Southern Israel Comes Back to Life Thanks to the Jewish People

Children from southern Israel participate in a special summer camp run by The Jewish Agency for Israel's Fund for Victims of Terror. Photo credit: Sarah Bronson for The Jewish Agency for Israel.

By Rany Trainin At the conclusion of Simchat Torah, I had the opportunity to experience a truly moving event. More than one thousand people spanning four generations, all of them members and residents of Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the past and the present, gathered to celebrate the end of the kibbutz's sixtieth birthday year. As residents of the Gaza border region, the kibbutz members also took the opportunity to mark a return to normalcy after a turbulent and difficult summer. As Deputy Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel and a longtime resident of the region, I was overcome with emotion upon being asked to greet the gathering on behalf of the Jewish world. The event took place thanks to the support of The Jewish Agency and the entire Jewish people, whose contributions made the emotional and … [Read more...]

Tmura Passes $10 Million in Funds Raised for Charity


Tel Aviv, Israel - October 20, 2014 - Tmura - the Israeli Public Service Venture Fund has surpassed the $10,000,000 mark in funds raised to support education- and youth-related charities throughout Israel. This funding has been allocated to more than 100 nonprofit organizations, enhancing the lives of thousands of children in Israel. 360 Israeli and Israel-related high-tech companies have participated in Tmura’s equity donation program to date in support of the organization’s fundraising efforts. With this unique model, Tmura raised significant funds most recently as a result of exits from PrimeSense, Somoto, Soluto, and KitLocate, and now raised an additional $423,000 after it sold shares in Borderfree (NASDAQ: BRDR). Borderfree, a market leader in international cross-border ecommerce … [Read more...]

Groundbreaking Israeli Advertising Campaign Featuring Women Vandalized

Egged/NCJW ad

October 14, 2014, Jerusalem - In an important victory for women’s rights in Israel, a long-awaited advertising campaign funded by the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) launched last week on Jerusalem’s Egged buses, depicting women as Israeli citizens - and implying their equality with men across all forums. Within a few days, the ads were vandalized, bringing additional police and public attention to the need to convey women’s equality in Israel. The ad images are part of the “Yerushalmiot - Naim LeHakir” (“We are Jerusalemite women - Pleased to meet you”) campaign, which appeared on buses after a two-year battle that included Israel’s High Court of Justice and the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Rachel Azaria, whose own image was prohibited from appearing on public transit for fear of protests … [Read more...]

Ralph Goldman, z”l

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) announced today the passing of Ralph I. Goldman, its beloved Honorary Executive Vice President, a builder of the State of Israel, and a global Jewish leader whose historic investments in Jewish life worldwide have ensured a strong, vibrant Jewish future for generations to come. Goldman, who was 100, died in Jerusalem, which had been his home for decades. “The profound sadness and deep sense of loss we feel today is indescribable: Ralph Goldman was a giant among Jewish leaders, dedicating his life and career to strengthening Israel and to ensuring the survival and vibrancy of Jewish people and communities worldwide,” said JDC President Penny Blumenstein and CEO Alan H. Gill. “A cornerstone of JDC’s global operations for more than four decades, … [Read more...]

Fear in a Library, then Aliyah to Israel

photo by Nathan Roie

The Balaban family of Gorlovka, Ukraine, fled their home after Olga's workplace was shelled. Now adjusting to their new home in Haifa, they look back at the home they left, and forward to the lives they hope to build here. By Nathan Roie Olga Balaban, 56, had just 10 months to go until she could retire from her job as a librarian at the medical school in her hometown of Gorlovka, in Eastern Ukraine, where she had lived her entire life. Other than the fact that her husband suffers from a disability that complicates his daily life, things were good: she was surrounded by books, her son Andrei, 25, was working successfully as a computer programmer, and her older son, Roman, lived in Israel with his wife and two daughters. Olga was content. She, her husband, and Andrei were thinking … [Read more...]

The Day After. The Day Before.

By Hamutal Gouri War, as Lorraine Schneider, said in a famous poster created in 1966, is not healthy for children and other living things. War takes a terrible toll. It challenges the resilience of communities. It takes life. It leaves parents grieving for their children, wives for their spouses, children for their parents. It leaves deep wounds that never quite heal. And war creates a huge whole in the national budget, and a host of emergency needs. And so it was indeed heartening to see Jewish communities in North America and around the war giving generously towards emergency needs during the Protective Edge war this passing summer. Yes, war creates emergency needs that must be met. But it also exacerbates existing problems and needs like income and job insecurity, social marginalization, … [Read more...]

Do Israeli Nonprofits Really Have U.S. Counterparts in Friends Organizations?

There is a double-edged sword to continually looking for outside support for Israeli organizations. By Stephen G. Donshik In an article in The Jerusalem Post of September 9, 2014 - “Israeli Nonprofits Look to US Counterparts for Funding” - Niv Elis discuss how Israeli organizations are seeking funding in the United States by creating American-based nonprofits that raise money and then transfer the funds to their Israeli counterparts. He extensively quotes Tidhar Ofek, a board member of American Support for Israel (ASI). According to its website ASI is the first organization that enables Americans to donate online, tax-deductibly, to any nonprofit organization in Israel. We do this in partnership with When you make a donation through these websites, the funds are transferred … [Read more...]

Back to School for the Jewish Philanthropic Community

By Karen Berman The recent Giving USA Report, researched in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, revealed that charitable giving is up. Contributions have grown by 22% since 2009, almost back to pre-recession peaks. In the Jewish/Israel segment of the philanthropic world, overall news is also good. The combination of Jewish wealth and, in the United States at least, relatively little anti-Semitism, enables engaged citizens to use the power of philanthropy to address many issues our community and greater society has faced for decades. The opportunity for philanthropists of all sizes to make significant change is more likely than ever before. And yet, while charitable giving as an industry is growing, many individual organizations have not rebounded … [Read more...]