Jewish Federation identifies and invests in areas we are uniquely poised to see. And more importantly: act upon.
Take, for example, our partnership region of the Upper Galilee in Israel.
Ten years ago the region was struggling with poverty, its youth disenfranchised as a result of limited opportunities. Jewish Federation identified the potential of this region and invested in tech education for at-risk youth there. Others followed our lead.
Fast forward to today and these youth are now highly skilled professionals whose expertise is so sought-after that an international conglomerate has selected the region as a hub for its food technology innovation.
Together, we create not only a thriving present, but a bright future.
Programs in Israel
Beit Vancouver Youth Centre
Beit Vancouver is the central location for youth services in Kiryat Shmona, the largest city in our partnership region of the Upper Galilee, where youth simply do not have the same opportunities as their peers in Central Israel. They struggle exponentially harder to achieve success and break out of the destructive cycles of poverty and underachievement. Nearly 25% of children in Kiryat Shmona, are being treated by the city’s welfare department.
Beit Vancouver was created to address the challenges faced by local youth. It is an extremely active hub for youth activity in Kiryat Shmona, reaching over 1,300 youth — that’s 65% of the 2,000 youth in the city, compared with the average of 30% for most other cities in the country. When Beit Vancouver first opened, the city saw a dramatic decline in juvenile delinquency, which has held steady since the decline. More…
Beit Vancouver - Better Together Network of Communities
Beit Vancouver has evolved to become not only a physical building but a network of communities sharing services. Instead of residents only coming to Beit Vancouver to take part in programs, the centre is going into neighbourhoods and tailoring its services to the specific needs of residents. This is made possible by utilizing the platform of the Better Together program that we have been supporting since it started.
With the development of the Beit Vancouver Network of Communities, the centre has established itself as a leading authority in community building in Israel. The immediate plan involves the implementation of the Beit Vancouver Network model in all Kiryat Shmona neighbourhoods, as part of the “Kiryat Shmona– City of Communities” vision. The Beit Vancouver Network now serves as a model for other cities throughout Israel for development and community planning.
Galil-Up Young Leadership Program
Developing new young leaders in our partnership region of the Upper Galilee Panhandle is a strategic focus of our Israel and Overseas Affairs Committee. Galil-UP is the newly formed leadership development program that will work to engage the large number of young adults that are continually moving to the region or staying there after graduation. Operated by Tel-Hai College, Galil-UP will form a local leadership group that will take a role in shaping and implementing a community vision, and will lead development processes in both local and regional communities in the Upper Galilee.
The program generated significant interest, and the resulting cohort of 25 emerging leaders is a diverse and promising group of individuals who bring both expertise and great potential, have experience in community involvement and are enthusiastic to work hard for the region. The training they receive will prepare them to take on significant lay and professional positions in local municipalities and organizations, propelling the regional agenda of growth and development.
Ethiopian Integration into Net@
Not everyone benefits equally from Israel’s economic success. Many of Israel’s Ethiopian Jews feel marginalized and one-third report that they lack basic computer skills. That’s where Net@ and Jewish Federation come in. We supports the integration of Ethiopian Jews in grades five through 12 in the Net@ program, where they receive mentorship and can learn side-by-side with their non-Ethiopian peers. The program promotes a heterogeneous environment where individuals from diverse communities will learn, work and grow together.
Fathers and Sons
The Fathers and Sons program is a successful, nation-wide model that builds strong father-son relationships, enhances communication, and develops emotional ties between fathers and sons in Israel’s most vulnerable communities. The program focuses on families from lower socio-economic backgrounds and at-risk youth. Through weekly father-son soccer games, facilitated by Better Together, the program supports positive experiences, cooperation, and healthy communication between the participants. The cross-generational approach positively impacts the whole family.
Unistream Kiryat Shmona
Unistream closes socio-economic gaps and forges Israel’s next generation of socially conscious leaders and entrepreneurs. With its Entrepreneurship Center in Kiryat Shmona and its work in over 70 communities, Unistream trains underprivileged youth from diverse sectors of Israeli society to become business and social entrepreneurs. Program participants establish and manage fully functioning startups, learning all aspects of running a business under the guidance of professional mentors, which prepares them for jobs in the high tech and fin tech industries.
Kedma Student Villages bring young new energy to the rural areas on the borders of Israel. Participants live in the student village for a maximum of two years and volunteer in the local community for three hundred hours per year. The students' volunteer work focuses on areas such as social welfare, education, agriculture, and caring for the elderly. The students receive a full scholarship to a recognized academic institution in addition to affordable lodgings, and in turn help drive the area’s economic and demographic growth.
Net@ Junior – Mobile
Net@ Junior addresses shortage of STEM programming for children in Kiryat Shmona by giving students aged 10 to 14 the necessary technological background to succeed in Net@. By exposing pupils to the technological terms and practices from a younger age, their chances to excel in the four-year Net@ program dramatically increase. In Kiryat Shmona, the Net@ Junior program will collaborate with the municipality and Beit Vancouver Network through Better Together within four neighborhoods around the city to ensure inclusiveness of the program with local events, such as hackathons and social meetups that will ultimately build a larger and more diverse funnel of kids for the Net@ (senior) program. To achieve full inclusiveness a Digital Classroom on Wheels will travel between the neighborhoods. More...
Better Together – Leadership Program - Scholarships
Twenty students from Kiryat Shmona will receive scholarships to engage in 130 hours of social and community action in their community. The students are matched with community projects based on their abilities and skills, and they receive the tools and guidance they need to feel empowered to create positive change. As a group they will lead a number of municipal projects, with the emphasis being placed on those that engage youth in Kiryat Shmona.