They say in times of crisis, there are moments that unburden those in the crisis and those who are caring for them. And somewhere between a ceasefire, a terrorist bombing in Tel Aviv, and unrelenting rockets attacks into Israel, in the home of an elderly woman in Ashkelon, that moment came for JDC staffer Rina Edelstein.
With record numbers of rockets hitting residential areas in Israel today, our teams are working non-stop to help the most vulnerable. And although we try and ensure we reach as many people as possible, it’s always important to remember that it’s not about numbers - it’s about each individual life. Meet 83-year-old Shula Carmiel from Moshav Arugot, outside of Kiryat Malakhi in south-central Israel.
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.
As Shabbat nears in Israel, rockets launched from the Gaza Strip continue to explode in the south and center of the country, with several hitting residential areas in Ashdod and setting off bomb sirens in Tel Aviv (for the first time since the Gulf War in 1991) and in Jerusalem.
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.
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.
Today, more than 5,000 people participated in Jerusalem’s first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. A JDC delegation of Board members and staff from the U.S. proudly participated in the Race, which brought together people of multiple ethnicities and faiths for a common cause: to tackle breast cancer.
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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