The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) has awarded approximately $1 million in grants to meet Israel’s emergency needs, as well as for initiatives to support that country’s economic development and to strengthen Jewish identity.
Monies this year were awarded to nine programs in total and reflect an increase of approximately 65 percent from $600,000 granted in 2013 under its Israel Grants program.
The Foundation awards its multi-year Israel Grants annually to organizations that have the potential to create meaningful change in the country, have achievable short-term outcomes, affect a significant number of people or regions, and offer opportunities for partnerships with other funders. Since 2006, The Foundation has made 43 Israel Grants for a total of more than $6 million.
The Association for Children at Risk received its grant for the Autism and Resiliency Program, which will provide trauma prevention and intervention to children with autism and their parents who have endured disturbing ordeals. The initiative will train hundreds of health and educational professionals in the autism field in resiliency and trauma prevention, and implement the resiliency program across Israel.
The Employment, Empowerment, and Leadership for Ethiopian Israeli University Graduates and Students Program is a project of Olim Beyahad: Rising Up Together. The organization was established to increase the employment of Ethiopian Israelis and, since its inception in 2007, has assisted about 600 individuals with job placement at 320 participating employers.
Each year under the program, some 80 to 100 new Ethiopian Israeli university graduates and current students will receive support securing permanent employment in their fields of study. The effort will also engage graduates to serve as role models for the younger generation of the Ethiopian Israeli community and encourage volunteerism in the broader society. The overall goal is to dispel negative stereotypes among Israelis toward Ethiopians, while reducing the overall poverty level of this historically disenfranchised group.
Other Israel Grants for emergency needs (listed alphabetically) include:
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Israel Terror Relief Fund, $100,000 – To provide temporary relief and respite to children and their families who live within 25 miles (40 km) of Gaza; ensure that seniors and those with special needs continue to receive vital care, including medicine and home-delivered meals; give children, families and seniors special counseling and trauma services; and provide cash assistance to those who are in immediate financial need.
Milbat, Amlan Emergency Kits, $93,120 – To provide 300 “Amlan” kits (portable, accessible toilets) throughout Israel’s northern and central cities for use in the event of extended shelter stays resulting from air-raid alerts and missile attacks.
NATAL, Children and Families Mobile Unit, $119,200 – To provide psychological treatment to 100 families and their children living in Israel’s conflict zones. Therapists from the Mobile Unit will act as first responders, offering psychological first aid in schools and to families to reduce trauma symptoms and offer coping and resiliency skills.
Yachdav Association of Be’er Sheva, Respite and Shelter Needs, $10,000 – To improve the condition of existing facilities and provide therapeutic support to families living in Southern Israel, including emergency equipment and activity kits for children and youth, in shelters and safe rooms.
Yeruham Foundation, Portable Cement Shelters, $120,000 – To construct 40 portable cement shelters in the most vulnerable neighborhoods of the Yeruham-Dimona area in southern Israel, where the vast majority of the population is over 60 and requires close, comfortable shelters that are accessible to people with special needs.
Other Israel Grants for economic development and Jewish identity (listed alphabetically) include:
Reut Sderot Association, Touching the Jewish Spirit, $100,000 grant over three years – To strengthen the Jewish identity of 580 secular southern Israeli students ages 20-38. Through workshops and experiential activities, students will gain understanding of their Jewish identity and heritage, while promoting goodwill towards – and understanding of – the various religious and racial sectors of the Israeli public.
Temech, Employer Based Training Program (EBT), $200,000 grant over three years – To provide job training and job placement services to 750 unemployed and underemployed ultra-Orthodox women from across Israel. The program identifies employers willing to commit to hiring religious women who have completed the training program specially designed by the employer and implemented by Temech.