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Israel Study Trip Illustrates Federation’s Work

Thirteen members of Miami’s Jewish community recently spent a week in Israel observing the work of Federation's Women’s Amutot Initiative and Israel and Overseas Committee. The whirlwind of a trip included site visits to a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Federation beneficiary agencies throughout the country. The journey provided meaningful conversations, information and context on the many diverse challenges facing the country today. Over the past 15 years, Miami's Federation has contributed nearly $4 million in direct allocations to help improve Israeli society.

Laura Koffsky, Chair of Federation’s Israel and Overseas Committee, was very impressed with not only what she saw in Israel, but also at the “passion and dedication of the members of the allocation committees, who took the time to understand the needs of the Israeli community and how to use Federation funding efficiently and effectively.” She said, “We were fortunate to be able to spend time with a very diverse group of NGOs, from those that manage economic micro-loans to empower women-owned businesses to those offering life changing services that fulfill basic needs. Being able to experience all of this as a community is really everything that Federation stands for at its core — people helping people.”

Participants visited nearly 30 different organizations, including Olim Beyachad, a job placement and mentoring program for Ethiopian-Israeli women; Economic Empowerment for Women, an organization that provides a comprehensive approach to helping low-income and marginalized women reach economic independence through self-employment; and Leket, the country’s largest food bank and food rescue network.

Tracey Spiegelman, Chair of the Women’s Amutot Initiative, said, “Through our visit, we gained a better understanding of the societal complexities of the Jewish state, as well as the importance of women-focused funding, which improves society as a whole by empowering women from every segment of Israel's population. The individuals and organizations we met with are making systemic change, which shows great promise for all of Israeli society.”

For more information on the Women’s Amutot Initiative and the Israel and Overseas Committees, please contact Dahlia Bendavid at dbendavid@gmjf.org or 786.866.8445.

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