PROVIDENCE – The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island’s Israel Emergency Fund has raised nearly $1.15M thanks to the generosity of the community and with the help of a matching gift by Bonnie and Donald Dwares. These funds have been distributed to directly support victims of terror with medicine, mental-health counseling, security, education and basic necessities.
One hundred percent of all donations significantly and directly help those impacted by the Israel-Hamas war, and no amount is too small to make a meaningful difference.
Funds continue to be channeled through the Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella organization of 146 federations nationwide, and sent to Israel in a range of ways, including through some of our community’s largest overseas partners – World ORT, the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and Magen David Adom, the equivalent of the American Red Cross – for immediate and on-the-ground medical care, trauma relief and education.
World ORT, the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training, is a global-education network, driven by Jewish values, that promotes education and training in communities worldwide. Throughout its history, World ORT has helped in more than 100 countries and five continents, and the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island has long been a supporting partner in its critical work.
World ORT has shared in a report that its work since Oct. 7 includes direct contact with over 6,000 schoolchildren and their families, all of whom are victims of terror in Israel. Since ORT’s focus is on formal and informal education, the group has provided over 400 workshops for teachers, students and families. ORT also provides health services and supportive resources to this same group with the aim of maintaining a daily routine and normalcy for children.
Specifically, World ORT Mada, an operational arm in Israel, ensures this routine, and nearly all students in the ORT catchment receive continued in-person or online education at ORT schools, evacuation centers or temporary residences.
At ORT’s Kfar Silver Youth Village, in Ashkelon, the group continues to address safety and security needs so in-person learning can take place three days a week, with the hope of returning to five days a week early this year.
World ORT’s commitment to education also means its focus on the emergency response will extend well into 2024. Because of existing infrastructure, like the Jewish Alliance’s Annual Community Campaign, support was in place for partners such as ORT long before Oct. 7, and it will remain so long after the war is over.
Through its partnership with World ORT, the Jewish Alliance supports a range of academic and non-traditional scholastic programs in Israel and around the world, including in our partner regions of Ashkelon; Rosario, Argentina; and Warsaw, Poland. ORT seeks to ensure education, teaching and learning resources for all children. Its work is critical every day, and now more than ever, so children can maintain routine and focus, and have opportunities in the future.
One such program is ORT’s Tuition Assistance, supported by the Annual Community Campaign, a scholarship program focusing on teaching, learning, Jewish identity and engagement for students in Rosario. Like the Alliance’s support of our local day schools, the support offered to ORT’s school in Rosario is critical to the Jewish community.
It is assumed that the Israel-Hamas war will last quite some time, and a long-term response will continue to be necessary. World ORT already has the framework to maintain the status quo for students, their families and teachers.
Whether you have already contributed to the Israel Emergency Fund, the Annual Community Campaign, or both, consider making an additional gift to both campaigns. Every dollar makes a difference here at home and around the world.
To donate to the Israel Emergency Fund and/or the Annual Community Campaign, and for more information, go to jewishallianceri.org.
To stay abreast of the impact of Rhode Island’s donations in real time, go to jewishrhody.com.
JENNIFER ZWIRN (firstname.lastname@example.org) is chief development officer at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and welcomes the chance to speak with you about your community-giving goals.