WIZO Joins Israeli Summer Camp Market

WIZO One World Camp

In the summer of 2015 the One World WIZO Summer Camp will open its doors for the first time at WIZO’s Nir Ha’emek Youth Village in the picturesque Jezreel Valley in the north of Israel. The camp will focus on sustainability, ecology, environmental communication and nature; the aim is to attract young people from around the world to visit Israel in a safe and stimulating vacation environment. The 'One World' WIZO Summer Camp is a joint venture by WIZO and BIG IDEA Educational Projects - an educational enterprise specializing in youth summer camps. Prof. Rivka Lazovsky, Chair of the World WIZO Executive, spoke of the added value of the new camp for Jews around the world, who seek to offer their children a Zionist education and a link with Israel: "As a global movement operating educational … [Read more...]

Among New Knesset Faces, Some Staunch Advocates of Jewish Pluralism

Photo by Itzik Edri via the PikiWiki - Israel free image collection project.

Non-Orthodox movements see potential allies in several first-time Likud lawmakers. By Judy Maltz Haaretz Although the exact composition of Israel’s next government has yet to be finalized, one thing is clear. After sitting on the political sidelines for two years, the ultra-Orthodox parties will be wielding their influence once again. Both Shas and United Torah Judaism, the two Haredi parties that sat in opposition in the previous Knesset, are well on their way to joining the new coalition, while the downsized Yesh Atid, which rose to power in the 2013 election on promises of ending preferential treatment for the ultra-Orthodox, appears destined for the opposition. So how big a blow are the results of last week’s election for those who support progressive Judaism and reject the … [Read more...]

TOM:TLV Harnesses Cutting-Edge Technology to Design Affordable Aids for Disabled

This system allows people who are paralyzed from the neck down to turn pages in a book. Photo courtesy ZOA Productions.

Dozens of innovators and makers gathered in Tel Aviv last week for TOM:TLV, a three-day technology marathon where participants built models and prototypes of aids for people with disabilities. The organizers intend to develop these products further, making them available for widespread use in the near future. TOM:TLV brought together technologists, designers, therapists, and people with disabilities who developed ideas and products that address the challenges of people living with disabilities, their family members, and health-care professionals. The make-a-thon took place in a specially designed workspace at Tel Aviv port’s Hangar 11 and featured advanced technology including: 3D printers, laser-cutting machines, and CNC machines (computer-operated milling devices). The closing event … [Read more...]

Israel Museum Reflects on Israeli Visual Culture during Mid-1960s

Yaacov Agam, Staccato, 1965 (cropped); courtesy Israel Museum

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, launches its 50th Anniversary year with 1965 Today, a comprehensive examination of Israel’s visual culture and aesthetic character at the time of the Museum’s founding. On view from March 31 through August 29, 2015, 1965 Today features 50 select artworks created in Israel during this signature period, reflecting the range of creative production emerging from Israel’s young and dynamic art and design scene during this time. The exhibition also presents industrial design, household objects and interior settings from daily life, and newsreels and home film footage, to immerse visitors in what Israel looked like in the mid-1960s. The concurrent art scene in Europe and America is referenced by documentary images, in the form in which Israeli practitioners would have … [Read more...]

Reigniting the Soul of Philanthropy: Why the Haredim Don’t Need to Change

Written for this week's JFN Conference By Yael S. Simon Social change. Integration. Legitimacy. These are only a few of the words bandied about when discussing the importance of Haredim becoming a more productive part of Israeli society. One of the most critical issues discussed in the recent elections was the focus of Haredi employment and its long-term importance in the economy. Although partially eclipsed by foreign policy issues, Israel’s Haredi employment issue has been the go-to topic for all domestic policy discussions and is possibly just one-step down from the campaign for army recruitment. This article is not about the elections, because the elections won’t change the Haredim. In fact, no one and nothing will. Not is it an article about the mechanics of social mobility, … [Read more...]

Teaching About Israel After Election Day… And Every Other Day

photo by Florence Broder Tuizer

By Sivan Zakai and Lauren Applebaum The polls in Israel have closed. The election results are pouring in. Politicians and pundits are scrambling to make sense of the will of the Israeli people. And those who work on the front lines of teaching American Jews about Israel are scrambling to make sense of how to teach and talk about the elections. The recent elections - and other headlines from Israel - can seem daunting if we approach them as stand-alone events. Instead, they must become part of a larger framework of teaching and talking about Israel. Such an approach makes room for issues of immediate relevance by approaching them as part of an overall framework that includes: 1. Multiple Voices If American Jewish youth are to truly understand what happened in this election cycle - indeed, … [Read more...]

How You Can Influence the Spending of $375m. Philanthropic Dollars/year

By Rachel Moore What if you received an invitation to join a group of Jews from around the world to have a say in the allocation of 375 million dollars a year for the next four years? Would you join? How would you spend the money? How much would go to Jewish education? How much would you dedicate to Jewish identity? How about Aliyah? Jewish outreach? Jews at risk? Would you fund building Jewish settlements, or fund efforts to stop the building? Not enough of World Jewry knows that we have an invitation to do just that. The World Zionist Organization is a body that oversees the allocation of over 400 million philanthropic dollars a year to a variety of Jewish initiatives in Israel and throughout the world.  Founded in 1897, the World Zionist Congress (WZC) is the legislative body of the World … [Read more...]

Israel – A Social Start-Up Nation?

social investing

By Marina Leytes and Beth deBeer This blog is the first in a series which aims to educate and to clarify some of the confusion around the emerging field of impact investment in Israel and globally. It will present a high-level overview of the challenges and opportunities for transforming the nature of Jewish philanthropy. The blogs over the coming weeks will provide readers with (1) a better understanding of what impact investment is (2) an overview of the current landscape in Israel (3) strategies to engage for both individuals and institutions. Around the world, philanthropic organizations are exploring innovative and sustainable models to solve social issues as people seek out more meaningful ways to allocate their time and money. Impact investing can provide an innovative way for … [Read more...]