Caring for our global Jewish community by providing humanitarian relief in 70 countries and revitalizing Jewish communities worldwide
Famine, world wars, communist repression, political strife, genocide – Jewish communities around the world have confronted the unthinkable over the past century. The Federation addresses the needs of vulnerable Jewish individuals and communities through strategic partnerships with effective and seasoned direct service organizations. A significant portion of our funding is directed to two very experienced and trusted organizations with whom the Federation has partnered for decades: the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The Federation’s support of JDC covers a broad range of needs: from general operating support to humanitarian assistance in the former Soviet Union, to short-term leadership development programs in Budapest and the Baltics. The Federation's support of the Jewish Agency enlists young adults in a service learning program that spans four continents.
Humanitarian Relief in the Former Soviet Union
From St. Petersburg to Siberia, Kiev to Kazakhstan, today the vast cultural and geographic expanse of the former Soviet Union (FSU) is home to some of the world’s poorest and most isolated Jews. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, JDC has been the lifeline for vulnerable Jews in the region, providing the assistance they need to survive and the Jewish connection and strength that can only come from community.
Assistance for Impoverished Elderly Jews in the FSU
The Federation supports JDC's efforts to provide the basic food, medical care, heating, and homecare needs of approximately 150,000 of the world's poorest elderly and disabled Jews throughout the FSU. JDC provides these services through a network of Hesed Jewish welfare services to over 2,000 unique locations across nine time zones.
Revitalization of Jewish Life
Today, Jews worldwide share a unique opportunity to reconnect to their cultural heritage and find unprecedented strength as part of a global Jewish people. With our support, JDC is empowering a new generation of grassroots Jewish visionaries and building community infrastructure wherever it was destroyed in the tragedy and tumult of the past century. JDC’s unique expertise is to empower local Jewish communities to develop and enrich their local communities.
The Jewish Hub Budapest
The Jewish Hub Budapest will assist individual activists and organizations grow and develop by providing office space and professional development, creating networking opportunities, and offering micro grants. It will promote a space for Jewish organizations in the field of education, community building, and social change to learn, collaborate, and grow collectively.
Impact Across the Baltics
In its second and final year of funding, Impact Across the Baltics is a program that provides up to 200 young (28-45) professional Jews in the Baltics with tools, opportunities, and connections to help further their career goals, and, at the same time, provides them with a new connection to Jewish life.
Community of Learning – Baltics Young Professional Network Program
Expanded business connections and professional development can also serve as a powerful hook to expose young, professional Jews in the Baltics to profoundly relevant and meaningful Jewish content that can be applied during a critical juncture in their personal and professional lives.
Young Adult Programming at the Warsaw JCC
The Federation supports the enhancement of community engagement among children and young adults at Warsaw's JCC. This will include 35 madrichim (youth counselors) in the madrichim training program, building their Jewish knowledge and learning to develop engaging and effective activities for Jewish camp and youth programs, and two annual seminars for prominent, young leaders who come from different Jewish communities in Poland. Young adults engaged in Jewish activities tend to disengage during or after university studies as they begin to build their careers. In response, the JCC will create a young Jewish professional network to enable this cohort to connect with each other and the community around relevant social, career, and Jewish issues.
Gan Balagan in Sofia
Gan Balagan is a Jewish kindergarten in Sofia, Bulgaria, with 65 children enrolled. Within the steadily reviving Jewish community of Sofia, Gan Balagan is creating a stepping stone for Jewish identity by placing children, often from families with little or no connection to Judaism, in a Jewish setting, in which they learn together, celebrate Jewish holidays and festivals, and form the bedrock of a stronger Jewish community. Funding for Gan Balagan subsidizes children's entry into the kindergarten, supports the training and education of teachers, and provides quality programming year-round. In this way, Gan Balagan benefits not only the children, but also creates a cadre of well-trained Jewish educators in the community.
Children’s Summer Camp in Sofia
Every summer, more than 200 Jewish kids, ages 8-17, come together at the Jewish Children's Summer Camp in Bulgaria. For these children, the camp is a Jewish experience that connects them with their heritage and with Jewish friends. As they share meals and activities, these young Jews form friendships with their Jewish peers that they will treasure throughout the year. Combining informal Jewish education with typical camp activities, the camp program is built around a theme chosen and developed to help children become better acquainted with their heritage, explore their Jewish identity, and gain knowledge about Jewish values – while having a lot of fun. This unique programming inspires them to continue their Jewish journey upon returning home, by sharing with their families the traditions they have learned at camp and by taking part in activities run by the local Jewish community.
The Jewish Agency's Project TEN is a unique service-learning framework. Project TEN brings together young Jews from around the world and Israel to volunteer with vulnerable populations globally while learning about Jewish values and practices. Together, the volunteers spend three months working and learning together in onsite service projects in vulnerable communities.
Project TEN puts into practice the Jewish values that speak directly to social justice, sustainable development, and leadership, while providing critical assistance to communities in Hyderabad, India; Gondar, Ethiopia; Kiryat Shmona, Israel; and Oaxaca, Mexico.