When high schooler Danielle Falk picked up a copy of "We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families," a book about the Rwandan genocide, it changed her life forever. Now 25, the native New Yorker is preparing to spend a whole year in Rwanda at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village as part of JDC's Global Jewish Service Corps (JSC).
The Ruderman Family Foundation, the Boston and Israel-based foundation that JDC partners with on important efforts for the inclusion of people with disabilities in Israel, announced the winners of its 2013 Ruderman Prize in Disability. The award honors innovation in the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish community.
With President Obama stressing the importance of early learning in his State of the Union Address, especially “for poor kids who need help the most,” read what JDC is doing for youngsters like "Danny" at its new Early Childhood Center in Jerusalem's Kiryat Menachem neighborhood.
With the International Labor Organization warning of new job losses ahead as economic recovery efforts stall, read how JDC programs are helping Jewish communities promote new job training opportunities where unemployment rates have been highest.
Programs that encourage families at the lower end of the economic scale to read aloud to their young children are proving effective both in Israel and in New York, giving youngsters a head start as they enter primary school.
Read how the Ruderman Family Foundation is spearheading a dramatic expansion of efforts—matched by JDC and the Israeli government—to promote the inclusion of all Israeli adults with disabilities by providing new employment opportunities and services.
Read how one JDC staff member in Israel is helping people in the southern border region cope with the ongoing effects of last month’s crisis, even as she deals with the lingering impact on her own family.
With two-thirds of Israel’s population now within range of an escalating barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza, read how JDC programs are helping people with disabilities cope with their unique challenges and fear.
Gain insight into JDC’s efforts to ameliorate poverty in Israel, the former Soviet Union, and other parts of the world by learning what JDC professionals on the frontlines of these initiatives reported at the JDC Ambassadors forum held recently in New York.
Nearly every day brings a story about the prevalence of childhood obesity, here in the States and in much of the developed world. Read how JDC is helping Israel combat this epidemic and promote healthful living habits, especially among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
JDC has an almost scientific process in place: each identified need is researched, piloted, evaluated, retooled, scaling up, and finally JDC ensures that successful national programs are made self-sufficient or taken over by the government, i.e. the JDC exit.
For Israel’s 700,000 adults with disabilities, this year will be brighter because of JDC’s special-needs partnership, Israel Unlimited, which was found together with the Ruderman Family Foundation and the Government of Israel. The goal of the collaborative effort: to successfully integrate these Israelis into society and live productive and healthy lives. The program is crucial as people with disabilities comprise 20% of Israel’s population.
It’s widely accepted that a nation’s prosperity depends greatly on the activity and viability of its workforce. To that end, a recent Bloomberg article raises the concern that high levels of unemployment among the growing Haredi (ultra Orthodox Jews) population in Israel—currently at more than 60% among Haredi men—pose an untenable economic burden on the State and Israeli taxpayers.
We recently received some encouraging news from Taub, a research institute that studies and makes recommendations concerning Israel’s social policy. One finding: increasing numbers of Israeli women are entering the workforce and procuring gainful employment to help support their families. Among the most important factors contributing to this positive change is an increase in access to education, which is making it easier for more women to pursue university degrees. Other explanations for this improvement include more accessible/affordable child care, anti-discrimination laws, subsidized maternity leave, and the expansion of Israel’s service sector.
The Jewish Week recently announced its third annual “36 Under 36” list, “highlighting new innovators in the New York area who are reshaping Jewish life here and abroad.” We here at JDC are so pleased to announce that Jessica Balaban, Executive Director of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues (IATF), is one of the honorees. Jessica is the founding director of IATF, a coalition of North American Jewish organizations, foundations, private philanthropists, and international affiliates—of which JDC is a leading member—committed to the viability of Israel and equality for all its citizens, both Jews and Arabs.
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