Ramat Hasharon, Israel, May 30, 2012: Takdim – The Ramat Hasharon Community Foundation, the only community based nonprofit in Israel inspired by the North American Jewish federation model, has launched its first annual fundraising campaign. The campaign, which breaks new ground in Israeli philanthropy, aims to raise funds from Ramat Hasharon residents and businesses for selected projects in the city, throughout the country and around the world.

Takdim was established one year ago by a group of local activists seeking to create an Israeli model for community-wide philanthropy based on mutual responsibility. An apolitical, independent nonprofit organization, it has gained support from local residents and enjoys the cooperation of the Ramat Hasharon Municipality, Migvanim community centers and local non-profit organizations. Over the past year Takdim has succeeded in recruiting dozens of new members, raised over $300,000 for earmarked projects and created important relationships with several Jewish federations in North America.

The community campaign aims to raise $1 million in two years, which will be invested in four projects, chosen by the foundation on the basis of an analysis of local needs. All funds raised will go towards the projects and will not be used to cover foundation overhead.

The first project will be a park with an “inclusive playground” that offers accessibility for all, including children and adults with disabilities. The park, scheduled to be built during 2012 – 2013, will also provide educational programs and activities focused on tolerance and acceptance of the other. The second project, also to be launched during 2012 – 2013, is a social entrepreneurship program for youth operated with the international organization Ashoka. In keeping with Takdim’s decision to invest some of its funds in projects outside of the community, the project will take place simultaneously in Ramat Hasharon and the Lachish area in the south of Israel, with interaction between the two groups. Lachish is the Partnership2Gether community of JUF/Jewish Federation of Chicago, with which Takdim has a mentoring relationship.

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