Nearly a year into the coronavirus pandemic, we have all grown to appreciate the bright spots we see across our Federation system.
Amazingly, thanks to Federations’ support, more than 21,000 olim (new immigrants) made Aliyah in 2020 during a global pandemic through the dedicated efforts of the Jewish Agency. And each oleh and olah has his or her own inspiring story. Yaliganesh Addis whom we met in December in Gondar, Ethiopia finally embraced her mother and seven siblings a few weeks ago after a separation of over a decade, brought home to Israel on Operation Zur Israel. You can see the moving reunion here and hear reflections on this and past Ethiopian Aliyah campaigns in this short video spotlight from our recent International Lions of Judah conference.
Stories of young people strengthening their connection to Israel, even during the pandemic, were also featured at the Lions of Judah conference. Watch the video and read more about Jovan Booker, a para-athlete who volunteered through Masa to coach youth basketball in Israel. This is the impact Federations are having on our next generation.
Teens in our communities are also finding ways to reach out across the coronavirus divide and connect with their peers in Israel. Bridges Buddies, a partnership of the Jewish Agency and the Ethiopian National Project, brings together Ethiopian Israel teens with their local counterparts to make new friends, hang out and strengthen their English language skills.
News and Analysis from Israel
With Israel in the run-up to its 4th national elections in 2 years, it can be hard to track all the players and permutations! The list of parties competing for Knesset seats was finalized late last week and we’ve created this 2021 elections update to keep you informed on the latest news. For more insights into Israeli politics listen to the Balagan podcast from this top 10 list curated by our friends at Makom.
Finally, if you are looking to bring some international flavor to your Shabbat table and conversation, find the #JDCGlobalKitchen tag on JDC's Instagram for recipes from across the globe and the Global Jewish Reflections series on JDC's field blog that connects the weekly Torah portion or the Jewish holiday cycle to your Federation’s global impact.
Upcoming events - Mark your calendars
Come together with our partner JDC, for the remaining segments of their three-part virtual journey to experience how your community’s support is making a difference in the lives of Israelis. Prep for the virtual mission by watching this clip from the International Lions of Judah conference on the work we power with people with disabilities in Israel and around the world through JDC.
Hear more about the work our communities support in the field of disability inclusion and advocacy today, February 10th at 12pm ET. Join us for a special JDAM session called Ready, Willing and Able: Israel’s Disability Trailblazers.
The ability to practice Judaism however one feels most comfortable is becoming an increasingly important conversation in Israel. We invite you to join that conversation alongside experts, religious leaders and changemakers in a four-part exploration of the evolving face of Judaism in Israel.
Mark your calendars on March 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 12pm ET. Registration details coming soon!