JDC Advances Women as Change Leaders at 2nd International Workshop

Seventeen prominent female NGO and civil society leaders will participate in the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Second International Women’s Leadership Workshop on Sunday, March 3. The five-day intensive seminar, based in Israel, will focus on women as proactive change makers and provide educational, networking, and professional development opportunities in global development and disaster relief. Participants come from thirteen countries, including Argentina, Bosnia, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Tanzania, and the U.S.

“One of the most powerful trends we see in humanitarian work today is the unparalleled role of women as trailblazers and forces for good in communities worldwide. We’re very proud to have these leaders join us and be enriched by JDC’s global expertise. This is an important opportunity to further cultivate a growing network of women who can connect, collaborate, and innovate across borders and during times of crisis,” JDC CEO Alan H. Gill.

The participants — many of whom have previously worked with JDC as partners in its humanitarian and development efforts around the world — include: , president of ProDev in Haiti; , director of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India; , senior program/research officer at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia; , Director of Shalom Bait in Argentina; , founder and executive director of the Afya Foundation in the U.S.; and , CEO and founder of Center for Curative Pedagogics in Russia.

In addition to sessions on empowering women, partnership building, and best practices training, this year’s program features a forum on Adaptive Leadership with Professor Marty Linsky of Cambridge Leadership Associates. Participants will also spend a day exploring JDC-Israel operations, with site visits to programs focused on people with disabilities, education, employment, and community development.

Participants have also chosen to hone their skills in resource development, impact measurement, and public speaking through a series of workshops run JDC experts. As part of their post-Workshop activities, all seminar participants have committed to establishing similar networking and peer support undertakings in their home-countries, after receiving training during their five days.

For nearly 100 years, JDC’s humanitarian interventions and development programs have ensured immediate relief and long-term support tovictims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, most recently inJapan, Haiti, South Asia, Turkey, and Kosovo. The organization empowers local leaders, rebuilds infrastructure, and revitalizes community life in disaster-stricken regions and coordinates its relief activities in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the United Nations, and Israeli relief agencies.

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Three Years Later in Haiti, JDC Focuses on Education, Job Skills, and Leadership Training

Three years after the earthquake in , the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee () is investing in schools and educational campuses, vocational training to help build the country’s future workforce, and an civil society leaders for a sustainable future. Through $8.7 million dollars in donations from the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors, ‘s projects have reached more than 300,000 ans, or roughly 10 percent of those impacted by the earthquake, to date. ‘s work in has been done in collaboration with an, Israeli, and other NGO partners.

“Even as we continue our work in by ensuring access to best-in-class educational resources and leadership training, we’ve created self-sustaining and transformative programs that will outlast and contribute beyond our initial investment,” said Judy Amit, global director of ‘s International Development Program. “We’re proud that our support for the renowned HUEH rehab center and nearby prosthetics clinic, Zoranje educational campus, functional product workshop, and builders program will continue to provide ans with hope well into the future.”

Among its other projects, began the reconstruction and modernization of an elementary and secondary school in Fondwa (southwest of ) and provided a clean water supply, library space, perimeter fence, and playground at L’Ecole de Choix in Mirebalais. also completed a project to improve the integration of children with disabilities into ‘s schools by upgrading accessibility and providing sensitivity training for teachers, parents, and children.

Additionally, 70 students are currently training in nursing and telecommunications at the -supported vocational training school in . is also a partner in the recently launched an Center for Leadership and Excellence, which is building civil society leadership in , especially among women. The Center will provide leadership education programs, research on local an development success stories and innovations, and build public awareness campaigns to reinforce the work of a new generation of civic leaders in .

Following Hurricane Sandy, provided emergency support to those in the hardest-hit areas. Cooperating with previously established partners, supported anti-cholera community outreach and educational activities, clinical staff support and treatment supplies, ready relief boxes, hygiene kits, and fuel for response vehicles in the hurricane zone.

In 2013, will continue its work in the educational and training sphere as well as hand-over some of its programs to local partners who have been involved in their inception or who have specialized expertise in these project areas. You can learn more about these programs and many others at

‘s operational partners in include: The Afya Foundation; The Bond Street Theater; Catholic Relief Services; Chabad-Lubavitch of the Dominican Republic; The Coady International Institute; EcoWorks International; Heart to Heart International; International Medical Corps; The International Rescue Committee; The Israel Trauma Coalition; L’Ecole de Choix; Magen David Adom; Mashav; The Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces; Partners in Health; PRODEV; Sheba Medical Center; USAID; UNICEF ; U.S.Fund for UNICEF; and World ORT.

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Ruderman Family Foundation, JDC, and Government of Israel Expand Disabilities Partnership

$12.5 Million Expansion Enables New Growth in Inclusion Programming and Focus on Employment for Israelis with Disabilities

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (), the Ruderman Family Foundation, and the Government of announced a dramatic $12.5 million expansion of their Unlimited Partnership for Israeli adults with disabilities as a result of a new landmark $4 million lead grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation. The grant will further expand the Partnership’s groundbreaking work in inclusion, ensure a focus on employment (a key challenge in this community), and will be matched by and the Israeli government. Founded in 2009, Unlimited has reached tens of thousands of Israelis with disabilities to date and is dedicated to the inclusion of people with disabilities by empowering them to advocate on their own behalf and live independently, and by highlighting their integral role as Israeli citizens.

“We want to be second to none in its inclusion of people with disabilities throughout society. Our strategic effort has enabled the implementation of nation-wide change through innovative programs that ensure, above all, that people with disabilities are full members of ‘s national tapestry,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “As we move into our next phase, we will build on our past successes and further promote the notion that people with disabilities are people with abilities.”

In the past three years, Unlimited — which was launched through an initial $6 million from the partners -; has expanded services for Israelis with significant disabilities, including those who are homebound, through localized increases in services, including transportation and home care. It has focused on programs for Israeli Arabs and immigrants with disabilities and initiatives to prevent violence against people with disabilities by family or caregivers. Additionally, it launched a public program for Israelis with and without disabilities to collaborate on street performances and other events that demonstrate the challenges and positive contribution of people with disabilities.

“We are proud to continue our transformative work with the Ruderman Family Foundation and the Israeli government. As one of the largest minority groups in , people with disabilities need a new generation of services that advance independent living and ensure total participation in ‘s civic life — we are dedicated to delivering on that promise,” said Alan Gill, ‘s Incoming CEO, and one of the architects of Unlimited.

In the next stage, the partners will focus on employment for people with disabilities through and the Government of ‘s Tevet employment initiative; ensuring accessible housing and services that promote independent living; expanding person-centered services and focusing on new groups like Haredim (Ultra Orthodox Jews) with disabilities; and developing projects that help adults with disabilities cope with loneliness. Additionally, new public awareness campaigns about people with disabilities will reinforce the overall message of inclusivity and acceptance.

“I would like to commend the partnership for people with disabilities between the Welfare Ministry, , and the Ruderman Family Foundation. This partnership promotes their status and develops services to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in society,” said Moshe Kahlon, Israeli Minister of Welfare and Social Services.

is home to nearly one million adults with disabilities, with nearly 20 percent having moderate to severe disabilities. More than 260,000 of those Israeli adults with disabilities are entitled to social security and the numbers are growing rapidly. At the same time, only 52 percent of people with disabilities in are employed, compared with 74 percent of the general population. And people with disabilities earn nearly 2,200 NIS less than the general population. Additionally, 40 percent of parents with disabilities have children under the age of 18, making the services provided by Unlimited invaluable.

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JDC Continues Israel Crisis Response In the Field, Online

Even as hundreds of rockets from Gaza have barraged Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s () emergency response continues on the ground and now online in a new effort reaching the Israeli public. As volunteers are deploying in bomb shelters and emergency kits for the elderly and people with disabilities are prepped and distributed, (www.facebook.com/joint.israel) is offering videos and tip on how to handle children’s trauma, information for people with disabilities and those helping them in times of emergency, and instructions for how elderly Israelis can cope or can be assisted during the crisis.
“At this time of continued conflict, remains at the forefront of efforts to ensure that those Israelis most in need are reached, helped, and comforted. We are carrying out this most critical task with the tremendous support of our most valued partners in the Jewish Federations of North America, the Jewish federation system, the broad spectrum of American Jewish religious movements, and so many others,” said President Penny Blumenstein and Interim CEO Darrell Friedman.
Since the beginning of the crisis, immediately began caring for people with disabilities, the elderly, children at risk, and others through a variety of programs including hot meal distribution, care for displaced families, and constant outreach and aid provision to the disabled. is also:

works closely with Israel’s Ministries of Social Affairs and Social Welfare, Education and Health, the Home Front Command, and the National Emergency Network during times of crisis. ‘s emergency response in Israel is based on expertise and programmatic initiatives developed during the second intifada, the Second Lebanon War, and the Carmel Fires disaster. This response ensures that support and assistance can be delivered quickly and effectively.

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JDC Appoints Ofer Glanz Director of Former Soviet Union Department

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) announced today that Ofer Glanz has been appointed Director of its Former Soviet Union Department. With more than 20 years of private sector and NGO experience in global markets including Russia, Ukraine, India, Israel, and China, Glanz brings to JDC the ability to address today’s challenges in the former Soviet Union with expertise in creating and directing multiple local and regional operations throughout those regions. His past experience also includes creating community-building programs, strategic operational planning, and Jewish leadership training.

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JDC Announces First Archives Fellows

Two historians named inaugural recipients of the Fred and Ellen Lewis JDC Archives Fellowship

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) announced today that historians Mary Fraser Kirsh and Susan Gilson Miller were named the first Fred and Ellen Lewis JDC Archives Fellows. Designed for scholars engaged in graduate level, post-doctoral, or independent study, the Fellowship is for research in the JDC Archives facilities in New York or Jerusalem.

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JDC/Presentense Moscow Fellows Hold First Launch Night

Tonight the inaugural class of JDC/PresenTense Kaet Fellows will pitch and present their new social entrepreneurship ventures to Moscow’s thriving Jewish community. After five months of intensive training and incubation, the ventures will be presented to a group of more than 100 local Jewish community leaders, philanthropists, and others at Moscow’s Strelka Institute. A first in Moscow, such launch nights have been hosted by PresenTense in New York, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and 7 other sites this season.

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First-Ever Limmud China Launched

JDC and Limmud International Support Local Asian Jewish Leaders in Creation of Inaugural Limmud China

In a global first, Jews from Asia will gather near the Great Wall of China to build regional unity and share their Jewish experiences at Limmud China, an initiative of Jewish community leaders from Asia supported by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and Limmud International. Nearly 100 Jews from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are registered for the day-long event on June 3, 2012.

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To The Rescue: JDC Leads Growing Emergency Relief Effort for Greek Jewish Community

As financial conditions worsen for Greek Jews, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), through the support of the Jewish Federations of North America, is leading a growing group of global partners, including Lauder Foundation and Leichtag Family Foundation, to aid the financially-strapped Jewish community. Suffering under the weight of high unemployment, a loss of income, and new taxes, Jews are out of work and seeking assistance. In response, JDC has advocated for a pan-European and pan-Jewish response and has donated, to date, $330,000 for welfare and school scholarships to the Athens Jewish community, which has been the most hard hit. Additionally, JDC will be holding its European regional Gesher young leadership conference in Thessaloniki to ensure young Greek Jews can participate locally.

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