Yerushalmim, Young Parents in Jerusalem: Growing with the City, Jerusalem
Large numbers of non-Haredi families with small children are leaving Jerusalem. The social change organization Yerushalmim is working to stem this tide, in part through its new initiative called Young Parents in Jerusalem: Growing with the City. The pioneering initiative, established in August 2009, seeks to increase public awareness of the issues of raising children in the city and upgrade those issues in the city’s agenda. Several factors have contributed towards the emigration from the city, including the physical and social infrastructure not being conducive to the needs of young children, and lack of accessibility to nursery schools, family health centers, and other services. The Young Parents in Jerusalem initiative, led by volunteers, has already raised the profile for this interest group among city officials. Future plans include publishing a field survey of public parks in the city, establishing a website that serves as a resource of services for young families in Jerusalem, and formulating recommendations to the municipality and promoting those recommendations through lobbying and public campaigning.
Le’Oro Nelech, Bilingual Website, Hebron, Israel
Le’Oro Nelech promotes volunteer activity among high school students. The organization launched a bilingual website to increase student volunteerism by reaching a larger audience and encouraging more schools to participate. Already serving thousands of volunteers and potential volunteers throughout Israel, the website enables Le’Oro Nelech to provide practical assistance, advice, and support online for current and future volunteers. The organization believes that volunteering is a tool by which students can develop and reinforce values and leadership qualities, build character, develop sensitivity to others, and generally feel empowered. The immediate effects of the website’s launch included over 2,500 inquiries from youth groups, individuals, and families about the organization’s summer program, and dozens of new volunteers signing up through the website. Le’Oro Nelech was founded in 1989 by the Yeshiva High School of Kiryat Arba in Hebron. Today, the organization works with more than 4,500 volunteers and 90 institutions around Israel, training and supporting students at all stages of the volunteer process. Thousands of hours of volunteer time are logged weekly in the service of those in need throughout the country.
The Rosh Pina Mainstreaming Network, Horfesh Community Learning Center, Horfesh, Israel
The Horfesh Community Learning Center is a unique initiative in Israel. The center, established in 2004, offers special education services for children in Horfesh, a Druze village located in the Western Galilee. Providing these services to Druze students within their own community is a model of special needs education that doesn’t exist elsewhere in Israel – special education students typically need to travel long distances to receive the services they require. In Horfesh, there are 31 special education students and 375 children in the village with learning disabilities and behavioral problems who previously received inadequate services because of the limited resources in the village. The Horfesh Community Learning Center addresses the previously unmet needs of these children and is intended to be a replicable model to be used in Arab and Jewish sectors throughout Israel.
Table to Table, Food Rescue, Ra’anana, Israel
Table to Table is Israel’s largest food rescue organization, and is growing rapidly. Each week it rescues and redistributes an average of ten thousand meals and thirty tons of produce and dairy products. It gathers food from catered events, corporate cafeterias, army bases, farms, and food manufacturers. Targum Shlishi is currently supporting Table to Table’s food rescue efforts. In the past it has funded specific projects, including the development of a new website for Table to Table and supported a fundraising effort for Table to Table to reach out to Evangelical Christians to help with the organization’s mission. In addition, the organization continues the initiative originally funded by Targum Shlishi to distribute fresh produce to Jewish and Arab children in Jaffa.
Midreshet Lindenbaum, The Leadership Program in Israel-Arab Studies Digital Initiatives, Jerusalem
The Leadership Program in Israel-Arab Studies at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem is a year-long academic program for college-bound students that prepares them to be leaders engaged in Jewish and Israel-related activism on American college campuses. The initiatives created by students and alumni will be widely available through digital media platforms, including a website and presence on Facebook and Twitter, to be developed during the 2010–11 academic year. These media will be used to document program modules and activities, provide teaching material online, plan and announce events, and establish a network of activists. To date, more than twenty-five of the program’s alumni have become student leaders on the boards of major campus organizations at universities including Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Harvard, NYU, and Brandeis. Digital resources are a logical next step for these alumni and students to facilitate networking and exponentially increase the program’s reach.
Yad Eliezer, Food Donations, Israel
Yad Eliezer provides low-income families with both short-term relief in the form of food donations and with long-term solutions aimed to help them achieve financial stability. The organizations runs more than twelve different food and social service programs and provides services to more than 50,000 people in seventeen cities across Israel. Targum Shlishi supported various food donations initiatives in 2005.