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Featured Cause

Featured Nonprofit: Jordan River Village, Israel

For the Jordan River Village in Israel it’s is all about the kids – giving them some of their childhood back, enhancing their sense of self-worth.JRV2

The Jordan River Village Mission is critical:

TJRVLogoo enrich the lives of children, suffering from serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions by creating free, fun-filled, memorable, empowering, medically sound and safe camping experiences.

The Village includes state-of-the-art, but unobtrusive, 24 hour medical supervision, comfortable cabins, specially treated swimming pool, dining hall complex, a performing arts theater, sports & recreation center, arts & crafts building, and much, much more.  Children between the ages of 9 and 18 coping with cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, familial dysautonomia, neurological disorders, rheumatic diseases, heart diseases and other life threatening or chronic diseases are able to feel safe and cared for.

No child or family will ever pay to attend the Jordan River Village which is open year-round.

Leading hospitals and voluntary disease-oriented organizations have partnered with the Jordan River Village, recognizing the importance of such a village and its benefit to thousands of children, who suffer in ways most of us will never know. Our experience has shown that seriously ill children thrive, both physically and mentally, in an atmosphere of fun, support, appreciation and satisfaction.

Activities are structured to allow campers to experience success no matter what their disease or disability.  Following their camp experience, the kids react more favorably to medical treatment and address their conditions more positively.

The Government of Israel has officially endorsed the project and is committed to participate financially in the establishment, operation and maintenance of the Village.

Since the commencement of  operation, in August 2011, over 5,800 children enjoyed the facilities of the Jordan River Village.  During this period over 2,800 people have volunteered at the Village, including doctors, nurses, counselors and those who assist with maintenance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit our website or contact Katia Citrin, Director of External Affairs at:

Support United Hatzolah Gush Dan Today


Terror attacks continue in Israel and Hatzola Gush Dan has been on call 24/7. Just yesterday (Monday), Hatzola Gush Dan was called to help after attacks in Rishon Le’Tzion and Netanya. See more details.

To save a life, Hatzola Gush Dan uses ambucycles to get to the scene in 1.5-3 minutes. During a rescue operation in the recent flash floods in Raanana, one of our ambucycles was destroyed.

Featured Course – Encore Entrepreneurs: Business Training for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Age 50+

Are you over the age 0f 50 and have a dream, an idea or the calling to be an entrepreneur? This course, offered by the Hebrew Free Loan Society with the support of UJA-Federation of New York is for you!index


Individuals over the age of 50 have valuable professional experience and wisdom; yet statistics show that they are most at risk for long-term unemployment or underemployment. For some, the solution to the problem is to become a consultant in their field of expertise or start a business not directly related to their previous job.

The Hebrew Free Loan Society’s Encore Entrepreneurs Program provides individuals age 50 plus with the skills required to successfully launch a business as a path to long-term financial stability.

Program Overview:

This comprehensive and highly-interactive course uses the Kauffman FastTrac® NewVenturetm Entrepreneurship Program, which positions people for success by helping them hone the skills needed to create, manage, and grow successful consulting and other businesses. The course provides guidance and support in a group-oriented environment. Program participants will:

  • Align their business concept with real market opportunities
  • Learn how to set realistic financial goals for their business
  • Determine the unique features and benefits of their products/services
  • Find their target market and clarify their competitive advantage
  • Determine steps to profitability
  • Identify potential sources of funding for their business
  • Learn about social media and e-commerce marketing
  • Find resources in their communities for ongoing business planning

Encore Entrepreneurs is taught by two skilled facilitators, both of whom are experienced entrepreneurs. Each session includes presentations from facilitators and break-out groups on exercises, assignments, and business plans. Expert guest speakers in business marketing, law, social media, and other areas offer insights into starting and managing a business.

The course runs for 12 consecutive Wednesdays.  All classes meet at UJA-Federation of New York (130 East 59th Street in Manhattan) from 10 am to 2 pm, except for the initial introductory session, which meets for 1.5 hours.

The subsidized cost per person is $200 and includes FastTrac® New Venturetm entrepreneur manual, content supplement workbook, and access to an abundance of online tools and templates.

This course is offered by the Hebrew Free Loan Society with the support of UJA-Federation of New York.


You are eligible for Encore Entrepreneurs if you…

  • Were born between 1945 and 1965
  • Have a specific idea for a new business
  • Have an economic need to plan for your financial future
  • Can commit to attending all sessions and completing all assignments
  • Are a resident of one of the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, or Long Island (Nassau or Suffolk)

Featured Cause: Mifalot, From Rockets to Soccer: It’s Time to Play

Please give to this amazing cause today!

Featured KICKSTARTER Campaign – Zip Up For Special Needs

Featured Jewish Non-Profit: Beit Hagalgalim – בית הגלגלים

Beit Hagalgalim – בית הגלגלים


From the House of Wheels website:

“The House of Wheels, which has been operating since 1979, provides a range of services for children and adults with impaired mobility, mainly due to cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.”

“The Association provides solutions to the shortage in extramural activities and lack of social structures that are appropriate for this population. The House of Wheels provides weekend activities, as well as summer camps and activity classes.”

“In addition, the Association operates a job placement project, which assigns the adult participants to jobs on the open market with an appropriate wage. Hundreds of volunteers are active in the Association, young people in their twenties, students and professionals, whose dedication over the years has helped the participants to break through the boundaries of their disability, enriches their world and inspires them.”

“About 400 participants benefit from the five branches across Israel: in Herzlia; Even Sapir near Jerusalem; Bustan Hagalil in the North; and Kibbutz Urim in the Negev. The fifth branch, established in 2008, holds its activities at Kibbutz Kramim in the Negev and is designed for children of the Bedouin sector.”




Donate Online to Beit Hagalgalim:

Featured Cause: A Global Friendship

“We are a non-profit that empowers women around the world living on under $10 a day, helping them to break the cycle of poverty. We work to improve the standard of living in developing communities. We create sustainable businesses for artisans around the world by providing them with small business training and market access.”

Inclusive Playgrounds? Israel and Beit Issie Shapiro Leads the Way.

Who in the world is leading the way so that kids with disabilities can play in playgrounds with other kids with and without disabilities? You guessed it… Israel!DSC04839

Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS) is an Israeli non-profit that is working to change the negative perceptions society often has of kids with disabilities.

A BIS speaker recently spoke on the issue at the recent UN Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

BIS is setting up inclusive playgrounds around Israel with great success. In fact, “…as a result of the model park project, and with the help of the Commission for Rights of People with Disabilities, Israel requires all new parks to be accessible. Additionally, BIS is helping countries including South Africa, Uruguay, and UK to establish similar parks.”

Beit Issie Shapiro’s English website:

BIS’s NYC Marathon Fundraiser Page:


Imagine a World Without Hate (Official Video)

source: ADLNational YouTube Channel

Featured Cause – Melabev – Leader in Alzheimer’s Care in Israel

MELABEV – A Leader in Alzheimer’s Care for over 30 years!

Website link:

Kickstarting – the Dry Bones Blog

Here’s a neat project we want you to know about from Yaakov Kirschen, the creator of the witty Dry Bones comic strip.

Yaakov has started a fundraiser on Kickstarter to raise money to create a Dry Bones inspired Hagadah.

Check out the link for more details.

Kickstarting – the Dry Bones Blog

Featured Israeli Non-Profit: Friends of AKIM USA


“In Hebrew, AKIM is an acronym for the “Association for the Habilitation of the Developmentally Disabled”. Friends of AKIM USA is dedicated to supporting this population.
Akim was founded in 1951 by Israeli parents to improve the State’s welfare system and enhance the quality of their children’s lives.”

“Today, AKIM is the largest and most comprehensive provider of programs and services for the developmentally disabled — serving 30,000 children, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens throughout Israel.”

Website link:

To donate to AKIM online:

AKIM is a new managed list at Negev Direct Marketing Inc.

Featured Cause: IDFWO Otzma, Help Send an IDF Orphan to a Passover Camp

The only thing more tragic than loosing a loved one in the IDF is dealing with the loss and emptiness that each family of the deceased has to cope with every day for the rest of their lives.

IDFWO is a non-profit that supports the families that have lost a father, a mother or a spouse while that person was serving in the IDF.

The IDFWO has a variety of support programs including a summer camp in Eilat, wedding gifts, sholarships, vacation opportunities and more.

The current IDFWO project that needs your support is the “Help send an IDF orphan to a Passover camp” project

From the Give 2 Together website:

“Help send an IDF orphan to a Passover camp by sponsoring a teen who has lost a parent while defending Israel.”

“Sponsor your camper with an unforgettable camp experience in Eilat , together with over 120 IDF orphans. The kids will be hiking in the desert, camel riding and, as an icing on the cake, completing a scuba diving course in the Red Sea. The camp experience is absolutely crucial for these brave teens, as it is much more than just fun and games; the camp gives them a chance to be children again, without having to worry about responsibilities they have taken on themselves prematurely due to the terrible tragedies that they deal with on daily basis.”

“Sponsor your camper with an unforgettable camp experience in Eilat , together with over 120 IDF orphans. The kids will be hiking in the desert, camel riding and, as an icing on the cake, completing a scuba diving course in the Red Sea. The camp experience is absolutely crucial for these brave teens, as it is much more than just fun and games; the camp gives them a chance to be children again, without having to worry about responsibilities they have taken on themselves prematurely due to the terrible tragedies that they deal with on daily basis.”


Description of IDFWO and to donate online:

IDFWO website:

Featured Cause: P’TACH – Jewish Special Education

This video tells the story of P’TACH (Parents for Torah for all Children). P’TACH is a New York-based non-profit organization whose goal is to provide the best Jewish and secular education to students with learning differences. 

Video by Adam Irving.

To learn more or to donate visit P’TACH’s website:

BGU Blood Test for Early Cancer Detection

New Blood Test for Early Cancer Detection Developed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Researchers 90 Percent Detection Rate in Clinical Tests for Multiple Types of Cancers

BEER-SHEVA, February 20, 2012 – A simple blood test is being developed by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel that may provide early detection of many types of cancer. Prof. Kapelushnik of BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences and his team developed a device that illuminates cancer cells with less than a teaspoon of blood. The test uses infrared light to detect miniscule changes in the blood of a person who has a cancerous growth somewhere, even before the disease has spread. Various molecules released into the bloodstream cause it to absorb infrared light slightly differently compared to that of healthy people. In the latest clinical trial with 200 patients and a control group, the test identified specific cancers in 90 percent of the patients and found other types of cancer, as well. The researchers are focused on detection of common cancers, such as lung and ovarian cancer. Doctors believe that it is critical to increase cancer detection in early stages to prevent the need for long, difficult and costly treatments in more advanced stages.

“This is still research in the early stages of clinical trials,” clarifies Prof. Joseph Kapelushnik, who is also head of the Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology at Soroka hospital. “But the purpose is to develop an efficient, cheap and simple method to detect as many types of cancers as possible. We want to be able to detect cancer while a patient is still feeling good, before it has a chance to metastasize, meaning fewer treatments, less suffering and many more lives saved.” More clinical trials will be conducted in the next 18 months.

Beit Issie Shapiro wins ‘most efficient charity in Israel’ award

“This week, Beit Issie Shapiro was recognized as Israel’s ‘Most Efficient Non Profit Organization’ by efficiency monitor Midot.”
“Set up to ensure non-profit organizations and their investors are as effective as possible in changing people’s lives for the better and solving social problems, Midot presented the awards at its annual conference at the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv.  Avi Naor also won an award for the most effective private donor for his personal investment and involvement, and for encouraging others to contribute as well; and the Fishman Group won an award for the most effective corporation for their strategic contributions and extensive collaborations.”
Dudi Arbel, Midot Chief Executive: said, “We congratulate the winners of these first ever Midot awards.  We hope these awards will encourage even more impact focused social action that makes a meaningful change in Israeli society.”
Executive Director of Beit Issie Shapiro, Jean Judes said, “It is a tremendous honour to have been chosen for this award.  Beit Issie works hard to make sure that our donations get spent efficiently and where needed most.  We spend a great deal of time sharing our knowledge and experience with other organizations in Israelas well as abroad, and we are very proud to receive this acknowledgement.”

Helping AMIT Help Israel

This summer, Vivint, one of the largest home automation companies in North America, is giving away more than one million dollars to charities through its GiveBack Project.

We LOVE Vivint for it’s innovative approach to charitable giving.

We also LOVE AMIT. With 85 schools in 24 cities throughout Israel, AMIT sets the standard for quality education in Israel.

Now, you can help AMIT  receive a grant of up to $250,000 from Vivint. Here’s how:

Step 1: Like Vivint on Facebook
Step 2: Search for Amit
Step 3: Endorse Amit

You can start voting today and continue voting once a day until August 27th.

Vote for AMIT early and often.


Names In The News

Sharon Temkin Portnoy has joined the Forward Association, publisher of the Forward newspaper, as Director of Development.
Portnoy joins the Forward from Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.  During her tenure with Hadassah, she led efforts in annual and major gift fundraising, capital campaigns and served as Development Director of Young Judaea, the Zionist Youth Movement of Hadassah.
She joined the Jewish non-for-profit world after a successful career with major multinational corporations in government affairs and corporate relations at the federal, state and local levels. She is a native New Yorker who has developed an extensive network of relationships nationwide in both her corporate and development worlds.

The Power of the Brand

Facebook is tremendously popular in Israel.

Check out the statistics  here. Almost half of the county uses Facebook.

And if you want further proof of popularity, here it is:

Ha’aaretz reports that Lior and Vardit Adler of Hod HaSharon have named their newborn baby girl Like.

She joins her older siblings Dvash (honey) and Pie 🙂

Meanwhile, In Beersheva…

Ben-Gurion University researcher Alberto Bilenca, Ph.D., has been awarded a prestigious grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Dr. Bilenca has developed a fast, low-cost device to accurately diagnose malaria in the field without having to draw blood.
Dr. Bilenca is a member of BGU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology.
Dr. Bilenca’s project is based on a standard camera cellphone and a red laser pointerthat can noninvasively obtain finger blood perfusion images in less than a second. The device creates images that detect malaria pigment  in the blood.
In contrast to commerciallyavailable malaria tests, this probe will avoid the need for blood collection, therefore maximizing medical safety, patient comfort and test rapidity. 

Malaria causes approximately 1 million deaths per year throughout developing countries.

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