Overseas Programs and Services
This page contains brief summaries on overseas programs and services managed by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and receiving support from the Annual Federation/UJA Campaign. For further information, contact Federation’s Community Planning & Allocations Department at Planning@JewishMiami.org or 786.866.8495.
Beit Issie Shapiro
Beit Issie Shapiro operates the largest hydrotherapy training center in the world leading to over 70 hydrotherapy pools existing in Israel; has a model program for early intervention treatments; leads a coalition of 60 organizations advocating for improved legislation; developed innovative model services that have led to over 400 multi-sensory therapy rooms throughout the country; and established Israel’s first accessible and inclusive playground (Park Chaverim).
Since 1980, Beit Issie Shapiro has been developing and providing services for children and adults with developmental disabilities in Israel. It has played a leading role in promoting the inclusion of people with special needs in society and is a vigilant advocate for better legal provisions for and with people with special needs. Beit Issie Shapiro provides therapeutic and educational services, informs the public to help enable a change in societal attitudes, influences public policy, and engages in research and training of health care professionals.
Food Insecurity Amutot in Israel
Nearly one out of every four Israelis suffers from food insecurity, or a lack of access to sufficient, nutritious food. The Greater Miami Jewish Federation supports several programs that provide hot meals, food packages and other resources to thousands of Israelis, including children, single-parent families, the elderly and the unemployed. Projects include:
- A mobile feeding center that provides nutritious breakfasts to schoolchildren, satisfying lunches for the elderly and food packages for low-income families.
- Project Leket, an awareness campaign in southern Israel that promotes food rescue – preserving fresh food that might otherwise be wasted, for the benefit of those who could use it.
Elderly Welfare Programs in the Former Soviet Union
More than 200,000 elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union (FSU) struggle for daily survival, unable to afford even the most basic necessities, such as food, rent or heating fuel. Many of them have lost their pensions, their savings and even their homes. Most of them have no living relatives to turn to.
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s overseas partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, has set up Hesed (welfare) Centers across the vast regions of the FSU to help these frail seniors. The Centers provide food packages, hot meals or food cards to those who are hungry. They also provide medicines and medical care for the sick, and items such as heating fuel and blankets to ensure survival and comfort during frigid winters.
Seniors who are well enough to visit the Centers can participate in group activities and celebrations to avoid loneliness. Those who cannot make it to the Centers are visited as often as possible by caring, compassionate volunteers. These critical humanitarian services are a vital lifeline to destitute, elderly Jews who would otherwise have nowhere else to turn.
Latin America Welfare and Education Programs
Severe economic problems have affected hundreds of thousands of Jewish people in Latin American. In countries such as Argentina and Uruguay, Federation-funded programs provide hunger relief, health care, education, day care and help with emergency expenses. Examples include:
- Argentina’s Ariel Job Center. In a nation still recovering from a crippling economic meltdown, unemployment is still in the double digits. People come to the Job Center not only to search for employment, but also to enhance their skills in a changing job market. The Center has helped thousands of people find employment, and has also provided loans to hundreds of other people starting their own businesses.
- Uruguay’s Social Assistance Centers. Located in each of Uruguay’s four major Jewish communities, the Centers provide services such as food cards, medicine, mortgage and utility payments, aid for children and employment assistance.