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Israel

"This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I will give it to your offspring." -- Deuteronomy 34:4

North American Jewish federations are committed to the people of Israel and the survival and security of the Jewish State. They are equally committed to building partnership and understanding between the Jews of Israel and North America.

  • With support from the federation system, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI, www.jafi.org) promotes immigration and absorption services in Israel. This includes ensuring open immigration to Israel, the rescue of Jews from distressed countries and the initial integration of these Jews into Israeli society. In 1999, 78,000 people immigrated to Israel, 67,000 from the former Soviet Union.
  • In 1998, JAFI with support from federations, provided legal and organizational services to more than 100 Israeli villages and kibbutzim to help those communities absorb residents and build infrastructure.
  • 2,300 women entrepreneurs, 30% of them new immigrants to Israel, share professional expertise and valuable networking opportunities through JAFI's women's business network, supported by federations.
  • In 1999, 10,000 representatives of North American Jewish communities visited Israel via Partnership 2000 (P2K), which links 550 communities with 30 Israeli regions to improve economic and community conditions. Through P2K, JAFI helps operate more than 600 socially relevant projects.
  • The federation-supported American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) improves the quality of life for Israel's vulnerable populations by leveraging funds and building partnerships with agencies working on behalf of families, children and youth-at-risk, the elderly, and vulnerable immigrant groups. This includes day care, residential programs for the elderly, mental health centers, new immigrant vocational training, and special education programs for troubled youth.
  • The federation system helps make it possible for thousands of youth each year to explore their Jewish identities in Israel. birthright israel, an initiative to bring young people for a first organized educational experience in Israel through generous financial gifts from federations and other private and public sources, sent 8,000 college and high school students on a variety of programs in 1999 and another 10,000 in Winter 2000.
  • Some 29,000 students, many from disadvantaged homes, are in academic and/or professional training programs at 12 colleges built by JAFI, with funds from the federations, in Israel's peripheral regions.
  • With support from federations, JDC created Operation Social Development to cultivate philanthropy within the Israeli business sector. This initiative resulted in the distribution of almost 10,000 computers to disadvantaged Israeli families, benefiting more than 30,000 children.

Planting a TreeSPOTLIGHT A Medical Emergency Response Task Force, a group of Jewish physicians who travel from the U.S. to Israel, has been formed to assist Israeli doctors in a national emergency. The American doctors are required to leave for Israel within 72 hours of being notified and to stay as long as they are needed.