Through Partnership2Gether, Diaspora communities are paired with regions in Israel to strengthen ties between local community members and Israelis. Over the years, our partnership region of the Galilee Panhandle, or Etzbah Hagalil, has become an extension of our community and its residents have become our extended family. Five other Canadian Jewish communities are also paired with this region: Atlantic Canada, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Winnipeg.
Etzbah Hagalil is located in Northern Israel and is surrounded on three sides by Lebanon and Syria. Being far from the economic and political centres of the country brings difficult challenges. Security remains a very real issue, but lack of jobs, infrastructure and opportunities are the region’s most pressing day-to-day threats. The 50,000 residents in the region simply do not have the same social, educational and employment opportunities available to citizens who live more centrally.
One of the programs we support in the region, and that you support with your campaign gift, is Krembo Wings, the only inclusive Israeli youth movement for children and youth with and without disabilities. With 64 branches operating throughout Israel, Krembo Wings provides weekly social activities for young people living with any type of disability, and helps them become part of community life. In Etzbah Hagalil, the Kiryat Shmona branch of the program is housed in the Beit Vancouver Youth Centre and receives annual financial support from Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver.
For many children and families who are otherwise isolated due to disability, the acceptance, inclusion and social connections fostered by Krembo Wings are life-changing. The program also helps to develop the leadership skills of their able-bodied peers who volunteer as youth counsellors.
Watch this short video and see for yourself the incredible impact you are having on these kids.