The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey proudly invests hundreds of thousands of dollars overseas, in Israel and in Jewish Communities throughout Europe by funding programs and services deployed by partners, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (The JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), helping the most vulnerable members of our extended Jewish family around the world. In addition, we make targeted overseas grants, focusing on Israel-based organizations, to make a more concentrated impact among vulnerable populations.
Each year the Federation engages members of the community to determine key challenges and gaps in service in Israel, and to prioritize ways we can have the most impact. This year, the committee received an update from representatives of the Jewish Agency and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee on the current socio-economic situation in Israel, to better understand who are the vulnerable populations that need our assistance. Based on this information the committee decided on criteria for the 2018-2019 application process:
- Youth-at-risk from mental health challenges, drug abuse, or family issues such as estranged parents, economic hardship, and domestic abuse
- Seniors living near or below the poverty line, including Holocaust survivors and immigrants
- Adults needing vocational training and education to enter or re-enter the workforce
The Committee chose 13 high-IMPACT programs run by 12 separate organizations, that address the needs of these marginalized groups.
One example is the Special Patrol program facilitated by Sahar‐Online Mental Support. This is an outreach program aiming to identify young internet users in crises and risk. Sahar operates a team of 20 trained volunteers who scan various websites, forums, and blogs, once a day, 6 days a week throughout the year, in search of distress messages. Once identified, volunteers cooperate with the police, welfare services, and local authorities to provide immediate lifesaving assistance helping these young people regain control over their lives. Based on their individual needs Sahar and third-party organizations provide them with immediate emotional support and further reference to other support organizations in the community. In 2017, volunteers identified 1,639 distress messages and offered instant emotional assistance and further reference to additional support organizations in the community.
Another example is the “Safety Net” program run by Tenufa Bakehila, providing home repairs for 20 poverty‐stricken Holocaust survivors living in desperate conditions. As repairs are implemented, social workers connect clients with life enhancing non-profit organizations and governmental resources to provide individuals with safer and healthier living conditions, and to empower them to live their remaining days in dignity and security. Repairs include fixing leaky roofs, rewiring dangerous electrical systems and fixing faulty plumbing systems, as well as replacement of broken windows, doors, and painting and repairing walls. To date, 4,500 homes have been repaired in 11 cities throughout Israel.
This year the committee also chose to fund the Saving Jewish Lives in Azerbaijan program, a very important initiative in the Former Soviet Union, through the American Joint Distribution Committee. The program consists of a support network of care centers (known as Hesed centers) that provide needy elderly Jews with a broad range of support and assistance, helping them meet their basic needs and live in safety and with dignity. Examples include: homecare, hunger relief, medical support, home repairs, emergency assistance and social programs. This past year, JDC helped over 100,000 desperately poor elderly Jews, with 840 elderly Azeri Jews among them.
Additional organizations with programs selected for funding by the committee include:
- Amit Shikum
- ELI: Israel Association for Child Protection
- Ethiopian National Project (ENP)
- Gesher El Hanoar (The Bridge for Youth)
- JDC -CELEB
- Sderot Development Foundation
- Shutaf Inclusion Programs
- ZAKA - Search and Rescue
As you can see, gifts provided by generous donors from our community enable us to fund such programs as mentioned above, TRULY MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF SO MANY.
ENABLE THE FEDERATION TO CONTINUE ON WITH OUR WORK.
GIVE TODAY at www.jewishheartnj.org/donate.
GIVE TODAY at www.jewishheartnj.org/donate.
For more information and questions please contact Dan Rozett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support and generosity,
Overseas Allocation Committee
The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey