Four years ago in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War, JDC – with the support of the JFNA Israel Emergency Campaign and others – launched its New Galilee Initiative, a broad endeavor to bring long-term strength, resilience and preparedness to Israel’s north.
We caught up with a group of evacuee families in temporary accommodation in Neve Yam who had fled the ahead of the fire that ended up burning their homes. We were impressed and moved by their hope and optimism despite all they had lost. One evacuee, Niv Horovitz, told us that they didn’t want to ask for help, “but sometimes you need to.” The goal isn’t just to fix the damage “but to make things better.”
JDC Supported Centers are Playing a Critical Role in Emergency Evacuation and Relief
We’ve just met with some of the remarkable leaders and volunteers at the JDC supported Young Adult Center of Tirat HaCarmel. These young folks went into immediate action on Thursday night as the fire intensified, heading into danger zones to rescue the elderly and others in need. Check out the video.
JDC Receives Assessment from the Minister of Agriculture
We just spoke with the Shalom Simhon — Israeli Minister of Agriculture — he not only talked about the devastating impact of the fire on the communities of the Carmel, but the vital need and importance for support from Jewish communities abroad at this critical time.
This week, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues (IATF) was named among the Top 50 Jewish innovators in Slingshot’s 2010-2011 guidebook. The Task Force, proudly co-chaired by JDC’s CEO Steve Schwager and housed here at JDC headquarters in NYC, is a diverse coalition of over 90 Jewish organizations dedicated to educating the Jewish community about issues facing Israeli Arabs—20% of Israel’s population—in support of a secure, just, Jewish, and democratic state.
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.
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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