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Israel   2003-2004 GRANTS


Yad Eliezer, Website Re-development, Israel

Yad Eliezer is a Jerusalem- based organization that provides food and financial assistance to over 50,000 people in seventeen cities across Israel. Yad Eliezer is most known for the monthly food baskets of staples such as eggs, flour, sugar, and canned goods that it supplies to 6,000 families, but the organization has thirteen programs in all, ranging from providing baby formula to sponsoring weddings for needy couples to its Big Brother program. Donations to Yad Eliezer typically go to directly to food for meal or holiday packages.

Targum Shlishi specified that the majority of its current funding go to website improvements in an effort to improve the organization’s ability to market itself, publicize its programs, and build on its fundraising initiatives. Yad Eliezer’s website had launched in November 2002 and although it helped the organization raise funds, it was not interactive and not as effective as it could be. Among planned improvements for the website are the addition of an interactive section for the Big Brother program, an interactive calendar for the “Adopt a Wedding” program, a calendar of upcoming fundraising drives and events, an online fundraising auction, and posting of informational videos on Yad Eliezer and on the Big Brother program. In addition to funding website improvements, Targum Shlishi also provided support for food donations.


New Voices (Jewish Student Press Service), Israel Correspondence Program, New York

New Voices is a national magazine written by and for Jewish college students and is read by nearly 10,000 students on over 300 campuses in the US. It has been published since 1991 by the independent, non-profit, student-run Jewish Student Press Service and affords an opportunity for young Jewish journalists to both engage with Jewish issues and develop their journalistic careers. Targum Shlishi’s funding supports the Israel Correspondence Program by compensating the magazine’s several Israel correspondents for their time and their research expenses.

New Voices has recently published several Israel-related pieces, including a forum on Birthright and other youth trips to Israel. “Targum Shlishi has made possible one of the most fundamental aspects of New Voices’ editorial mission: to allow students to engage with Israel and Israel-related issues in their own words and on their own terms,” said Miriam Felton-Dansky, director of the Jewish Student Press Service. “Because of the Israel correspondents that Targum Shlishi has made possible, students from across the country are learning about Israel from their peers and engaging in open debate about the issues they care about most.”

Click here for an excerpt from New Voices.

Jerusalem Project for Democracy in the Middle East, “Virtual Think Tank,” Jerusalem

Established in 2003, the Jerusalem Project for Democracy in the Middle East “Virtual Think Tank” is an online think tank where scholars present papers on issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict and hopes for a peaceful coexistence. These ideas are disseminated to readers and listeners worldwide through both multimedia presentations and radio interviews, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Post. The website has a forum where readers can send feedback and discuss how these issues impact the development of democratic thinking that could lead toward resolution of the conflict. The think tank provides in-depth exploration of issues that ordinarily would not be presented to the public at large. Targum Shlishi provided seed funding for this project. “Targum Shlishi has created an opportunity for high level thinking on critical issues in Israel and the Middle East by stimulating discussion and presenting important views by major scholars and public figures in Israel,” said Irwin J. Mansdorf, PhD, director of the Jerusalem Project.

The project launched in 2004 with three papers: “Israel’s Security Obsession: Prudence and Precaution or Unwarranted Fear?” by Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, “Territorial Exchange within the Framework of an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement” by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, and “The Geneva Accord: Mellifluous Music, Miserable Lyrics” by Dr. Joshua Teitelbaum.

Click here for an excerpt from
the Virtual Think Tank.

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  • New Voices Excerpt

    The following excerpt is from “Home at Last: Reactions to the Israel-Hezbollah Prisoner Exchange,” an article by Victoria Blint published in the Feb./March 2004 issue of New Voices. The article is an account of the Israeli prisoner exchange with Hezbollah on January 29, 2004, in which the remains of three kidnapped I.D.F. soldiers and the return of kidnapped Israeli businessman Elhanan Tennenbaum were exchanged for freeing more than 400 Palestinian prisoners as well as three dozen prisoners from Lebanon, Syria, and other Arab states. The article was made possible by funding from Targum Shlishi.

    The memorial for the three soldiers was held in a cavernous airplane hangar on the evening of January 29th. All three received full military honors. The service was broadcast live on Israel’s three national television stations, with all regular evening programs cancelled. Jewish prayers of mourning and somber orations made up much of the proceedings, but the most touching moment came when the father of Bedouin soldier Omar Suwad stood at his son’s casket, decorated with the blue and white Israeli flag, and read aloud the Salatui Janazah, the Muslim funeral prayer. As an Arabic melody echoed through the hangar, television cameras panned the tear-soaked faces of Suwad’s family. For a brief moment, the nation focused its attention on this Bedouin family, whose son volunteered for the I.D.F. and sacrificed his life for Israel.

    “When the Bedouin soldier’s father got up to read the Muslim memorial prayer, it gave me goose-bumps because it revealed how connected the Bedouin are to us,” says Limor Siton. Gil, the law student, expected nothing less. “I would have been very upset and surprised if it would have been otherwise. The fact that Suwad is a Muslim doesn’t matter at all. The army is very good at that. They keep a very strict and equal regimes to make sure that they don’t differentiate between blood and blood.”

    Indeed, in a country where tensions between Jew and Arab run deep, the Government’s commitment to all its soldiers, no matter their ethnicity or religion, has produced a rare feeling of unity among Israel’s citizens.

  • Think Tank Excerpt

    The following is excerpted from “The Geneva Accord: Mellifluous Music, Miserable Lyrics” by Dr. Joshua Teitelbaum of Tel Aviv University, posted on the JPDME website.

    On December 1, 2003, a group of Israelis and Palestinians signed the Geneva Accord in the city that gave the Accord its name. Greetings were read from Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, and it appeared that peace was just around the corner. Amidst much fanfare and hailed by its well-meaning Israeli protagonists as a model for a peace agreement, the Israeli side sent out two million Hebrew translations of the Accord to Israeli homes. Israelis, numbed by years of Palestinian terrorism, would have been grateful for such an achievement. Alas, a close examination of the Accord reveals that not only is it a not a viable peace agreement: it gives way on crucial issues related to the historical claim of Jews to the Land of Israel, and makes some serious concessions that endanger Israel’s security as a democratic and Jewish State.