  Please fill out this 3 question survey!  

Watch these videoes. YOUR support helps make this possible.

JAFI

Our grantee The Jewish Agency For Israel highlights work during Operation Guardian of the Walls.

Derech Eretz

Learn more about one of the programs in Israel for youth-at-risk that we help fund.

2nd Round of 2020 Grants Announced:

JFOC is proud to award two Israeli nonprofits grants to continue their efforts helping youth at risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 Shutaf provides camping and other experiences for special needs kids in Jerusalem and the center of Israel.  This program not only provides an outlet for these kids, it is a great program for training other teens to work with special needs youth – and in providing parents some support and relief at key times during the year.  This is a great way where our support can make a pivotal difference.

 

https://shutafinclusionprograms.org/teaching-inclusion/

 

Derech Eretz takes teens from the periphery in Israel – often those who don’t have the same economic opportunities or chances that kids have elsewhere – and offers them enrichment programs, activities that develop leadership skills, and a pre-army preparatory program which is critical to giving these kids a leg up in Israeli society.

 

https://derecheretz.org.il/en/

See the impact of our grants!

 

2020 Overseas Grants have been given to JDC (Joint Distribution Committee) and The Jewish Agency for Israel. 

We hosted summer Lunch and Learns with our grantees to learn about some of the key challenges in this age of Corona affecting the Jewish community around the world.

 

Our final Lunch and Learn featured our own Managing Director, Keith Krivitzky.  We took a look at troubling areas around the globe, anti-Semitism, and the Israel Diaspora relationship. 

Our second Lunch and Learn featured the JDC.  They took us on trip around the world highlighting areas where they are providing critical help to Jewish populations and then told us about a krav maga program in Israel that enables an autistic population.

Our first virtual Summer Series program was a fun and engaging lunch and learn. The Jewish Agency for Israel, one of our 2020 grantees, connected us with the global Jewish people as we heard from those on the front lines of working with new immigrants and vulnerable populations in Israel. Plus we learned a bit about Ethiopian cooking.