The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) announced it has awarded a total of nearly $1.2 million to nine Israel-based initiatives. Programs receiving funding range from job training and placement for underserved Israelis to two major community festivals and Jewish content curricula for high school students.
The largest grant, $250,000, went to Ono Academic College in Kiryat-Ono to support education and job placement for Ethiopian Israelis. According to the Jewish Community Relations Committee, Ethiopian Jews, who number about 100,000, are among the poorest economic groups in Israel. Unemployment among Ethiopian men in Israel ranges from 27 to 66 percent, and fewer than 25 percent of Ethiopian women are employed.
The Foundation grant will help fund degree programs for Ethiopian Israelis in law, health and business in order to develop a new generation of Ethiopian Israeli leaders.
Welfare to Wellbeing, a program of employment training for long-term unemployed women in the Jaffa-Tel Aviv area, received a Foundation grant of $150,000. Conducted by the Institute for the Advancement of Education in Jaffa (Jaffa Institute), the effort will train 120 disadvantaged, welfare-dependent women in a “skills for work” program that includes career counseling, computer classes, and job placement.
A Foundation grant of $75,000 will fund scholarships and job placement assistance for ultra-Orthodox women [at Ono Academic College] to help them attain degrees, acquire jobs and become self-sufficient.
Other Israel Grant awards include:
- American Friends of Shalom Hartman Institute, Be’eri Carmiel, $240,000 – to bring the Be-eri program, which enables non-religious schools to offer pluralistic, innovate Jewish education, to 4,000 high school students in the city of Carmiel.
- IT Works, Women Empowerment Program, $180,000 – to provide a minimum of 80 women with technology training to help integrate them into the Israeli labor force with skilled entry-level jobs.
- Friends of the Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism, Jewish Soul Overhaul, $150,000 – to train teachers at three Tel Aviv and Jaffa elementary schools to incorporate Jewish education into their curricula and to encourage 2,000 students and their families to include Jewish traditions in their daily lives.
- American Friends of Melitz, Limmud in Israel, $50,000 – to support the convening of two major learning and arts festivals in 2011 and 2012 in Negev and Modi’in, with smaller events scheduled throughout the three-year grant period.
- Kolot, Lay Leadership Evaluation Program, $50,000 – to synthesize the results of multiple evaluations of the Lay Leadership Jewish text study initiative which is designed to enable Israeli leaders to integrate and express Jewish values through social action.
- Tech-Career, Technology Training Program, $25,000 – to further develop their professional training programs for Ethiopian Israelis with the goal of successfully integrating a greater number of Ethiopians into Israel’s advanced technology industries.