Israel & Overseas

 

Your local Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation in consonance with our parent organization, (JFNA) the Jewish Federations of North America, seeks to answer the critical needs of the Jewish people in Israel and around the world. The JFNA Global Operations Division works with our historic partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to provide basic human services and create connections that help sustain and offer hope to the weakest of our people.

 

JFNA Global Operations initiates, monitors and provides assessment of the various social service and educational programs funded in Israel and around the world, and works to ensure that federation funds are efficiently and effectively used.

 

Strengthening Jewish communities in Israel and around the world, like supporting local Jewish life, has always been, and remains, a top priority for the Federation.

Worldwide Support

 

Along with 140 Jewish Federations throughout North America, we fund overseas agencies that address the needs of vulnerable populations including those in peril from natural and man-made disasters.

"Without the JDC, there wouldn't be a Jewish community in Cuba." ~ Mayra, President Sephardic Community in Havana. Click picture to learn more.

 

JDC saves India's poorest Jews by caring for needy elderly at the Bayiti Home for the Aged, which provides a warm, homelike environment to destitute residents. JDC’s welfare assistance, health care, material support, and meals-on-wheels programs for indigent Jews offer a lifeline in a country with no social safety net to rely on.

The JDC engages thousands of youth in Jewish education and regional networking through camp experiences, especially the flagship Lauder/JDC International Summer Camp at Szarvas, Hungary.

 

The Merrimack Valley has special connection to the Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel

 

The Yemin Orde Youth Village is home, school, and haven to more than 500 children from 20 countries, ranging in age from 5 to 19 years old. The village community is anchored in a unique philosophy that cherishes diverse cultures, cultivates self-esteem, and develops leadership among its children. Trauma and displacement bring children to Yemin Orde Youth Village, where they learn to live in wholeness – healthy, capable, and strong – thanks to a balance of principles: Tikkun Halev, healing the heart, and Tikkun Olam, healing the world. Yemin Orde is a proven way of living and learning for children in need. It is a path to success for Israel’s next generation of leaders.​

 

The Goldstein Family visits Yemin Orde and delivers the MVJF donation.

The Ethiopian-Israeli Community Has Unique Needs

Having risked their lives to immigrate to Israel, the Ethiopian-Israeli community is now more than 100,000 strong. Although aliyah has improved the lives of these immigrants in significant ways, they still face many challenges as they integrate into Israeli society. The transition from a rural, primarily agrarian culture to Israel’s hi-tech world means many are uninformed about the means for receiving their rights with regards to education, health care and employment. Seniors in the community were particularly hard hit; many were illiterate in Ethiopia and as a result of immigration, lost their integral role as family elders. There are also large educational gaps, and this population is among the most impoverished in Israel. 

 

  • Unemployment rates for Ethiopian men and women, aged 18-35, are 20.6% and 18.3%, respectively.
  • 68% of Ethiopian immigrants live below the poverty line (as compared to 21% of immigrants from the former USSR).
  • More than 90% of Ethiopian immigrants, who are employed, work in low-paying manual labor and minimum wage positions.

 

Federation overseas dollars fund many initiatives targeted at diminishing the obstacles Ethiopian-Israelis face and helping this dynamic community make a significant contribution to Israeli society.