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JFNA Mission Shows Reach of Federation Donations

Greater Miami Jewish Federation Women's Philanthropy Campaign Chair Ilene Kossman and Women's Philanthropy Director Ofi Osin-Cohen recently participated in The Jewish Federations of North America's (JFNA) Financial Resource Leadership Mission to Ukraine and Israel. Joined by more than 100 other participants from across the continent, they had the chance to visit programs funded by the Annual Federation/UJA Campaign and meet recipients of Federation-supported services. “Everything I saw on the Mission demonstrated that Federation is truly the safety net of Jewish people around the world and how, through JFNA, we are helping to close the gap for the most vulnerable populations,” said Kossman.

The Mission provided a unique opportunity to better understand the array of issues currently facing the Jewish community. In Ukraine, the journey included visits to homebound elderly, hearing from internationally displaced people fleeing war-torn areas and meeting teens at a Jewish summer camp outside of Kiev, many of whom were discovering their Jewish heritage for the first time. In Israel, the group visited a pluralistic community center in Lod for people with disabilities, had dinner with Ethiopian high school students who benefit from afterschool tutoring, and visited a Mechina (a year-long pre-army academy for Israelis who need additional preparation before beginning their army service).

Kossman added, “My favorite part of the Mission was spending time with the teen recipients, both in Ukraine and Israel. After generations of Communism in Ukraine, it was thrilling to see Judaism not only rekindled in their lives but also that the young adults have opportunities to learn about their Judaism and feel connected to Israel and Jews around the world.”

For more information about getting involved with Women's Philanthropy, contact Women's Philanthropy Director Ofi Osin-Cohen at oosin-cohen@gmjf.org or 786.866.8440.

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