May 2, 2013
Programs supported by Jewish Federations offer learning opportunities for students in Panama. The Jewish Federation-funded World ORT recently affiliated with its first Jewish school in Panama: the Isaac Rabin School. The partnership, which aims to improve student proficiency in science, technology and math, provides new educational technology for students, and enables staff to access World ORT’s international professional development seminars, programs and peer networks. Learn more here about World ORT’s education programs in Panama.
April 25, 2013
Jewish Federation-funded programs empower disadvantaged young adults in Israel. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is supported by Jewish Federations, has helped integrate more than 2,000 young adults into Israel’s workforce since 2006 through its STRIVE-Israel program. STRIVE centers in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beer Sheva and Jerusalem provide job-readiness training, placement assistance and long-term support. Learn more about JDC's STRIVE-Israel program.
April 18, 2013
Programs supported by Jewish Federations preserve the memories of Holocaust victims in Israel. The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, has partnered with Israel’s Ministry of Senior Citizens' Affairs to create a national database of Holocaust survivors’ life stories. The initiative, which includes interviews with survivors during the recent Holocaust Remembrance Day, is one of many that The Jewish Agency’s 300 Project La'ad volunteers have undertaken to improve Holocaust survivors’ standard of living and ensure their well-being. Learn more about The Jewish Agency’s Project La'ad.
April 12, 2013
Programs funded by Jewish Federations enable more Ethiopian-Israelis to become doctors and dentists in the Jewish State. The number of Ethiopian-Israeli medical and dental students in Israel has more than tripled since 2005, when the Ethiopian National Project, supported by Jewish Federations, offered its first four Yanoff Master Ethiopian-Israeli Healthcare Scholarships. Learn more about ENP’s scholarship programs.
April 4, 2013
Programs supported by Jewish Federations help vulnerable women in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. World ORT and Project Kesher’s KesherNet centers offer practical and work-related skills, job counseling and placement services, and also connect women to their local communities. Of the 28,000 women who have completed courses at KesherNet, 90 percent have found new or better jobs within three months of graduation. Learn more about KesherNet.
March 21, 2013
Programs supported by Jewish Federations offer essential support for vulnerable young families in Argentina. The Baby Help program, developed by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), provides nearly 600 Argentinian babies and children with formula, vitamins, medicine, clothing, diapers, baby equipment, parental counseling and other services. By situating the Baby Help Daycare Center at the new senior citizens' home and community complex in Buenos Aires, JDC has also created an intergenerational programming model benefiting young and old. Learn more about JDC's Baby Help program.
March 14, 2013
With Jewish Federation support, our partner agencies help link students in the Diaspora with Israel. This month, The Jewish Agency for Israel opened an office in Munich that will house the Janusz Korczak Academy, a Jewish initiative that offers family programs, seminars and pilot projects with scientific and humanitarian goals. This new office is part of an expansion of Jewish Agency activity in Germany to strengthen the connection between young German Jews with the State of Israel and the Jewish world. Learn more about The Jewish Agency’s new office in Munich.
March 8, 2013
Programs supported by Jewish Federations introduce students to Jewish life. Through Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life’s Campus Entrepreneurs Initiative, interns use a peer-to-peer approach to create connections between students and Jewish communal life in three North American cities. In Toronto, the initiative has introduced 645 students to 20 Jewish programs and organizations in the past five years. Learn more about Hillel’s Campus Entrepreneurs Initiative.
February 28, 2013
To mark Jewish Disability Awareness Month this February, Jewish Federations across North America organized dedicated activities to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish community. JFNA also brought 40 community leaders to Washington for Jewish Disability Advocacy Day, and is encouraging communities to apply for the 2013 Ruderman Prize in Disability, which will provide $250,000 in funding to recognize innovative programs and services that foster full inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish community worldwide. Learn more about other Jewish Federation activities around Jewish Disability Awareness Month.
February 21, 2013
Programs funded by Jewish Federations help educate Israeli children who are hospitalized. Through a new World ORT website, children and teens undergoing treatment in 31 public hospitals can access entertaining and educational material through ORT’s Kadima Mada-Kav-Or program. The program allows young patients to connect with friends and schools while learning independently. View the website and learn more about World ORT’s Kadima Mada-Kav-Or program.
February 15, 2013
Jewish Federations support activities that provide companionship for Holocaust survivors in Israel. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has developed special initiatives for Holocaust survivors including the Witness Theater program, which uses therapeutic drama workshops based on the survivors’ experiences. The program fosters relationships between survivors and high school students to ease the loneliness that many in this unique population experience. Learn more about JDC’s Witness Theater program and other programs for Holocaust survivors.
February 7, 2013
Jewish Federations fund programs that help immigrants transition into Israeli life. The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, recently opened a new ulpan (school for Hebrew study) in the city of Ramle for young immigrants, ages 22-35, from the former Soviet Union, Hungary, Turkey and South America. The new branch of Ulpan Etzion (the original is in Jerusalem) serves 30 immigrants with academic degrees, and is a distinctive absorption program that includes five months of intensive Hebrew study, and a rich array of cultural and social activities, including tours around Israel. Learn more about The Jewish Agency’s network of ulpanim across Israel.
January 31, 2013
Programs funded by Jewish Federations empower recent Jewish immigrants to the U.S. to advocate and educate others about immigration issues. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the global migration agency of the American Jewish community, awarded $152,000 in scholarships last year to 38 U.S. immigrant students as part of its HIAS Scholars Program. HIAS Scholars use community engagement and service to create or participate in projects directly serving, or advocating on behalf of, local immigrants and refugees. Learn more about the HIAS Scholars Program.
January 24, 2013
Jewish Federation-supported programs offer extracurricular opportunities for Israel’s underprivileged youth. The Ethiopian National Project (ENP) provides Ethiopian-Israeli teens with positive role models and leadership-training opportunities through its Youth Outreach Centers in 17 cities around Israel. During the 2011-2012 academic year, participation in the Centers represented the only after-school activity for 74 percent of those in attendance. Learn more about ENP’s Youth Outreach Centers.
January 17, 2013
Jewish Federation-supported initiatives empower Israeli students with high-tech and social-leadership skills. The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Net@ project, which operates in 15 locations throughout Israel, connects more than 1,000 students from disadvantaged populations to Israel's internationally recognized high-tech industry. Through computer and new media training, as well as social interaction tracks, the program enhances personal development, time-management and teamwork skills. Learn more about The Jewish Agency’s Net@ initiative.
January 10, 2013
Jewish Federation-funded programs help impoverished Israeli seniors. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is supported by Jewish Federations, has developed employment programs for seniors through its ESHEL partnership with the Israeli government. Programs include employment clubs that pair seniors with local factories and businesses; a mini shopping mall in Nazareth Illit operated primarily by and for older adults; a creativity center in Carmiel for older artisans; and new senior job placement centers in Tel Aviv and Nahariya. Learn more about JDC's work to help seniors in Israel.
January 3, 2013
Jewish Federation-funded programs enable supplemental study for teenagers in Israel. World ORT, which is supported by Jewish Federations, has launched “YOUniversity” centers to encourage the exploration of science and technology. Sponsored by its Kadima Mada branch and Israel’s Negev and Galilee Development Ministry, World ORT’s five new centers provide students with a wide range of extracurricular science and technology courses, including astronomy, physics, medicine, genetics and applied art. Learn more about World ORT’s “YOUniversity” centers.
December 27, 2012
Jewish Federations facilitate learning opportunities for students across the globe. The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, connects educators and students at more than 200 schools in Israel with an equal number in Jewish communities worldwide through its Partnership2Gether (P2G) International School Twinning Network. The program brings together Israeli children, from preschool to 12th grade, with their peers in Jewish day schools and afternoon Hebrew schools in North America, England, Mexico, Australia and the former Soviet Union. Learn more about The Jewish Agency’s International School Twinning Network.
December 20, 2012
Jewish Federation-funded programs assist young immigrants as they adjust to new life in Israel. Through its Centers for Young Adults, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is supported by Jewish Federations, offers critical guidance about higher education and vocational training, job readiness and search skills, career advancement, and life skills, such as money management and housing advice. The centers currently reach about 60,000 Israelis, ages 18-24, in 38 cities, many of which are home to large immigrant populations with low socio-economic levels. Learn more about JDC’s Centers for Young Adults.
December 14, 2012
Jewish Federation-supported programs engage college students in Jewish life. According to a recent survey, in 2012, 48 percent of Jewish college students in the United States were involved in Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, an agency partner of Jewish Federations. That number is up significantly from just 34 percent in 2005. Learn more about Hillel’s approach to growing student involvement.
December 7, 2012
Jewish Federations help improve future prospects for distressed Israeli children. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is supported by Jewish Federations, coordinates the New Beginnings program, in partnership with the government of Israel, to promote positive social, emotional and behavioral development among at-risk children across Israel. Targeting children from birth to six years old, New Beginnings is currently reaching and tracking the progress of 14,000 children in 72 locations, and plans to expand to 164 communities over the next three years. Learn more about JDC’s New Beginnings program.
November 29, 2012
Programs supported by Jewish Federations engage college students in initiatives that promote Israel. This academic year, The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, has bolstered the ranks of its campus emissaries, who help students connect to the Jewish State and respond to anti-Israel activities. Through a partnership with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, there are now 56 Jewish Agency Israel Fellows on 70 North American campuses. Learn more about The Jewish Agency’s Israel Fellows to Hillel.
November 8, 2012
Jewish Federation-funded programs provide enhanced learning opportunities for Israeli students. This academic year, World ORT, supported by Jewish Federations, launched several Centers of Excellence to supplement formal education in Israel. The centers, located in Nahariya, Tzfat, Nazareth, Kiryat Gat and Dimona, provide extracurricular courses in computer technology, marine sciences, microbiology, robotics and other topics. Learn more about World ORT’s Center of Excellence.
October 26, 2012
Jewish Federation-backed initiatives strengthen Jewish education in local communities. Through its flagship WOW! Project, the Jewish Federations-supported Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) has assisted communities in creating complementary Jewish educational programming to enhance existing options for children and families. Since launching in 2009, WOW! programs have enrolled over 10,000 students, and involved hundreds of community leaders and educators in six cities around North America. Learn more about JESNA’s WOW! Project.
October 18, 2012
Jewish Federations support programs that strengthen the academic performance of Ethiopian-Israeli girls. A recent evaluation found that girls participating in the Ethiopian National Project (ENP), which is supported by Jewish Federations, pass their high school completion exams at higher rates (68 percent) than girls in the general Jewish population (65 percent). Further, ENP participants overall have reached nearly the same level of performance as their Israeli peers on high school completion exams, reducing the 23 percentage-point gap that existed when ENP was first launched. Learn more about ENP’s scholastic programs in Israel.
October 11, 2012
Initiatives supported by Jewish Federations help Israeli-Arab youth find employment. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is supported by Jewish Federations, reduces unemployment among the Israeli-Arab, Bedouin and Druze populations through the Afikim (Channels/Paths) program. Afikim helps young Israelis pursue degrees, and find jobs through group workshops and personal guidance addressing self-confidence, goal-setting, resume-crafting and more. Learn details about JDC’s Afikim program.
October 4, 2012
Jewish Federation-supported programs enrich family life for Ethiopian-Israelis. The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, has established the Family Futures program to help new Ethiopian-Israeli immigrants enhance their parenting skills and budget management, access community support networks and improve family relations. The Family Futures program, based on The Jewish Agency’s successful Youth Futures model, now includes more than 420 families in 15 cities throughout Israel’s periphery. Learn more about The Jewish Agency’s Family Futures program.
September 28, 2012
Jewish Federation-supported initiatives counter Israel delegitimization. The Israel Action Network (IAN), a project of The Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, recently reached out to over 5,000 rabbis across North America as part of a High Holy Days outreach campaign to counter Israel delegitimization. With partner organizations, IAN sent rabbis and other leaders sermon materials and a resource guide to inform the community about assaults on Israel’s legitimacy. Learn more about IAN’s High Holy Days outreach.
September 20, 2012
Jewish Federation-supported programs enhance Jewish life for young Europeans. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which is supported by Jewish Federations, organizes the annual Gesher Young Leaders Institute to help young Jews from across Europe build relationships and explore their Jewish identity. This year’s event, held in Greece, included 350 participants from Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Macedonia, Hungary, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland. Learn more about JDC’s Gesher Young Leaders Institute.
September 13, 2012
Jewish Federation-supported agencies help Israeli soldiers returning to civilian life. The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, this month provided 23 honorably discharged Israel Defense Forces soldiers, who immigrated to Israel without their parents, with grants to help them integrate back into civilian life. The grants are part of the Wings project, which is supported by United Israel Appeal and Keren Hayesod, in partnership with the Mirage Foundation. Learn more about The Jewish Agency’s Wings project.
September 7, 2012
Jewish Federation programs help women find employment and support themselves. ORT South Africa, which is supported by Jewish Federations, has established a Women’s Empowerment Division to respond to the country’s increasing divorce rate, the challenging economic times and the large number of women on welfare. In its first six months of operation, the division has trained more than 200 vulnerable Jewish women in computer skills, financial and budgeting expertise, and motivation and goal-setting. Learn more about ORT South Africa’s Women’s Empowerment Division.
August 30, 2012
People with disabilities in post-Communist Central and Eastern European countries can experience Jewish summer camp through Jewish Federation-supported programs. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is funded by Jewish Federations, offers a one-week summer program for people with disabilities at its Ronald S. Lauder Foundation/JDC International Summer Camp in Szarvas, Hungary. Learn more about JDC’s Camp Szarvas, which provides a venue for hundreds of campers from over 25 countries to explore their Jewish identity, connect with Israel and build Jewish community.
August 23, 2012
Jewish Federation-supported programs shelter vulnerable senior citizens in Israel. Amigour, a nonprofit subsidiary of The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, provides homes for 7,500 economically disadvantaged new immigrants and Israeli senior citizens in 57 sheltered housing projects throughout Israel. Learn more about The Jewish Agency’s Amigour.
August 16, 2012
Jewish Federation-supported programs educate and enrich Jewish communal professionals on college campuses. Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, which is supported by Jewish Federations, recently launched the Hartman Fellowship for Campus Professionals program, in partnership with the Shalom Hartman Institute, to provide a select group of early- and mid-career senior campus professionals with ongoing education about the relationship between Israel and world Jewry. Learn more about the Hartman Fellowship for Campus Professionals program.
August 9, 2012
Jewish Federations support programs that feed, clothe and shelter the poorest Jews in Russia and other Eastern European countries. In 2011, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is supported by Jewish Federations, helped nearly 160,000 elderly Jews with critical care through 161 Hesed relief centers and other organizations. Learn more about JDC’s lifesaving work in Russia and other Eastern European countries.
August 2, 2012
Jewish Federations' support for Israeli Olympic athletes extends beyond calls for a minute of silence for the Munich 11. The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, founded the Wingate Institute in Netanya – which serves as the training center for Israel's Olympians – with the Israel Education Fund (IEF), a partnership of JFNA and the Jewish Agency. Jewish Federation donors generously provided several of the buildings at Wingate, which also trains physical education teachers from around Israel. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s work in Israel.
July 27, 2012
Jewish Federations urge the International Olympics Committee to officially recognize the “Munich 11” at the 2012 London Olympics. The Jewish Federation-supported JCC Rockland in New York has led the drive to collect more than 110,000 names for a global petition requesting a “Minute of Silence” at the Olympic Games. Learn more about the “Minute of Silence,” and sign the petition.
July 19, 2012
Jewish Federation-supported programs lead to higher education in Russia and other Eastern European countries. In 2011, 90 percent of students enrolled in World ORT schools in that region successfully advanced to college or university after graduation. Learn more about World ORT, a partner agency of Jewish Federations, and its work to promote academic achievement.
July 12, 2012
Nearly 15,000 children and adults participated in camp programs through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) last year. JDC, which is supported by Jewish Federations, offers programs in 20 countries across Central and Eastern Europe for children, young adults, families and seniors. Learn more about how JDC’s camps celebrate Jewish life and serve as a welcome reprieve from difficult situations.
July 5, 2012
This summer, the Jewish Agency for Israel will bring more than 1,000 young adults as shlichim to Jewish summer camps around the world. The Jewish Agency, which is supported by Jewish Federations, sends these young Israelis to serve as emissaries for Israel and to learn about the diversity of Jewish life across the globe. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s Summer Shlichim program.
June 22, 2012
HIAS, the global migration agency of the American Jewish community, recently awarded $152,000 in scholarships to 38 immigrant students in the United States in its second-annual HIAS Scholars Program. Since 1974, HIAS, which is supported by Jewish Federations, has awarded more than $3 million to help fund higher education for more than 3,500 immigrants to the United States and Israel. Learn more about the HIAS Scholars Program.
June 14, 2012
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is supported by Jewish Federations, helps approximately 700,000 disabled Israeli adults between the ages of 21 and 65 through Israel Unlimited, a strategic partnership with JDC, the government of Israel and the Ruderman Family Foundation. The program focuses on community-based services that make independent living possible. Learn more about JDC’s services for Israelis with disabilities.
June 8, 2012
Last year, The Jewish Agency for Israel posted 50 Israel Fellows on North American college campuses as part of the Israel Campus Fellows program, run in partnership with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Through these Israel Fellows, the Jewish Agency, which is supported by Jewish Federations, deepens the understanding of a modern Israel on college campuses and empowers students to become advocates for the Jewish state. Learn more about the Israel Campus Fellows program.
June 1, 2012
Beyond connecting Jewish youth to Israel, Taglit-Birthright Israel, supported by Jewish Federations, has also boosted Israel's economy. Since its inception, Taglit-Birthright Israel has contributed $535 million to Israel’s economy, and more than $60 million in 2011 alone. Learn more about Taglit-Birthright Israel's impact on the Israeli economy.
May 17, 2012
Over the five years that World ORT has worked with the Rodman High School in Kiryat Yam, students’ eligibility for matriculation has increased to 88 percent, from just 50 percent. Rodman was the first school that Jewish Federations-supported World ORT engaged through its Science Journey - Kadima Mada program, which combines state-of-the-art, interactive classrooms with progressive science and technology education. Learn more about World ORT’s Kadima Mada program.
May 11, 2012
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is supported by Jewish Federations, has committed $330,000 for rent subsidies, food and scholarships in Athens, Greece, where the Jewish community has been severely affected by the country’s ongoing financial crisis. JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet last week visited Greece to learn about the critical work being done by JDC and other Jewish Federation partner agencies to help sustain the Greek Jewish community. Learn more about JDC’s work in Greece.
May 3, 2012
The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, helped 6,098 new immigrants from 60 countries with tuition scholarships during the 2010-2011 school year. The scholarships helped new Israelis earn academic and professional degrees at higher education institutions. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s scholarship assistance.
April 26, 2012
Jews in North America will celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) in the U.S. and Jewish Heritage Month in Ontario in May. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which is supported by Jewish Federations, will commemorate JAHM at its upcoming plenum for hundreds of Jewish leaders. In addition, Jewish Federations will recognize JAHM with a range of programs and events, and JFNA will represent the Federation community at the annual White House reception honoring Jewish contributions to our nation. Learn more about JAHM, and follow JFNA’s @JewishEvents Twitter feed for daily facts about Jewish American history.
April 19, 2012
The Ethiopian National Project currently provides 4,200 Ethiopian-Israeli teenagers with scholastic assistance and neighborhood outreach centers. ENP, which is supported by Jewish Federations, is working to double participation during the 2012-13 school year, increasing the number of social and educational opportunities available to Ethiopian-Israeli teens. Learn more about ENP’s youth outreach centers.
April 12, 2012
In Russia and other Eastern European countries, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is helping local communities implement effective, informal Jewish programming. The Jewish Community Educators Training Program, established by the Jewish Federations-supported JDC, includes a resource center in St. Petersburg, Russia; a website geared to distance learning; and training and mentoring for Jewish educators. Learn more about JDC’s work in Russia and other Eastern European countries.
April 5, 2012
World ORT, which is supported by Jewish Federations, last month opened a new four-story science and technology center in Argentina. The Buenos Aires center, which is equipped with the latest technology, includes state-of-the-art labs for mechatronics, media production, applied math, design and architecture, biochemistry, physics and environmental sciences. Learn more about ORT Argentina’s new science center.
March 30, 2012
Last year, the Jewish Agency for Israel provided 370 mentors for over 10,000 of Israel's disadvantaged youths in 32 locations around the country. The Jewish Agency, which is supported by Jewish Federations, established its Youth Futures program to match at-risk children and young people with "trustees" who provide focused attention and an opportunity to develop their academic and social skills. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s Youth Futures program.
March 23, 2012
Involvement in Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is one of the greatest predictors of future communal leadership, outpacing other shared Jewish experiences, according to a recent AVI CHAI Foundation study of Jewish organization leaders in their twenties and thirties. Hillel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, is one of the 92 Jewish organizations involved in JFNA’s TribeFest 2012, which begins this weekend. Learn more about Hillel’s career development.
March 15, 2012
During JFNA’s Rabbinic Cabinet Mission last month, 30 rabbis visited many programs supported by Jewish Federation partner agencies, including the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)'s Mafteach Haredi employment centers in Israel. This year, nine Mafteach centers will serve 4,000 men and women in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community with culturally sensitive job training, placement and other employment-related opportunities. Learn more about JDC’s Haredi employment centers.
March 8, 2012
More than 1,000 native Israeli and new immigrant students, primarily from at-risk backgrounds, are currently enrolled at the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Youth Villages. The Jewish Agency, which is supported by Jewish Federations, runs four villages – Ramat Hadassah, Hadassah Neurim, Ben Yakir and Kiryat Yearim – where students not only learn, but also participate in a range of activities from photography to jewelry craftsmanship. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s Youth Villages.
March 1, 2012
The Ethiopian National Project, supported by Jewish Federations, continues to close the gap in matriculation rates between Ethiopian-Israeli youth and the general Israeli population through its Scholastic Assistance Program. According to data released last month by the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, not only have Ethiopian-Israelis made academic progress, but eligibility for university has improved dramatically among Ethiopian-Israeli students, and dropout rates are declining. Learn more about ENP’s Scholastic Assistance Program.
February 23, 2012
World ORT, which is supported by Jewish Federations, has helped more than 2,500 teachers in 450 secondary schools and teacher training colleges in Argentina through ORT Argentina’s Teaching and Learning Resource Centre (CREA). The CREA team trains teachers to use software that fosters student interaction and collaboration, and extends the boundaries of the classroom through use of the Internet. Learn more about World ORT's CREA program.
February 16, 2012
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is supported by Jewish Federations, serves as an incubator for innovative social programs like Teach First Israel. An adaptation of the Teach for America model, Teach First Israel helps equalize educational opportunities for Israeli children of all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds by placing outstanding college graduates as teachers in low-income, peripheral communities. Learn more about JDC’s Teach First Israel program.
February 9, 2012
During JFNA’s Heart to Heart mission in Israel this week, more than 150 women from across North America visited a women’s empowerment project of the Jewish Agency for Israel in Beit Shemesh, a sister city of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. As part of its Partnership2Gether initiative, the Jewish Agency, supported by Jewish Federations, offers professional mentoring and instruction to help women with Persian, Russian, Yemenite, Kurdish, Iraqi and Moroccan backgrounds operate catering businesses that serve the tourism industry. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Gether initiative.
February 2, 2012
To mark Jewish Disability Awareness Month this February, more than 25 Jewish community professionals and lay leaders, including representatives from seven Federations and JFNA, will travel to Washington on Feb. 7 to participate in Jewish Disability Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. The day’s events will focus on the importance of Medicaid to the disability community, and will include a forum for Congressional staff and advocacy meetings with key members of Congress. Learn more about other Jewish Federation activities around Jewish Disability Awareness Month.
January 26, 2012
Last week, OTZMA opened registration for its 27th year of bringing young Jews to Israel for a service-based leadership experience. The Jewish Federations-supported program also connects participants to the Federation community and cultivates the next generation of Jewish leaders; more than 60 percent of OTZMA alumni have served as professionals or volunteers in the Jewish community since returning home. Learn more about OTZMA’s exciting programs.
January 19, 2012
Through its AMEN youth volunteer program, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has involved more than 50,000 young volunteers in community building initiatives throughout Israel. JDC, which is supported by Jewish Federations, recently added a family volunteerism element to the AMEN program, as well as increased efforts to reach at-risk, immigrant, Bedouin and special-needs populations around the country. Learn more about JDC’s AMEN program.
January 12, 2012
The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, will help bring more than 10,000 young Jewish adults to Israel during the 2011-12 academic year through its Masa Israel Journey initiative, in partnership with the government of Israel. Masa enables young Jews from all over the world to experience Israel through long-term academic, volunteer and internship programs. Learn more about Masa.
January 5, 2012
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, which is supported by Jewish Federations, recently awarded a total of $99,470 to nine campuses in the U.S. as part of its first Ask Big Questions Pilot Innovation Fund. The program, which is run in partnership with the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, identifies campus initiatives that engage diverse populations in conversation, bring together educational and extracurricular activities and foster self-awareness and deeper relations with others in the community. Learn more about Hillel’s Ask Big Questions Pilot Innovation Fund.
December 29, 2011
Nearly 136,000 impoverished elderly Jews throughout the former Soviet Union received food assistance last year through a network of Hesed welfare centers, established with help from the Jewish Federations-supported American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Food debit cards are an increasingly important part of this program, and have enabled around 85,000 elderly Jews across the region to purchase their preferred fresh foods in local stores. Learn about JDC's Hesed welfare centers.
December 22, 2011
To help those throughout the Jewish community in their Chanukah celebrations, JFNA’s Rabbinic Cabinet this week released a Chanukah Family Reading guide with resources for use during candle lighting. JFNA’s Rabbinic Cabinet, an organization of more than 1,000 rabbis from all denominations, is devoted to strengthening local Jewish Federations and supporting the continental Jewish community.
December 16, 2011
With help from the Jewish Federations-supported Jewish Agency for Israel, an increasing number of Jews are immigrating to the Jewish state from countries such as Cuba, Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, Iraq and other areas of the Middle East. Some 21,300 Jews made aliyah from around the world in the Jewish year 5771, up 19 percent from the previous year. Learn more about aliyah to Israel.
December 8, 2011
As of this year, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has implemented its Mishol (Path) program in 18 Israeli neighborhoods with low-income, high-immigrant populations. JDC, which is supported by Jewish Federations, uses the Mishol program to promote community solidarity and help residents of different backgrounds work together to improve their living environments. Learn more about Mishol and other JDC programs in Israel.
December 1, 2011
With scholarships from the Ethiopian National Project (ENP), an organization supported by Jewish Federations, more Ethiopian-Israelis are becoming physicians. For each of the past five years, ENP has provided six students with Yanoff Master Ethiopian-Israeli Healthcare Scholarships to support their medical studies. The students also serve as role models for the more than 17,000 Ethiopian-Israeli teenagers. Learn more about ENP’s scholarship programs.
November 23, 2011
World ORT, which is supported by Jewish Federations, will open the largest Jewish high school in the former Soviet Union early next year, in the Moldovan capital of Kishinev. The new school, which is equipped with a sports hall, laboratories and modern technology, will join a network of 17 ORT Jewish schools in the region, which provide high-quality education to more than 6,000 students. Learn more about ORT's Kishinev school.
November 17, 2011
In an effort to help Holocaust survivors redress claims of lost property under the Nazi regime and its allies, the Jewish Federations-supported Jewish Agency for Israel recently unveiled Project HEART (Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce), with funding from the government of Israel. The Jewish Agency has created a publicly available, searchable database of more than 650,000 Holocaust-era property records. Archivists plan on eventually releasing several million records. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s Project HEART.
November 10, 2011
Amid the many changes under way in North Africa today, JDC, which is supported by Jewish Federations, is helping Jewish communities in Morocco and Tunisia support their elderly, maintain their cultural identities, and provide quality education for their youth. The communities also benefit from ongoing communications, technical assistance and professional support from JDC. Learn more about JDC’s programs in Africa.
November 4, 2011
To kick off the 2011 General Assembly in Denver, more than 500 young adults will participate in “Hineni: Here to Serve,” Jewish Federations’ dynamic social action project in collaboration with the YAD Cares initiative of the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado. The project, which takes place on Sunday, Nov. 6, gives participants a chance to perform acts of tzedakah that will benefit nearly two dozen charities around Denver. Learn more about “Hineni: Here to Serve,” and all the other inspiring GA events at www.generalassembly.org.
October 27, 2011
This month, the Foundation for Jewish Culture launched the American Academy in Jerusalem, bringing established American artists to Israel’s capital to enhance cultural life in the city. The Jewish Federations-supported organization has chosen four Fellows for a nine-week residency, providing travel, accommodations and resources to enable them to develop projects that strengthen Jerusalem as an international destination for art and culture. Learn more about the Foundation’s American Academy in Jerusalem.
October 19, 2011
This summer, Hillel, a Jewish Federations-supported agency, brought more than 1,000 student activists, professionals, partner agencies and lay leaders to Washington University in St. Louis for the Hillel Institute, an annual conference that combines student and professional training. Participants discussed current campus issues such as fostering civility amongst students, promoting intergroup understanding, educating students about Israel and promoting Jewish identity among Jewish students. For details, click here.
October 12, 2011
The Net@ Program of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a Jewish Federations-supported agency, is helping 950 students in 17 Israeli communities become the next generation of high-tech professionals. Net@ gives youth from Israel's geographic and socio-economic peripheries advanced technology education and leadership skills. Through a comprehensive educational and experiential program, Net@ builds on academic studies in computers and network technology with practical, hands-on training. For details, click here.
October 6, 2011
The Jewish Federations-supported JDC and Israel’s Ministry of Education have developed new Hebrew-language programs for Ethiopian-Israeli adults with low literacy levels to help them better integrate into Israeli society. This school year, 600 such participants will attend 18 classes. Run in cooperation with national and local government partners, these classes feature both language instruction and employment training. For details, click here.
September 28, 2011
The most recent Israel Census Bureau statistics show that 73 percent of Ethiopian-Israeli families have children ages 17 or younger, and nearly all of the families have two or three children in this age group. The Jewish Federations-supported Ethiopian National Project reaches one in four Ethiopian-Israeli teens with its educational and social programs, and is working to help even more. Learn more here.
September 22, 2011
Jewish Federations-supported World ORT has launched a pilot program to help students successfully enter the business world through Hewlett Packard’s Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE) at ORT secondary schools in the former Soviet Union and Bulgaria. The HP LIFE program, which will be led by 15 teachers at schools in Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, trains students, potential entrepreneurs and small business owners to harness the power of IT to establish and grow their businesses. Learn more about World ORT’s plans for HP LIFE.
September 15, 2011
The Jewish Agency for Israel, supported by The Jewish Federations of North America, offers higher-educational opportunities to students from the social and geographic periphery of Israel through its Atidim programs. Currently, there are more than 20,000 students in nine different Atidim programs, including 720 young Ethiopians and more than 1,460 Druze and Bedouins. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s Atidim programs
September 8, 2011
In an effort to help the nearly 700,000 Israeli adults with disabilities, the Jewish Federations-supported American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has partnered with the Ruderman Family Foundation of Boston and the Israeli government to launch Israel Unlimited. The goal of the initiative is to fully integrate adults with disabilities into their communities by developing innovative services to facilitate independent living, promoting health and addressing the needs of those at high risk, such as individuals with chronic health problems. Learn more about Israel Unlimited.
August 12, 2011
For the first time in its history, the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America brought the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest to Israel this summer. More than 1,000 young Jews participated in the Olympic-style competition and arts festival, which are hallmarks of the Jewish Federations-supported JCCA. Events are also being held in Philadelphia and Springfield, Mass. Aug. 14-19. Learn more here.
July 28, 2011
The Jewish Agency for Israel sends hundreds of young shlichim as emissaries from Israel each year to educate Jewish communities around the world about their homeland. In 2011, the Federations-supported Jewish Agency expects to place 150 youth shlichim, 50 of whom will serve as Israel Fellows on campuses in North and South America, where they will work to increase Israel programming, student recruiting and advocacy for the state of Israel. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s programs for shlichim.
July 21, 2011
Throughout the summer, Jewish families across the former Soviet Union will take part in American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Family Retreats, which provide opportunities for children and parents to reconnect with their Jewish culture and identity. JDC, one of the Jewish Federation movement’s strategic overseas partners, last year oversaw 170 retreats, providing nearly 10,000 participants with programs combining Jewish education with art, drama, English language studies, computers, sports, dancing and music. Learn more about JDC’s summer Family Retreats.
July 14, 2011
The Ethiopian National Project has made great strides in increasing the self-confidence of Ethiopian-Israeli teens through programs at its Youth Outreach Centers. In a recent poll at its 18 centers throughout Israel, ENP, which is supported by Jewish Federations, found that 75 percent of students now feel confident enough to raise their hands and answer questions in class, versus just 56 percent two years ago. Learn more about how ENP’s Youth Outreach Centers provide a safe haven for at-risk youth.
July 7, 2011
World ORT recently launched the “Music and the Holocaust” educational website, with more than 100 Holocaust-era recordings and over 300 articles written by academics, researchers and survivors. The Jewish Federations-supported organization created the website, which was unveiled in Berlin earlier this summer, to offer insight into the experiences of those who were persecuted during this devastating chapter of Jewish history. Learn more about World ORT’s Holocaust music project.
June 30, 2011
The Jewish Agency for Israel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, is this week hosting a culinary tour of the Jewish state with four world-renowned New Orleans chefs, including TV star John Besh. The chefs will visit Tel Aviv restaurants, prepare meals for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, hold cooking classes for aspiring Israeli chefs and cater the opening of the boardwalk in Rosh Ha’ayin, New Orleans’ sister city. Planned in cooperation with the IDF, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism and the Union of Israeli Chefs, the trip is part of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership 2000 (P2K) initiative, which connects Jewish communities and Federations with Israeli communities. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s P2K program.
June 23, 2011
Jewish community members in Sofia, Bulgaria, are marking the successful conclusion of their new early childhood program’s inaugural year. Developed by the Jewish Federations-supported American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Gan Balagan, which serves 30 children ages 2-5, is the first Jewish preschool and kindergarten to open in Sofia in 50 years. The school is just one of many JDC initiatives that involve young families in community life. Learn more about JDC’s Gan Balagan early education program.
June 16, 2011
As the school year comes to an end, students on many university campuses can look forward to returning to new Hillel facilities next fall. Hillel, which is supported by Jewish Federations, this year opened the doors to new student centers at the University of British Columbia, Tulane University, University of Connecticut, University of Virginia, University of Rhode Island, Muhlenberg College, University of Alabama, Washington and Lee University and Emory University. Learn more about Hillel’s efforts to update student centers on college campuses around North America.
June 2, 2011
With Jewish Federation support, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) is working to provide citizenship education and naturalization application services to Lawful Permanent Residents in their communities. HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, recently received a two-year grant of $450,000 from the U.S. government's Office of Citizenship for a pilot project that will enable it to develop instructional materials and techniques that will be accessible to other Jewish community organizations nationwide. Learn more about HIAS’ work to resettle refugees.
May 26, 2011
As warmer weather approaches, the Jewish Agency for Israel is preparing for another season of summer camps for Jewish youth around the world. During 2010, the support of Jewish Federations enabled more than 6,000 campers to attend Jewish Agency programs in 18 locations throughout the former Soviet Union, and nearly 500 campers to attend Jewish Agency programs in North America and Israel for Russian-speaking youth. Learn more about the Jewish Agency’s summer camp programs.
May 19, 2011
With support from Jewish Federations, and in partnership with the Israeli government, local municipalities and other community organizations, JDC has established 35 Centers for Young Adults in Israel. Designed as “one-stop shops,” the Centers offer a variety of services to 90,000 immigrant and native-born young adults throughout the country, ages 18 to 30, to help them overcome disadvantages, complete educational requirements, secure vocational training and employment, learn life skills and become more involved in their communities. Learn more about JDC’s young adult programs in Israel.
May 13, 2011
The Ethiopian National Project (ENP) provides critically needed scholastic assistance to nearly 4,000 Ethiopian-Israeli teenagers with the support of Jewish Federations. Students that participate in ENP’s programs for three or more years have a 43 percent greater chance of obtaining a matriculation certificate – the first step towards attending college – than the general Ethiopian-Israeli population. Learn more about ENP’s educational programs.
April 28, 2011
In 2011, the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) celebrates 30 years of helping communities deliver engaging, high-quality Jewish education. With the support of Jewish Federations, JESNA programs have enhanced the landscape of Jewish learning, from the Berman Center for Research and Evaluation, which has conducted more than 200 program evaluations, research projects and needs assessments in the Jewish educational and communal sectors, to the Lainer-Masa Fellowship for Jewish Education, JESNA’s signature study-abroad program at Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University, which has enabled 800 North American college students to prepare for careers in education. Learn more about JESNA’s upcoming 30th anniversary celebration and the program’s three decades of accomplishments.
April 22, 2011
The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Loan Funds Initiative has provided more than $29 million to build small business in the Negev and Galilee. With the support of Jewish Federations, more than 1,000 businesses have received loans since the program’s inception, creating job opportunities and stimulating the country's economy. The Jewish Agency operates eight loan funds in Israel, which have provided capital for businesses ranging from bakeries to high-tech firms. Read more about the Jewish Agency’s Loan Funds program.
April 14, 2011
Following a highly successful inaugural event in 2010, the Global Day of Jewish Learning will return this fall, with a theme around the central Jewish prayer, the Shema. The Nov. 13 celebration, supported by Jewish Federations, will include educational activities worldwide focusing on unifying the Jewish people. More than half of the 157 Jewish Federations participated in last year’s Global Day, which involved 400 communities in 48 countries, with over 600 events. Find out more about the Global Day of Jewish Learning.
April 7, 2011
With support from Jewish Federations, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has developed innovative “JCC Without Walls” programs in Europe and South America to boost outreach to unaffiliated Jews. Last year, “Judafest” Jewish street festivals in Hungary and Latvia offered creative activities at unique venues throughout the country, attracting thousands of Jews of all backgrounds. Also in 2010, the JDC staged “Urban Pesach” and “Urban Rosh Hashanah” events around Argentina, drawing 25,000 participants each, as well as “Buenos Aires Chanukah,” a festival of more than 20 holiday-related events across the city. Learn more about JDC’s efforts to reach new Jewish populations.
April 1, 2011
Those on this week’s JFNA mission, “Completing the Journey,” are witnessing first-hand the aliyah of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The Jewish Agency for Israel plays an important role in that process, and JFNA supports its valuable work. To help bring the remaining “Falas Mura” community from Ethiopia to Israel, the Jewish Agency in 2010 facilitated the immigration of more than 1,700 Ethiopians, a major increase from just 240 the previous year. In the first two months of 2011 alone, the Jewish Agency helped 737 Ethiopians make aliyah to Israel. Find out more about the Jewish Agency’s efforts to help Ethiopian Jews.
March 24, 2011
ORT Kiev Technology Lyceum, a school in Ukraine founded by one of JFNA’s overseas partners, ORT, was recently chosen by Microsoft to join its elite Partners in Learning Innovative Schools Program. The institution is one of just 56 international schools selected – and the only school in Ukraine – for the program, intended to create a culture of innovation through the use of technology. Microsoft will commit $500 million to the worldwide initiative over the next 10 years. Learn more about Microsoft’s involvement at ORT Kiev.
March 17, 2011
In a celebration of Purim, Jewish student members of the St. Petersburg Hillel took to the city’s snow-covered streets in a synchronized performance set to the music of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” Students danced across iconic Russian venues, like the central square in front of the State Hermitage Museum, attracting news coverage along the way. Jewish Federations support Hillel groups on more than 500 college and university campuses around the world, including St. Petersburg, one of 16 centers serving 30 cities in the former Soviet Union. Learn more about Hillel’s work around the world, and see St. Petersburg’s students in action.
March 10, 2011
With support from Jewish Federations, and in partnership with the Government of Israel, JDC’s TEVET Employment Initiative is working to help Israel’s 800,000 chronically unemployed residents find work. Culturally sensitive professional development centers and training programs serve Israel’s most impoverished populations, such as the ultra-Orthodox haredim, more than half of whom live below the poverty line. JDC’s efforts have yielded jobs in high-tech industries and the financial field, and created service opportunities in the Israel Defense Forces that are compatible with religious needs. Learn more about the TEVET Employment Initiative.
March 3, 2011
The Jewish Agency for Israel, one of The Jewish Federations of North America’s partners at the upcoming TribeFest, offers many impactful programs benefitting young Jewish adults. Masa Israel, a joint project between the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government, with funding from Jewish Federations, will this year engage more than 10,000 young Jews in 160 gap-year, study abroad, post-college and volunteer programs in Israel. Learn more about Masa Israel programs.
February 24, 2011
To mark Jewish Disability Awareness Month, Jewish Federations have planned special programs this February to raise awareness of the needs and strengths of people with disabilities, and promote their inclusion throughout Jewish life. The Jewish Federations of North America also provides an annual Jewish Disability Awareness Month Resource Guide, convenes the Disability Workgroup of JFNA's Domestic Affairs Cabinet, and works with the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition to mobilize the religious community to take action on disability policy issues. To learn more, click here.
February 17, 2011
This year marks the 20th anniversary of JDC’s re-involvement in Cuba, and the organization continues to do critical work with Jewish Federations to support the cultural and religious resurgence of the Cuban-Jewish population. In addition to supplying food, medicine, and other humanitarian aid, JDC provides materials, training and professional support for this small but vital community. To read more, click here.
February 4, 2011
As university campuses head into the spring, Hillel is joining students on their Jewish journey. Hillel provides Senior Jewish Educators who serve as organizers, mentors and teachers, and create new connections with emerging adults. Last year, with the support of Jewish Federations, Hillel Senior Jewish Educators engaged more than 2,250 students on 10 campuses, focusing on those new to Jewish activities. To read more click here.
January 27, 2011
World ORT and the Israeli town of Kiryat Yam recently launched an $18 million science city project, with support from Jewish Federations. The high-tech education and sports campus boasts resources like a science center, library, performing arts auditorium and planetarium, open to residents of the coastal city. The campus will reinvigorate the largely blue-collar community of 45,000 -- comprised of many Russian and Ethiopian immigrants -- where the average income is about 25 percent lower than the national average. To read more click here.
January 20, 2011
Thanks to assistance from Jewish Federations, JDC-supported Ariel Job Centers are helping young Jewish families in Central and Eastern Europe battle high unemployment and economic hardship. Based on a proven model developed in Buenos Aires, Ariel Centers are now active in Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, and Venezuela. The centers provide resources and computer skills to help struggling community members find jobs. To read more click here.
November 24, 2010
With Jewish Federation support, JDC and its partners operate 165 Hesed welfare centers in the former Soviet Union and provide life-sustaining food, medical assistance, home care and critical winter supplies to nearly 160,000 of the world's poorest elderly Jews. The centers also serve as communal sites for meals, daycare and other life-sustaining services. To read more, click here.
November 18, 2010
At the 2010 GA in New Orleans, The Jewish Federation-supported Jewish Agency continued its work uniting global Jewish communities to strengthen Jewish identity and peoplehood. During the session Partnership 2000 (P2K): An Agent for Communal Engagement, panelists discussed how JAFI helps connect 550 Jewish communities across the globe with 45 regions in Israel. Click here for details.
November 4, 2010
Hillel will bring an unprecedented number of college students to the 2010 General Assembly this coming week, Nov. 7-9. More than 550 Hillel students from 96 campuses and representing at least 80 Jewish Federations will attend the New Orleans GA, the most important annual event on the Jewish communal calendar. For details on Hillel and the GA, click here.
October 29, 2010
This year marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the historic $28 million response by Jewish Federations and their disaster relief partners.
Helping to mark the occasion, the 2010 General Assembly and International Lion of Judah Conference will soon be taking place in New Orleans, which symbolizes the powerful impact of Jewish Federations. Participants will also engage in inspiring Jewish service projects to continue repairing the world.
For details on the Jewish Federations' Hurricane Katrina response, including a video about the effort,click here.
October 21, 2010
As part of its efforts to help rebuild Haiti, the Jewish Federation-supported JDC helped renovate a rehabilitation center at the State University Hospital of Haiti and trained staff to provide long-term care and prostheses for those severely injured in the devastating earthquake earlier this year. JDC also utilized Israeli experts from Magen David Adom and the Rehabilitation Center at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center JDC to bring relief to thousands of suffering men, women and children.For more information click here.
October 7, 2010
Did you know that since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Hillel has sent 3,700 young men and women to help rebuild the city? Their Federation-funded work has contributed to the repair of nearly 200 homes. Approximately 500 of Hillel's remarkable college and university students will follow in their predecessorsâ€™ footsteps and return to the city this year to attend the 2010 Jewish Federationsâ€™ General Assembly. To learn more about Hillel, click here.
September 2, 2010
The Jewish Federations of North America support JDC's fundraising campaign for victims of Haiti's devastating earthquake. JDC has raised more than $7.3 million to help provide hundreds of thousand of tent-city dwellers with clean drinking water; temporary schools for displaced children; medical care in remote coastal communities; state-of-the-art medical rehabilitation equipment, and other relief and recovery projects. For details, visit JFNA's Haiti page.
August 26, 2010
The Jewish Federations support the Jewish Agency's summer camps in the former Soviet Union. This summer, almost 5,000 Jewish children at camps in 14 different locations explored their connection to their Jewish identity, the Jewish People, and Israel. Click here to read the FSU Summer Camp Blog.
August 19, 2010
The Jewish Federations support World ORT, which brings cutting-edge educational technology to Israelâ€™s under-resourced southern communities. By summer's end, 206 classes in 40 schools in 13 communities will receive interactive whiteboards, laptops and other tools. Another 209 "smart" classes will be provided in the next two years. These facilities are being funded by a $2.2 million gift by Canadian philanthropist Seymour Schulich. Click here for details.
August 12, 2010
The Jewish Federations of North America has advocated for the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which helps secure potential terrorist targets. Since 2005, the program has awarded $99 million to improve security equipment and planning at hundreds of Jewish organizations. Most recently, JFNA helped provide $19 million for 270 organizations -- 94 percent of which were Jewish.
August 5, 2010
The Jewish Federations support HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which has brought more than 400,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union to the United States in the 40 years since the Soviet Jewry movement began. HIAS develops lifelong relationships with the people it assists and recently launched myStory, the first Russian-English social media website, where former HIAS clients can tell their immigration stories and connect with others about their shared experiences.
July 29, 2010
Jewish Federations support the Ethiopian National Project's Scholastic Assistance Program, which aims to build self-confidence and self-esteem among Ethiopian-Israeli youth by working in small groups to address the issues this at-risk population faces. The program has seen an increase in self-esteem and interpersonal relations in 70-80% of participants (Branco Weiss Institute, September 2009). Click here to learn more.
July 22, 2010
The Jewish Federations support the JDC-BBYO Global Service Fellowship. This new initiative will place four BBYO alumni in JDC’s Jewish Service Corps for one year. Fellows will work on Jewish renewal and humanitarian needs in overseas communities and will connect North American Jewish teens with their peers abroad. Click here for more information.
July 15, 2010
The Jewish Federations support the Jewish Agency's efforts to rescue Jews from Kyrgyzstan, where ethnic violence recently erupted. During the conflict, JAFI helped 12 Jews from Kyrgyzstan make aliyah, along with nearly 700 other olim from across the former Soviet Union, Belgium and France. Please click here for details.
July 8, 2010
The Jewish Federations support Hillel's campus internship programs, which in the past year enabled some 35,000 Jewish students to use their social networks and entrepreneurial skills to influence their campus culture and connect unaffiliated students to Jewish life. Click here for details.
July 1, 2010
Some 5,000 Israeli teenagers recently participated in a Jewish Federation-supported program to better understand the needs of the disabled. Part of a World ORT Kadima Mada competition, the students met people with a range of disabilities, then built practical aids for them, in a program linking science and technology with sensitivity. For details click here.
June 24, 2010
The Jewish Federations support JDC's Ariel Job Centers in Riga, Latvia and Tallinn, Estonia, which battle rising unemployment and poverty among Jews in the Baltics. The centers, based on a pioneering model that continues to help Argentina’s Jews recover in the wake of that country’s economic crisis, provide classes and training on job hunting, interviewing, resume-building and computer skills. Click here for details.
June 17, 2010
The Jewish Federations supports "Wings," a multi-faceted Jewish Agency program in partnership with the Merage Foundation and other donors that provides lone immigrant soldiers support as they get discharged from the Israel Defense Forces. Thirty lone soldiers in the "Wings" program recently received $500 each to help with living expenses. Click here for details.
June 10, 2010
The Jewish Federations support HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which since its founding in 1881 has helped more than 4.5 million refugees and immigrants. Even after their immediate needs have been served, HIAS maintains enduring relationships with those it has helped. This year, HIAS will award more than 200 scholarships to former clients pursuing a higher education in the United States and Israel. Started in 1974, the HIAS scholarship program has grown into a robust expression of HIAS' life-long concern for its previous clients. Click here for more information.
June 3, 2010
Thanks to funds from Jewish Federations, the Ethiopian National Project's Youth Outreach Centers continued to operate in 2009-10, keeping teens out of trouble and involved in positive pursuits. The centers have extended hours during the summer and offer hikes, field trips, and late-night movie screenings, to provide a supportive framework for Ethiopian-Israeli teens during the day and into the late summer nights. Click here for details.
May 21, 2010
May is Older Americans Month. To promote the ability of older adults to maintain their independence with dignity in their homes and communities, The Jewish Federations of North America's Washington Office has been working with Congress for the past five years to increase the annual allocation for the U.S. Administration on Aging's Community Innovations for Aging in Place program. Click here for details.
May 13, 2010
The Jewish Federations support JDC's work in Kyrgyzstan, home to an estimated 1,300 Jews. JDC's local Hesed welfare center provides food and medicine to the community. JDC also provides a Jewish library, family education programs, aid for the elderly and at-risk children. During recent political upheaval in the country, JDC monitored the Jewish community's safety and ensured they continued to receive critical support. For more information, click here.
May 6, 2010
May 2010 is the fifth nationally recognized Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). The Jewish Federations of North America advocated for legislation creating JAHM and helped lead yearly events in Washington. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have issued presidential proclamations recognizing the 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. Ideas for programs, community celebrations, profiles of noted Jewish Americans, and educational resources can be found on the JAHM website.
April 29, 2010
Jewish Federations support MASA, which enables young Jews (18-30) from around the world to participate in more than 150 long-term programs in Israel. Recently, 13 MASA students attended the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and showed a special exhibition of work about their Israel experience. More than 20,000 young people have joined MASA, sponsored by The Jewish Agency and the Israeli government. For details on the art program and on MASA, click here.
April 15, 2010
The Jewish Federations support ORT's educational initiatives in Argentina, which are helping transform the country’s education system through technology. A pilot project to train teachers in using technology including the Internet has proven so successful that it will expand from seven to 200 schools this year. Teachers can design teaching strategies and develop virtual resources for their students. Click here for details.
April 8, 2010
The Jewish Federations support JDC’s newly launched Hotam (Teach First Israel) program, which selects and trains 100 of Israel’s brightest university students to become teachers in underserved parts of the country. Part of JDC’s TEVET partnership with the Israeli government, the pilot program aims to give equal educational opportunities to Israeli schoolchildren of all socioeconomic levels and ethnic backgrounds. Click here for more information.
April 1, 2010
The Jewish Federations support The Jewish Agency's Keshet program, which brings parents of lone soldiers to Israel to see their children serving in the Israel Defense Forces. The trip is often the parents' first time in Israel and sometimes inspires family members to decide to make aliyah. Recently, 30 parents reunited with their children on a trip made possible through the generosity of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Jewish Federation of MetroWest, N.J. Click here for details.
March 25, 2010
The Jewish Federations support the Ethiopian National Project's Scholastic Assistance program in Israel. The program provides 3,523 Ethiopian-Israeli students in Grades 7-12 with supplemental education to help improve grades and offers extra-curricular activities to build self-esteem. Click here for more details.
March 18, 2010
The Jewish Federation movement supports HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which since its founding in 1881 has helped more than 4.5 million refugees and immigrants. In 2009 HIAS partnered with Jewish Federations, applying both its extensive immigration and resettlement experience, to successfully rescue 57 Yemenite Jews and bring them to the United States. For details on HIAS, please visit www.hias.org.
March 11, 2010
Nearly 100 Jewish young adults from across the United States gathered outside San Francisco recently for the fourth biannual "Mitbachon" retreat for Russian-speaking 25-35 year olds. Organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel, in partnership with local Federations, the retreat focused on Jewish peoplehood and gave participants the chance to learn, network and build community. Click here for more information.
March 4, 2010
The Jewish Federations of North America support JDC's efforts to help the victims of the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Following disasters such as these, JDC and its partners are on the ground providing critical food, medical aid, equipment, and services to victims in the emergency phase. In the longer-term, JDC works to restore infrastructure and rebuild community life in disaster-stricken regions, as it has done in the countries impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Click here for more information.
February 25, 2010
The Jewish Federations of North America supports ORT's effort to install more than 400 Smart Classrooms across northern Israel. Smart Classrooms include interactive whiteboards (IWBs), wireless Internet connectivity and other technological aids. ORT is investing more than $4 million to bring new technology to 72 under-resourced schools and benefit 40,000 students annually. Please click here for details.
February 18, 2010
February is Jewish Disability Awareness month. Over the past decade, Federations have seen an increased need for services for people with autism spectrum disorders and their families. In response, The Jewish Federations of North America is developing a comprehensive Web site on autism spectrum for adults ages 18-26. The site, which will be available over the summer, will include educational materials, information on housing and social programs, and more. Please contact Barbara Bedney for details.
February 11, 2010
The Jewish Federations of North America support Torahs for Our Troops, a project of the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council, which is a service of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America. Jewish military chaplains are assigned to visit the more than 10,000 Jewish Americans on active duty, to provide a wide range of services including helping them observe Shabbat and the Jewish holidays. JWB has commissioned the writing of six small, lightweight and fully kosher Torah scrolls to accompany the chaplains into the combat theater. For details on how your Federation can bring one of the Torahs to your community and support this project, please contact Ziva Davidovich at 212.786.5099 or visit www.torahsforourtroops.org.
February 4, 2010
February 2010 is Jewish Disability Awareness Month, as the Jewish Federations of North America joins the Consortium of Jewish Special Educators in recognizing and increasing awareness of people with disabilities in Jewish communities. For details on how to participate in activities and events, please click here.
January 28, 2010
The Jewish Federations of North America support The Jewish Agency's Aliyah and Absorption Department, which is working to help members of Ethiopia’s Falas Mura community immigrate to Israel. JAFI recently greeted the first flight of Falas Mura since August, 2008 and in the next year will help 2,600 immigrate. The immigrants will live in Jewish Agency absorption centers, where they will receive services to help them integrate into Israeli society. For details click here.
January 21, 2010
The Jewish Federations of North America support Hillel, the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, which recently opened Hillel Norte (North Hillel), the third Hillel center in Buenos Aires and the fourth in Argentina. Hillel Norte serves the Jewish student and young adult community in the northern Buenos Aires suburb of Olivos. The new center reflects the growing impact of Hillel across Argentina. Click here for details.
January 14, 2010
The Jewish Federations Support JDC's relief efforts for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti this week. JDC is conducting a full and rapid assessment of the situation on the ground, and reaching out to its network of partners to determine critical next steps based on immediate needs of the hardest-hit areas. The efforts are part of JDC's International Development Program (IDP), which provides immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters. Click here to learn more or to donate.
December 31, 2009
The Jewish Federations support the ORT de Gunzburg High School in St. Petersburg -- the only school in Russia to be chosen by Microsoft as a ‘Pathfinder School’. Thirty Pathfinder Schools were selected this year to spearhead the expansion of Microsoft's Partners in Learning network, which helps schools use technology more effectively. As a Pathfinder School, ORT de Gunzburg received thousands of dollars-worth of Microsoft software. Click here to learn more.
December 24, 2009
The Jewish Federations support the Jewish Agency's Ben Yakir Youth Aliyah Village, which recently celebrated a unique Ethiopian-Jewish holiday with food and dancing. Taking place 50 days after Yom Kippur, the holiday of Sigd symbolizes the agreement between G-d and the Ethiopian Jewish community. For details click here.
December 10, 2009
The Jewish Federations support HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which has helped more than 4.5 million refugees and immigrants since 1881. HIAS is the only Jewish organization working on the ground in Eastern Chad helping refugees fleeing from Sudan. In the past two months, HIAS staff and community workers in Chad provided psycho-social services to approximately 85,000 Darfuri refugees traumatized by years of displacement, especially those victims of sexual- and gender-based violence. Click here to read more.
December 3, 2009
The Jewish Federations of North America support World ORT's efforts to address Israel’s shortage of civil engineers with a groundbreaking new course for high school students. In partnership with the Israel National Roads Company and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology – World ORT has created a year-long enrichment course that already attracted 35 students to its first two sessions. Click here to learn more.
November 26, 2009
The Jewish Federations support the Jewish Agency's Machon Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad. Each year, more than 500 young adults from around the world are trained to lead Israel-centered education programs. The Institute has more than 12,000 graduates, prominent in Jewish life in Israel and overseas. Click here for details.
November 19, 2009
The Jewish Federations of North America support JDC's relief programs for nearly 170,000 destitute elderly Jews in more than 2,800 communities across the former Soviet Union. A network of more than 170 JDC-supported Hesed welfare centers offer vital services for the elderly including homecare, blankets, boots, jackets, and heating oil. Click here for details.
November 12, 2009
The Jewish Federations of America support World ORT's hospital education program in Israel, which provides help for patients ages 6-21 in 100 pediatric departments in 27 hospitals. The initiative, established by the charity Kav Or, helps 120,000 children maintain their studies with laptop computers and other tools while they are hospitalized. Click here for details.
November 5, 2009
The Jewish Federations of North America support MASA Israel Journey's ‘Go Green in Israel’ initiative, which highlights opportunities for young adults in North America to study, intern or volunteer in the “green” or environmental sector in Israel. MASA offers programs ranging from environmental studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Arava Institute, to internships at renewable energy startups, to volunteering on an eco-farm. Click here for more information.
October 22, 2009
This fall, Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky opened the school year in the FSU with a class on “the Zionist struggle in the Soviet Union,” and described his own campaign for freedom. The class was broadcast live to the Hefzibah network of 44 Jewish schools, supported by The Jewish Federations of North America, the Jewish Agency, the Israeli government and The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Click here for details.
October 15, 2009
Jewish children and their families, suffering from poverty, health problems, and the ongoing impact of the global financial crisis, had a sweeter New Year thanks to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ)-JDC Partnership for Children in the Former Soviet Union. The IFCJ-JDC Partnership, sponsored by The Jewish Federations of North America, helps nearly 25,000 children with basic food, medicine, shelter, and clothing. The Partnership also subsidized holiday celebrations and special Rosh Hashanah packages for the families. Click here for details.
September 24, 2009
UJC/The Jewish Federations of America supports the Secure Community Network's efforts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure Jewish communal organizations have updated information and resources on pandemic preparedness, particularly heading into the fall flu season. SCN recently coordinated a series of H1N1 conference calls for Jewish communal organizations impacted by H1N1 outbreaks.
September 17, 2009
UJC/The Jewish Federations of North America Emergency Committee has allocated nearly $460,000 dollars in the past year to help communities in North America respond to disasters, from assisting California communities devastated by wildfires to aiding the Houston area hit by Hurricane Ike to supporting victims of the Seattle shooting. To learn more about UJC/Federation disaster relief work, contact Robyn Judelsohn.
August 13, 2009
UJC/The Jewish Federations of North America supports JAFI’s Partnership 2000 (P2K) program, an extraordinary global platform connecting some 550 communities. P2K is building bridges among these communities - sharing ideas, strengths, challenges and models of success, therby empowering both communities to make positive changes. Click here for more info.
August 6, 2009
UJC/The Jewish Federations of North America supports JDC’s network of 30 community-based Parent Child Centers (PCC), which help improve parenting skills and family functionality among dysfunctional, abusive or neglectful families with children aged 5 to 12. The Mobile PCC initiative rotates staff between outlying communities, reaching families in smaller towns and rural locations. Please click here for details.
July 30, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports JAFI’s Atidim program, which offers higher education to more than 8,000 students ages 13-30 from Israel’s social and geographic periphery, including Bedouin, Cherkessk, Druze, Ethiopian, Arab and Jewish Israelis. Please click here for details.
July 23, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports JDC’s growing Torah v’Hinuch network in Djerba, Tunisia, which had a combined enrollment of 200-plus students in their Jewish kindergarten and girls’ school in 2008. The students benefit from a secular and Hebrew curriculum. In addition, JDC helps support two yeshivot in Djerba that enroll 150 boys, offering them several hours daily of secular instruction at the Torah v’Hinuch school as well. For details on JDC's work in Tunisia, click here.
July 16, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports the Jewish Agency’s Lomdim Jewish Education program in Argentina. This year, 1,100 children will participate at an average cost of $420 each. Read more about all of the Jewish Agency’s Argentina efforts.
July 9, 2009
India is home to an estimated 4,500 Jews in a country of over 1 billion people. UJC/Jewish Federations of North America’s support of JDC's Evelyn Peters Jewish Community Center in Mumbai offers a range of Jewish educational programming for all ages. The community’s only youth group, the Jewish Youth Pioneers, provides a vital framework for the community’s future leaders to network and gather in a Jewish context.
July 6, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports the Jewish Agency’s Young Communities, which harness the power of idealistic young Israelis who come to live in and strengthen underdeveloped regions of the Negev and Galilee. For more information, click here.
June 25, 2009
Thanks to the support of UJC/Jewish Federations of North America, World ORT has launched a new phase of Kadima Mada, its science and technology venture in Israel, providing 12- to 15-year-olds with Lego Robotics kits to create mini-robots. The program fills a strong need for more technology study tracks geared to schoolchildren who require remedial work in traditional science and humanities. For information, click here.
June 18, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation/JDC International Camp in Szarvas, Hungary. The camp hosts some 2,000 Jewish campers and counselors from more than 20 countries and is an informal Jewish educational venue for children from around the Jewish world, helping to nurture a generation of future leaders. For more information, click here.
June 11, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports the Jewish Agency’s famed Ulpan Etzion, which has tripled the capacity of its Jerusalem program from 80 to 230 students, and is opening a new campus in Haifa to accommodate 40 students. The intensive Hebrew study program has served for decades as a unique first home and ulpan for thousands of single, college-educated olim ages 22-35 from around the world. For more information, click here.
June 4, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports the Jewish Agency's Youth Aliyah Villages, which educate more than 1,000 native Israeli and new immigrant youth, primarily from at-risk backgrounds, and also provide short-term programs for 12,000 young people. Click here for details.
May 21, 2009
Thanks to the support of UJC/Jewish Federations of North America, World ORT has joined with one of the world's biggest high-tech companies, Cisco, and with JDC, to set up a groundbreaking training program for women in Tirat HaCarmel, near Haifa. Students from low-income families pay only a nominal fee for the internationally recognized Cisco Certified Network Associate course, giving them an opportunity to learn practical employment skills and to gain employment opportunities through the program’s partnership with companies in a nearby hi-tech industrial zone. For more information, click here.
May 7, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports the revival of Jewish learning in the Baltic states through the Limmud-Keshet conference, initiated and cosponsored by JDC in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. At the March conference, local volunteers devoted hours of preparation to enable 1,000 people to gather in Vilnius, Lithuania for a weekend festival of Jewish learning that has become part of the worldwide Limmud phenomenon. Since its launch in 2004, the event has resonated with the emerging Baltic communities, which have struggled to revive their Jewish identities after decades of Communist rule. To learn more, click here.
April 24, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports ORT’s Technical High School in Rio de Janeiro, which has enrolled the highest number of students ever in its 65-year history, a sign of its burgeoning reputation for a top-quality education. The school now has 360 students, a 20 percent increase over last year. Click here for more info.
April 2, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports JDC’s work with the Hungarian Jewish Social Support Foundation. Thanks to the foundation, in 2008 more than 3,500 elderly Jews received medical care and equipment; more than 2,200 clients received winter relief assistance; more than 1,300 received food support; and 115 needy elderly received monthly cash assistance. JDC continues to sponsor social services for needy elderly Jews through the foundation while gradually handing over the responsibility to the community.
March 26, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports the Jewish Agency's Lomdim Jewish Education program in Argentina. This year, 1,100 children will participate in the program at an average cost of $420 per person. Click here to read more about the Jewish Agency’s Argentina programs.
March 19, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports the Lawson-ORT Career Program in St. Petersburg, Russia, which provides Jewish adults with employment training. The program is linked via distance learning technology to the Moscow Vocational Training Center and other ORT centers throughout the CIS and Baltic States, and offers career placement both locally and in Israel.
March 12, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America supports Masa, which encourages young adults to visit Israel on long-term programs. This year, more than 8,000 young adults from 48 countries will participate in MASA's 140 semester and year-long Israel experience programs at an average cost of $1,875 per scholarship. Click here for more info.
March 5, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America support JDC’s Supportive Communities for the Disabled and Elderly, giving people the help they need to continue living independently. Twenty Supportive Communities help 400,000 disabled Israelis and more than 200 Supportive Communities help 37,500 elderly Israelis. JDC-ESHEL, the Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel, is working with the Israeli government to expand to 300 communities by the end of 2010.
February 26, 2009
The ORT school in Odessa, supported by UJC/Jewish Federations of North America, has been named a flagship of Contemporary Science and Education in Ukraine by the Odessa Department of Education, placing it among the top 1 percent of the country's educational institutions. The school provides high-quality Jewish and general education for 400 students ages 6-17. For more information, please click here.
February 19, 2009
The UJC/Federation system supports JAFI's Youth Futures program, which matches at-risk children and young people with "trustees" who can provide them focused attention. During the recent conflict in Southern Israel, 80 trustees, many residents of the region under fire, underwent special training to help 1,200 participating children and their families. Trustees learned how to conduct a "home visit" in a bomb shelter, how to identify trauma, and what resources to offer those in need. Click here to read a personal account from Adi Cohen, a Youth Futures Trustee from Beer Sheva.
February 12, 2009
The UJC/Federation system's Israel Emergency Campaign funded a JDC survey following the Second Lebanon War, which revealed that disabled people lacked accessible bathrooms in shelters. In response, JDC partnered with Milbat (The Israeli Center for Technology and Accessibility) to create a portable kit. This investment proved critical during Operation Cast Lead, when JDC sent kits to help hundreds of disabled residents of Southern Israel use a shelter close to home.
February 5, 2009
Since Dec. 24, 2008, JAFI's SOS Emergency Fund has provided more than $100,000 in assistance for 111 victims of missile fire in Southern Israel. Funded by UJC/Federation system donations and founded in 2007 as part of the JAFI's Fund for Victims of Terror, the SOS Emergency Fund provides immediate financial assistance to victims of terror.
January 29 ,2009
Supported by funds from UJC/Federations, JDC and the Israeli government have created the "120 Strong" program, which sends 180 case workers to provide daily outreach to the 25,000 elderly residents in Southern Israel. The program is based on JDC's Supportive Communities model, which provides elderly residents with a 'Community Parent' to help with critical tasks and give them personal attention. Ninety-five percent of Supportive Communities program participants claim that these visits give them the strength to carry on in difficult times. To learn more about JDC's programs for residents in Southern Israel, please click here.
January 22, 2009
Businesses in Southern Israel have suffered a 40 percent reduction in income during the current conflict. Thanks to UJC/Federation system support, JDC and the Center for Promotion of Entrepreneurship (MATI) are helping 50 small-to-medium-sized businesses in Southern Israel by selling their merchandise online. Now these businesses can expand their market reach, while Sderot residents can make purchases from the safety of their homes. Google Israel and Bezeq (Israel's national telephone carrier) employees volunteered to help with this project. For more information on the UJC/Federation System response to the conflict, please visit the UJC Gaza Situation Web page.
January 15, 2009
With UJC/Federation system support, the Jewish Agency for Israel is taking children living in Southern Israel on respite trips outside the missile zone. More than 23,000 children will participate in daily trips, including excursions to parks, zoos, a planetarium, Mini Israel, concerts and plays. The respite trips allow the children to relieve mounting levels of stress and fear, while revitilizing their spirits in a fun atmosphere. To see a video of JAFI's 'Day Without Missiles' program for kids living near Gaza, please click here. For more information on the UJC/Federation System response to the conflict, please visit the UJC Gaza Situation Web page.
January 8, 2009
During the Israel Defense Force's Operation Cast Lead, 20 OTZMA participants are volunteering at army bases in Israel's north. The OTZMA participants are packing equipment and organizing supplies. To learn more about OTZMA, which is funded by UJC and the Federations of North America, please visit www.otzma.org.
December 26, 2008
UJC/Federation supports ORT's Technical High School in Rio de Janeiro, recently ranked 7th out of 443 schools in the city and 13th out of 18,000 schools nationally-- making it the highest-ranked technical and Jewish school in Brazil. Click here for details.
December 18, 2008
UJC/Federation supports JDC’s Center for Independent Living (CIL), which serves the unique needs of Israel's 400,000 disabled adults. Run by and for disabled adults ages 21-65, centers in Jerusalem and Beersheva, serving 2,500 residents, are designed to help them participate fully in Israeli society while living at home. The centers offer peer counseling, advocacy efforts and support. Five additional centers will be established throughout Israel. Click here for details.
December 4, 2008
UJC/Federation supports World ORT's Science Journey/Kadima Mada venture in Israel, which is installing Smart Classrooms in the country’s most disadvantaged schools in the northern and southern peripheries. In Smart Classrooms, students and teachers engage in interactive lessons using digital white boards. With Israel's Ministry of Education, World ORT is developing 1,000 similar classrooms throughout Israel.
November 28, 2008
UJC/Federation supports JDC's "It’s a Deal" program, which targets at-risk Israeli youth ages 15-18, most of whom have dropped out of school. "It's a Deal" allows participants to work in more than 30 youth-run business enterprises and then to be placed in jobs, helping them acquire professional skills, confidence and a chance to re-connect with society. The youth-run ventures include coffee houses and restaurants, handicrafts workshops, printing houses, bakeries and more.
November 20, 2008
After the recent war in Georgia, the UJC/Federation-supported JAFI brought 40 Georgian youngsters ages 10-16 to Israel for a week-long respite of travel, fun and education For many of these young Jews, it was their first visit to Israel. For more details on the UJC/Federation response to the Georgia crisis click here.
Novemember 13, 2008
UJC/Federation supports Nahar HaEch, a JDC-funded Jewish folk dancing group based in Belgrade, Serbia. The group is one of more than a dozen to take part in Serbia’s annual celebration of International Children’s Day, when the Jewish community of Belgrade partners with JDC and local organizations to honor and embrace children of all backgrounds and circumstances, including orphans, children with disabilities, and children of various minority groups. This year’s event attracted over 250 participants.
November 6, 2008
UJC/Federations support the "Two Tales-One Story" coexistence program funded by JAFI and the Abraham Fund. Through dialogue and informal activities involving school principals, teachers and children, more than 200 youngsters in six Jewish and Arab elementary schools in Acre are building bridges of mutual understanding and friendship in a city where Arab-Jewish tensions recently erupted. Since its 2006 launch, "Two Tales-One Story" has helped hundreds of children in ethnically diverse cities throughout the Galilee.
October 30, 2008
Supported by UJC/Federation, the Roslyn Z. Wolf Cleveland-JDC International Fellows program provides an unparalleled opportunity to work building a Jewish community. One select college graduate gets an opportunity to help an isolated or re-emerging Jewish community by developing programs to teach young people, train young leaders and care for the elderly. This year’s fellow, Aliyah, lives in Minsk and has helped enrich the Jewish community through classes, holiday celebrations, and by creating Moishe House Minsk -- a grassroots community center for Jews in their 20s.
October 23, 2008
With UJC/Federation support, JAFI's Net@ program is training thousands of low-income high school students in Israel to design, build and maintain computer networks, while working with teams and developing community leadership. Graduates of the four-year program become certified computer network technicians with credentials as network managers and operators.
October 16, 2008
UJC/Federation-supported JDC organized the "JUDAFEST" Jewish Street Festival in Budapest this past summer, which drew over 3,500 people to become the largest Jewish event in Hungary today. Crowds lined up to eat falafel, hear a Klezmer concert, and have their faces painted. The street festival is the latest effort to increase Jewish affiliation in the capital.
October 10, 2008
Funded by UJC/Federation, the Magen David Adom Ambulance Volunteer Program, a joint program of Magen David Adom and the Jewish Agency for Israel, brings hundreds of Jewish young adults from around the world to volunteer as first responders on ambulances. The program has grown from 47 volunteers in 2000 to 600 volunteers in 2008.
October 2, 2008
Through UJC/Federation support, JDC's Summer Youth Camp in India brings young Jews together for Jewish and outdoor programs. This past summer, 20 young people from across India gathered at the hill station of Matheran, outside Mumbai, for a four-day adventure camp with rock climbing, rappelling, valley crossing, nighttime hikes and Jewish learning.
September 25, 2008
Through UJC/Federation, the Jewish Agency for Israel brought 40 young Jews from Georgia to Israel for a week-long tour this month. The students, including some from the war-torn city of Gori, are traveling this week throughout Israel, meeting peers on Israel experience programs and learning about ways they could complete high school in the Jewish state.
September 18, 2008
United Jewish Communities, on behalf of the federation system, is one of 38 members of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). During a national disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relies upon NVOAD to organize the non-medical needs of the displaced disaster victims, such as the provision of sheltering, feeding, and human services.
September 4, 2008
Through a program designed by UJC and administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 411 Jewish communal institutions in the United States -- federations, community centers, family services, schools, synagogues, museums, homes for the aged, and others -- received grants during fiscal years 2007 and 2008 to improve their physical security and preparedness against potential terrorist acts.
August 14, 2008
UJC/Federation partners JAFI and JDC have helped save Georgian Jews since the outbreak of the military conflict in the Democratic Republic of Georgia/South Ossetia last week. Through its office in Tbilisi, JAFI has coordinated the evacuation of Jews from the city of Gori to safety in the Georgian capital. JAFI has also helped expedite the immigration of Georgian Jews to Israel. Meanwhile, JDC field staff moved into emergency mode, bringing much-needed medicine, food and water to Jews in the conflict region, and by helping evacuate many to safer locations in Georgia or Russia.
August 7, 2008
UJC/Federation supports JDC’s Outreach Network Initiative, which provides professional support and technical assistance to grassroots organizations offering Jewish programming to 10,000 to 15,000 unaffiliated Hungarian Jews of all ages and backgrounds. The Initiative has created a local philanthropic network that will help these organizations become more self-sufficient, build community capacity and nurture a richer Jewish life in Hungary.
July 31, 2008
The number of immigrants to Israel from South Africa is expected to nearly double this year. 100 new immigrants arrived in Israel on July 21 on the first-ever chartered flight for immigrants from South Africa, organized by UJC/Federation supported JAFI and the South African Zionist Federation.
July 24, 2008
UJC/Federation supported the 10th anniversary of JDC’s Machol Hungaria Israeli folk dance festival, the largest of its kind in Europe. From April 28-May 4, some 230 participants from 16 countries gathered at the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation/JDC International Summer Camp in Szarvas, Hungary to celebrate their Jewish heritage through movement. The festival included dance classes, a Yom HaShoah commemoration, Shabbat observance, a Havdallah ceremony along the Danube River, a talent show and a dance party.
July 17, 2008
UJC/Federation supports Kol India, the JDC-published quarterly magazine, now found in 1,000 Jewish homes across India. The magazine reports community events and programs for India’s 4,500-5,000 Jews, and educational pieces for readers of all ages. To learn more about JDC’s work in India, click here.
July 9, 2008
With UJC/Federation support, JAFI’s Lone Immigrant Soldiers programs have provided 565 Israeli Army soldiers with critical guidance and mentoring. Programs include pre-paid calling cards so soldiers can communicate with their families abroad, planning for higher education after the army and a course in transitioning to civilian life.
July 3, 2008
Through UJC/Federation support, MASA, a historic and strategic partnership between the Israeli government and JAFI, enables thousands of young Jews to spend a semester or year in Israel. Participants build a life-long relationship with Israel and a commitment to Jewish life. MASA participants also recently attended the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem to discuss creating a better future for Israel and the Jewish community.
June 27, 2008
JAFI, with the support of UJC/Federation, recently hosted aliyah (immigration to Israel) seminars in six cities across North America. Some 2,000 people in Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Toronto heard from Israeli government representatives discussing such topics as job hunting, buying a home, school registration, acquiring health insurance and Israeli taxes. In attendance were Israeli representatives from the cities of Ariel, Haifa, Kiryat Tivon and Modiin, all of whom are seeking new olim and returning Israelis.
June 19, 2008
Ambassadors from around the world participated in a trip to Israel this past April to learn about JAFI programs sponsored by UJC/Federation. Envoys from Australia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Chile, Kenya, Latvia, South Africa and Uruguay saw how these JAFI programs aid new immigrants, assist at-risk youth, advance co-existence and strengthen Israeli society.
June 12, 2008
With UJC/Federation support, JAFI organized an event for Israel’s 60th anniversary as part of its continued efforts to help the residents of Sderot and the Gaza perimeter communities. The event, broadcast on Israel’s Channel 10, included games, sports, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, trampolines, rides and performances by popular musicians.
June 5, 2008
UJC/Federation is helping JDC provide support for the small Jewish communities still remaining in Morocco and Tunisia, numbering some 5,500 people, enabling them to maintain essential communal services like assistance for the ailing and elderly, nursing homes and a range of educational, recreational and cultural programs for Jewish youth.
May 29, 2008
Some 2,500 immigrants and tourists participate in UJC/Federation-supported JAFI Hebrew-language ulpan classes in Israel each year. Marking Israel's 60th anniversary, JAFI has launched a state-of-the-art Virtual Hebrew Ulpan, featuring live weekly Webconferences with an Israeli teacher, and including a resource kit with a CD and textbooks.
May 22, 2008
UJC/Federation supports the JDC-ESHEL Supportive Community network, which enables older Israelis to remain in their homes, rather than in senior facilities, by providing services addressing daily needs. A call button connects homes to an emergency response center for medical needs; a community coordinator keeps in contact with seniors and does small repairs; volunteers help with social programs, home visits and errands. Some 200 Supportive Communities operate, and are expected to grow to 300 through 2010.
May 15, 2008
UJC/Federation supports JAFI programsin the embattled Sderot region. JAFI recently held a Sderot Merchants Fair in Tel Aviv in conjunction with the city and the owners of the Hangar 11 concert venue, who donated their prime location for the event. The fair, which drew 20,000 people, was aimed at boosting sales for Sderot businesses, and featured124 businesspeople including artists, craftspeople, jewelers, food vendors, clothing designers and hairstylists, with entertainment by Sderot's popular teen musicians.
May 8, 2008
UJC/Federations are helping many Jewish communal groups worldwide mark Israel’s 60th anniversary. For example, UJC/Federation-supported JDC has organized a “Park Israel” event in Moscow’s famed Ostankino Park for thousands to celebrate Israel’s anniversary -- the first public celebration of Israel in Russia. The event will feature performances by acclaimed Russian and Israeli artists, food, children's activities and more. UJC/Federations also support the UJC-JCPA Israel Advocacy Initiative, which has been helping communities use Israel @ 60 celebrations to advocate for Israel and offers online resources with event ideas, materials and noteworthy practices.
To learn more about Israel @ 60 celebrations, visit UJC’s Israel @ 60 website.
May 1, 2008
UJC/Federation supports JAFI’s Hefziba network of Jewish day schools in the former Soviet Union. The past March, 450 Hefziba high school students studied the Holocaust and visited the sites of lost European Jewish communities.
April 24, 2008
The UJC/Federation Israel Emergency Campaign’s latest allocation is funding JDC respite trips for elderly and disabled in the Sderot region who, due to lack of resources and mobility, are unable to escape the conflict zone and interact with their peers in a safe environment. Approximately 1,700 people will enjoy day and overnight trips over the next six months.
April 17, 2008
UJC/Federation support enables JDC to help build the Paraguayan Jewish community. With the JDC's guidance, the community hired a new rabbi, community director, and director of Judaic studies at the local school. Meanwhile, the JCC expanded its program and attendance, all families now receive a weekly e-letter on communal events, and the community raised substantial funding from local donors for the Jewish school.
April 10, 2008
Israeli children will be on vacation from school this Passover, yet children in Sderot and the Western Negev will not likely get a break from the waves of Kassam rockets striking the region. Thanks to UJC/Federation funding, JAFI will provide a respite to more than 2,500 children with outings in safer areas this holiday.
April 3, 2008
With support from UJC/Federation, JDC’s partnership with the Tzedaka Foundation in Uruguay offers help to impoverished local Jewish families. The foundation’s Lev Gadol (Big Heart) program cares for Jewish toddlers five afternoons a week, while their parents are working or job-hunting. The children enjoy a nutritious meal and age-appropriate activities with Jewish content.
March 27, 2008
UJC/Federation dollars help fund the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Machon: Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad. Established in 1946 by the World Zionist Organization, this program nurtures young leaders from Zionist movements worldwide. Today there are over 12,000 graduates, many prominent in Jewish life. About one-third of Machon graduates make aliyah. Machon's current class has nearly 300 students, including 100 from Latin America.
March 20, 2008
UJC/Federation dollars fund JDC’s medical programs for Moroccan Jews. This past year, 925 needy Jews received care in cardiology, radiology, pediatrics, gynecology, and dentistry at a comprehensive clinic in Casablanca. In addition, 700 people benefited from screening and early intervention programs. JDC also supports programs that offer round-the-clock medical supervision and nursing care at an in-house facility in the Casablanca Jewish community’s old age home, and regular check-ups, vaccinations, and first aid care for Casablanca’s Jewish schoolchildren. The program also provides medical services for Jews living in Morocco’s smaller communities.
March 13, 2008
UJC/Federation dollars help fund JAFI programs in the former Soviet Union that have helped shape a Jewish renaissance in these communities. In the past year, approximately 12,000 youth and students participated in an intensive camping experience, more than 10,000 children attended Jewish day schools, more than 3,000 participated in JAFI-supported Sunday schools, 3,500 enjoyed an Israel experience, and some 14,000 people of all ages attended Jewish literacy and Jewish Studies courses.
March 6, 2008
UJC/Federations of North America helped fund the first-ever Latin American conference on aging for the Jewish communities in the region. Organized by JDC and Argentina’s Le Dor Va Dor campus for elderly Jews in Buenos Aires, and other local organizations, the ground-breaking conference gathered together nearly 100 Jewish communal professionals and lay leaders from 19 institutions in eight countries this past fall to discuss gerontology and Jewish communal services for the aged.
February 28, 2008
UJC/Federation helps fund JAFI’s Makom program, which aims to build connections between young North American Jews and Israeli youth through education and culture. There are 13 MAKOM communities serving hundreds of thousands of young people annually. In 2007 The Economist magazine called Makom a cutting-edge voice for Israel engagement.
February 21, 2008
UJC/Federation support for JDC’s activities in Cuba has strengthened the revival of Jewish religious and communal life on the island and the generosity of hundreds of mission participants helps the community meet humanitarian needs in the face of ongoing shortages. One of JDC’s most successful activities was the second National Rikudim (Israeli dance) Festival last year, in which more than 500 people from seven local Jewish communities participated.
February 14, 2008
Through UJC/Federation support, JAFI sent more than 1,400 young Israelis to some 200 summer camps across North America this past year. These Israeli “shlichim” -- ambassadors -- impacted hundreds of thousands of young Jews by teaching them about life in Israel, and returned home with a broader view of Judaism and Jewish peoplehood.
February 7, 2008
Through UJC/Federation support, JDC's 13/17 Project, created during the height of Argentina's economic crisis, provides Jewish Argentinean teenagers each month with meals, sports and cultural activities -- and the only contact they have with the Jewish community, a recent survey showed. The 13/17 Project gives these teens, whose families still require aid, a place to connect with Jewish peers, gain Jewish knowledge, and feel a sense of community.
January 31, 2008
With support from UJC/Federations of North America, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) develops engaging online content on Israel. The JAFI Web site includes 20 e-academy courses in four languages featuring prominent Israeli political and cultural figures. In 2007, more than 6,500 students and educators worldwide participated in JAFI's distance-learning, more than 6,000 people participated in videoconferences and more than 17,000 watched videos on JAFI's YouTube channel.
January 24, 2008
OTZMA, a partnership of the United Jewish Communities/The Federations of North America and the Jewish Agency for Israel, is a 10-month, service based, leadership development program in Israel for young adults, ages 20-26. There are 47 participants on the program this year, representing 23 federations. More than 1,400 young adults have participated in the program since its inception in 1986.
January 17, 2008
Supported by UJC/Federation, JDC has developed a unique Jewish community center (JCC) model in the former Soviet Union, with 186 JCCs each tailored to fit their own community's needs. Offering activities for all ages and interests, these JCCs have become an indispensable resource for community members and a vital vehicle for engaging unaffiliated Jews.
January 10, 2008
UJC/Federations supports JAFI’s Zionist Seminars, an interactive program for synagogues, schools and colleges worldwide that aims to bring Israel closer to the global Jewish community. Seminars include Jewish identity, Israel advocacy, current affairs, Israel/Diaspora relations, Jewish history, Israeli culture and politics and more. Zionist Seminars recently took place in Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Uruguay, the U.K., the U.S. and Canada.
January 3, 2008
Through UJC/Federation support, JDC has pioneered programs in the former Soviet Union that help local Jewish communities become more self-sufficient. JDC offers professional and lay leadership training programs, “best practices” competitions and the cultivation of local business plans and fundraising efforts that enable these communities to become more capable of assessing their needs, conceiving projects to meet them, and managing