At Israel Inspired Giving Fund, we believe in sharing the wonderful work our charities are doing every day. That's why we decided to create a blog, Our Moments. The purpose of Our Moments is to bring alive first-hand accounts of the accomplishments of the organizations we are privileged to work with. Our aim is to express to you, our readers and generous donors, all of the amazing work that happens within Israeli society. We hope the blog will act as an insight into the progress our charities make thanks to your support. We encourage you to come see their growth first-hand in Israel. On behalf of the millions of people impacted by your donation, we thank you for your interest and generosity.
For further information or to schedule visits to any of the several charities you have read about, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more from our recent moments with the charities:
Sela, a program for young women, is very much based around this concept. Sela is part of Yedidim, Israel’s premier social services organization. Yedidim was founded in 1991 and has since helped thousands of Israelis break free from the poverty cycle. Yedidim focuses their attention to the lives of troubled youth and through their many programs, attempt to expose Israel’s youth to opportunities and bright futures.
Just One Life
Many women desire to bring a new life into the world. While some women have the circumstances to do so, many others do not. Many women from different backgrounds often face with the unthinkable; to have an abortion not because they do not want a child but because of difficulties in their lives. Just One Life offers pregnant women empowerment and tools to continue their pregnancy even when they loose hope.
Yad LaYeled HaMeyuchad – Video
ALUT – Video
Yad LeYeled Hamyuchad
Young Israeli men and women must serve in the Army from ages 18 to 21 depending on their gender. The army is a rite of passage in Israeli society. Fathers and mothers, who once served in the IDF, await the proud moment when their child is drafted. Prior to enlistment, some Israelis prepare extensively to ensure that they are placed into the unit in which they want to serve. To prepare, young men and women run up and down hills, do pushups and read about their desired positions. Drafting into the IDF is a momentous and significant step in a young Israelis’ life.
Matan is a ten-year-old boy from Minnesota, United States. He was sweet and shy when I met him, preoccupied with the electronics class I was stealing him away from. He told me he has two brothers and likes to play soccer and learn computers and math. I would have never guessed Matan’s mother gave him up to Zion Orphanage because he was too much for her to handle. Unfortunately, Matan’s story is the norm at Zion Orphanage.
Yad Ezra V’Shulamit
In most societies, children are viewed as the future, the next generation, the ones for whom we need to improve the world. Israel’s society is no exception; nearly a third of Israel’s population are children and Israelis want to see them grow up in flourishing environments. Nevertheless, 30% of Israeli children live below the poverty line. Poverty means that too many children go to sleep hungry, go to school without lunch, and go out in the winter cold without coats. Not a suitable environment for a child to grow up in.
Israel, the homeland of Jewish people, is made up of secular and religious Jews. Both communities live side by side each other and enjoy the prosperity of living in the world’s only Jewish country. However, a major point of contention that divides the two communities is the mandatory military service that Israel requires all its citizens to serve. From Israel’s creation, an agreement was made between the government and the Haredi community that exempted young Haredim (religious Jews) from serving in the military.
During my visit to Yad Eliezer, I spoke at length with Milka Benziman. Milka has been working at Yad Eliezer for 40 years, listening and recording people’s problems so she can help solve them. Milka has heard every type of problem from a man not being able to afford his work commute to a mother not being able to afford her daughter’s wedding. For each person, Milka sits, listens and writes down their problems while remaining empathetic, genuine and caring. Milka as well as all the staff at Yad Eliezer, put their time and resources into making the lives of those who suffer better.
Koby Mandell Foundation
Unfortunately, death is a very real part of the life cycle. We are born, we live and then we die. What is not part of the cycle, and what feels incredibly unjust, is the death of a child. How are parents supposed to bury their child, saying goodbye to them forever? When a child dies, the cycle of life as we know it, is ruined. Nothing seems right and as Sherri and Seth Mandell wondered, how would life possibly continue, after the death of their son, Koby.
I was dealt a lucky hand in life. I grew up in a safe environment, received a good education and had a loving family. When I finished high school, I had nothing but opportunities in front of me. I began a new university, moved to a new place and made an array of new friends. My future was something I looked forward to with ambition and hopeful dreams.
“Open, shut” ... “open, shut” …and again “open, shut”. This was the sound of Mrs. Kaufman’s door during our 1 hour meeting. Mrs. Kaufman is the dormitory principle of Beth Oloth, a home for nearly 100 young women who are orphans or without a safe home in which to live. Clearly, Mrs. Kaufman takes the term “open-door policy” to a whole new level. Whether a young woman was asking Mrs. Kaufman to drive her to an outside appointment, a Beth Oloth counselor was seeking guidance on an issue or a social worker wanted to discuss the day, Mrs. Kaufman’s door never stayed shut.
When I arrived to the Ramat Gan branch of Krembo Wings, I was immediately charmed by the slightly frenzied and very enthusiastic scene. Youth of all ages were running around trying to prepare the center for busloads of children and teenagers with all types of abilities to arrive. My tour guide and I sought out the one and only adult present at the branch and asked her who we could talk to, to understand what happens at Krembo Wings. Immediately, one of the teenagers dressed in a Krembo Wings youth movement shirt, volunteered to speak with us.
Just last week, I was listening to these lyrics at a Broadway show called Dear Evan Hansen. This week, I spoke with a woman who nearly broke into tears because of how much the words resonated with her. The woman’s name is Deena and I spoke with her about her life and her experience with Misholim. Misholim is a charity offering children suffering from emotional and communication disorders, expressive art therapy.
One day, a mom entered a grocery store with her child. At first, the visit was a boring errand, the pair seamlessly blended in with the rest of the shoppers. But then, the child started screaming, waving his arms aggressively, hitting himself and was seemingly uncontrollable. The mother and child were no longer incognito to the rest of the customers. The mother received glares of shame from employees, heard whispers from teenagers mocking her child and worst, was advised by surrounding parents on how to handle her own child.
Every year 52,000 breakfasts, 350,000 lunches and 7,800 Shabbat meals are served to the needy by just one organization. That same organization provides packages for every Jewish holiday, filled with food and celebratory items to those in need.
Sports are more than just people screaming at a ball. My friend Sarah loves sports, they are her whole life. Sports were an outlet for Sarah, where she made friends, gained confidence, and “felt completely natural and free” to be herself. Sarah played sports all throughout high school and when she was old enough, she taught children sports at summer camp. Sarah’s love of sports led her to volunteer at ILAN’s, Israeli Foundation for Handicapped Children, sports centers.
What makes so many people want to immigrate to Israel? A better life? The presence of God everywhere you go? To be united with Jewish people? Sadly, the dreams many people have once they make Aliyah, do not come true.
House of Hope
We have all seen a funny, heartwarming movie about a child who tragically loses his or her parents and then is raised by a remaining family member. The child barely seems to realize his or her whole life has been turned upside down and lives on with the fun and crazy aunt. Many children in Israel find themselves without parents because of a death or a parent’s inability to provide for them. Unlike a Hollywood movie, remaining family members are unlikely to care for a child that is not theirs. That is why, places like House of Hope are crucial for Israeli children without primary caretakers.
Giving Back this Holiday Season
This November 29th, help give back to those who need it the most- whether it’s some of your time, a donation, or the power of your voice to the Israeli community.
A Warm Home for Every Soldier
Israel has one of most superior armies in the world. Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers dedicate their lives to serving their country every day of mandatory service. This level of dedication takes a toll on the soldiers. Everyday mundane tasks, that you or I dread, like going to the bank, scheduling doctor’s appointment or paying off debt, become even more difficult when you are fighting for your country. Almost any bureaucratic, personal or family issue becomes virtually impossible to handle. Impossible, that is, without A Warm Home for Every Soldier.
“When I grow up, I want to be…”. This is a statement many of us have filled with our highest dreams and aspirations. But what if, when we finally achieved those goals, they were cut drastically short. What if, when you finally made partner at a law firm, received tenure at a university or achieved so many other difficult obtainable positions, your mind melted into confusion and dysfunction, only leaving you with moments of clarity?
The first thing I noticed when I walked into Simi’s room was the pink roller blades on her feet and her warm smile. The second thing I noticed was that beneath the various items that made the room feel homey, like her pink sheets, personal suitcases and more, the room was still a room in the pediatric oncology department at Tel Hashomer Hospital.