At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, UJA allocated nearly $1 million in emergency funding, in addition to the tens of millions we give to Israeli partners as part of regular allocations. Now as the crisis continues and ongoing needs increase dramatically, UJA is providing an additional $3.5 million from our endowment.
1) Combating Food Insecurity: Our funding is helping Latet and Leket, leading organizations that provide food aid across the country, distribute food packages to 5,500 low-income households and nearly 2 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to Israelis facing food insecurity. We’re also helping Amanina, a nonprofit leader in Arab communities in Israel, supply food packages to hundreds of families living below the poverty line in 7 to 10 Arab towns. UJA’s funding in this area will total $1.5 million. The money will be allocated as “challenge grants,” with the receiving organizations expected to raise $3 million in matching funds from Israeli philanthropy — in order to leverage UJA’s funding to increase the overall philanthropic support for the field.
2) Helping the “New Poor” and Small Businesses: Paamonim, one of Israel’s industry leaders in the financial consulting field, has seen demand for their services increase 50% as more Israelis lose jobs. We’re helping Paamonim provide financial consulting to Israelis who are among the “new poor.” We’re also providing funding to find creative solutions to help struggling businesses stay solvent.
3) Expanding Centers and Online Services for Young People: Our funding is expanding holistic youth support centers, currently in 50 Israeli towns, that provide services to children and teens in under-resourced communities who are facing mental health and academic challenges. The Israeli Association of Community Centers runs each youth center, which includes teachers, volunteers, and social workers. Our support will help open eight new centers across the country. We’re also supporting online services provide by ELEM, an organization that assists young people in distress, to help teens experiencing anxiety, depression, and abuse.
4) Keeping Israeli Cities Resilient: MAOZ is a network of hundreds of leaders from local Israeli municipalities. Our funding is expanding the number of cities MAOZ is working with, from 15 to 22, to help local government officials develop strategies that effectively manage public health matters. We’re also funding the Council on Volunteerism and Shachaf Foundation to mobilize volunteers across Israel to keep communities resilient.
5) Scaling Tech for Social Innovation: Hilma is a key player on Israel’s tech scene that uses apps and technology to respond to Covid challenges. One example: A digital platform that matches unemployed teachers with schools needing substitute teachers when educators go into quarantine. Our funding is helping Hilma launch a “scaling center” to take their products to a larger market, both in Israel and around the world.