LIST OF POTENTIAL RECIPIENTS
1. American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam – “Oasis of Peace” (www.oasisofpeace.org) NEW
The American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam encourages, supports and publicizes the projects of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the Oasis of Peace. For more than thirty years, Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam has been dedicated to dialogue, cooperation and a genuine and durable peace between Arabs and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis. Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel have chosen to live and work together as equals in this community to promote trust, understanding and mutual respect well beyond its own borders. At Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the bilingual, bi-national, multicultural Primary School, the School for Peace, the Pluralistic Spiritual Center, and other projects, serve the village and beyond reaching thousands of Jewish and Palestinian youth and adults.
2. AJWS – Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up – (http://ajws.org/hunger ) NEW PROJECT
American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice. It is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through their Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up campaign, AJWS is working to end world hunger by putting food production back in the hands of local farmers. Working in Africa, Asia and the Americas, they are teaching farmers to grow food using sustainable methods, giving women the means to own and cultivate land, endowing communities with seed banks and harvest storage facilities, founding agricultural cooperatives, and empowering indigenous communities to advocate for their land and water rights. Their goal is to raise $1 million to support more than 60 grassroots organizations in 17 countries.
3. Amy Adina Schulman Fund (www.amyadinaschulmanfund.org )
Amy Adina Schulman was a member of the Minyan (as were her parents, Mel and Ruth) who died of a brain aneurism while attending college. The Fund was founded by her parents in her memory and provides small grants to exceptional young women and men to work in Israel on projects furthering Amy’s values. These include building a just and egalitarian society, advancing nonviolence and peace activities, promoting environmental concerns, advocating civil rights, working with individuals who are emotionally, physically, educationally or economically disadvantaged, and fostering educational Zionist youth movement activities. The awardees have had exceptional credentials and have worked to enhance Israel as an environmentally friendly, humanistic society.
4. Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple Community Development Corporation (www.aecdc.org )
The Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation is affiliated with Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick. The goal of the AECDC is to serve the working poor and others in financial distress in the Greater Middlesex County community by providing free and accessible community-based social services in English and Spanish. Current programs include: HELP (Health Equipment Loan Program) that makes loans of durable medical equipment, especially for items not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, such as shower seats and wheelchairs; Bebe BELL (Baby Equipment Lovingly Loaned) that provides baby equipment (cribs, car seats, strollers, etc.,) to families with few resources who are referred by local health and social services agencies; and IOHIO (Information on Health Insurance Options) that provides assistance with navigating the health insurance maze for people on Medicare and NJ FamilyCare, or for people who need Charity Care. Case Managers are also available to refer clients to legal services, housing advocates, and other agencies.
5. Community FoodBank of New Jersey (www.njfoodbank.org )
The Community FoodBank of NJ is the state’s largest provider of donated groceries to charities. They pick-up approximately 21 million pounds of food annually from supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, distributors, airlines, caterers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and distribute it to over 1500 food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and after-school and day-care programs in 18 counties. In addition, through their Kids Cafes, they collect and distribute clothes and school supplies to children in need.
6. Elijah’s Promise (www.elijahspromise.org )
Elijah’s Promise is a soup kitchen in New Brunswick that provides over 300 meals on a daily basis to individuals and families experiencing financial hardship. They also run a culinary arts training program that prepares individuals for jobs in the food service industry. Students in the training program have done catering for many local organizations and events. Elijah’s Promise also provides a full array of social services and is a strong and vocal advocate for ending homelessness.
7. The Fistula Foundation (www.fistulafoundation.org )
In developing countries poor women who do not have access to medical care often experience severe injuries, or fistulas (a tear in the bladder and/or rectum), that cause them to become social outcasts. The Fistula Foundation is the only U.S. based non-profit organization that is devoted exclusively to supporting the efforts of the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa to provide medical care for poor Ethiopian women who have suffered such childbirth injuries. At the hospital women are fed, clothed, provided with medication and surgery, and extended rehabilitation.
8. Israeli Gay Youth Organization (http://igy.org.il/content/about_us_en.php ) NEW
On August 1, 2009 the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) community in Israel experienced the worst tragedy in its history when a shooting at a youth meeting left two people dead, more than ten injured, and many others in shock. This tragedy underscores the need for organizations such as IGY (Israeli Gay Youth Organization). Since 2002, IFY has been the leading organization in Israel helping LGBT teens and young adults by giving them the tools to combat homophobia through support groups, leadership workshops and seminars on a wide variety of topics. Since the August attack, IGY has provided counseling and other help to the victims, their friends and families, and the community at large. They have recently developed a new program, IGY Ambassadors, to provide professional training for kids and counselors to become informal educators in Israeli schools to help combat homophobia and educate the public about the LGBT community. To support new programs and enable existing ones to remain fully staffed during difficult economic times, IGY is looking for new donors to help them continue their efforts to foster an environment of tolerance in Israel.
9. Jerusalem Bird Observatory (www.jbo.org.il/Eng%20index.htm ) NEW
The Jerusalem Bird Observatory is part of the Israeli Ornithological Center of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. It is located in the center of Jerusalem between the Knesset and the Supreme Court and is one of the few traditional birdwatching areas in the city that has not been harmed by development. The JBO provides Israeli students, particularly children living in Jerusalem and other urban areas, with a unique opportunity to experience the environment first-hand. Birdwaching and presentations about bird migration in Israel are also avialble for other visitors and tourists. A USAID grant promoting a joint Israeli-Palestinian ringing project has enabled the JBO to operate on a regular part-time basis. (NOTE: David and Ariella Goldfarb visited there two summers ago and were “very impressed.”)
10. Jewish Social Service Committee of New Brunswick and Highland Park
The Jewish Social Service Committee of New Brunswick and Highland Park has helped Jews in Middlesex County since the 1920s, when it was founded by a bequest to provide a dowry for poor Jewish brides. The Committee now serves as a last resort for those left in dire financial straits, and makes direct payments for rent or mortgage, utility bills, food vouchers, COBRA medical insurance for people who have lost their jobs, and other such expenses. Recipients are referred by rabbis, the Federation and Jewish Family and Vocational Services. The Jewish Social Service Committee, which helps 50-75 families annually, also sends out $25-$50 checks to needy Jews around the county at Passover and the High Holy Days. The organization is run by volunteers and has neither an office nor paid staff.
11. New Jersey Conservation Foundation (www.njconservation.org )
The mission of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation is to preserve New Jersey’s land and natural resources for the benefit of all. NJCF protects threatened natural areas and farmland through land acquisition and stewardship, promotes strong NJ land use policies, and forges partnerships to help safeguard our water and other natural resources. One important project they have been involved with concerns the Arthur Kill watershed, comprised of 130 miles drained by streams in Middlesex, Essex and Union counties. NJCF has worked with many preservation partners over the last two decades to establish a network of publicly and privately held lands along the Arthur Kill and recently assisted Edison Township with the acquisition of approximately 17 acres of upland and wetland forest for critical wildlife habitat protection.
12. Who Is My Neighbor, Inc. (www.whoismyneighbor.net ) NEW
Who Is My Neighbor, Inc. (WIMNI) is a grassroots community agency with a mission to create “neighborly care” locally and globally. WIMNI was started by a group of people at the Reformed Church of Highland Park (where the Minyan meets for Shabbat and High Holiday services) after a need was identified for an after-school program for middle-school aged children. They incorporated as a separate 501(c)3 with no religious affiliation and cleared out the church’s basement to create “The Cave,” a teen center that welcomes middle-school aged youth from Highland Park and the surrounding area. In addition to running The Cave, WIMNI also sponsors an affordable summer day camp and a teen leadership camp for kids from throughout the greater geographic area. To help families globally, WIMNI opened a volunteer-run demonstration store in 2004 that carried fairly traded handmade goods from 38 developing countries. In 2007 they engaged the nonprofit fair trade retailer, Ten Thousand Villages, to open a store in Highland Park and along with other local groups, co-founded the Highland Park Fair Trade Coalition. Most recently Who Is My Neighbor, Inc., has partnered with Elijah’s Promise to open A Better World Café (located in the Quilt Room of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, Mon.-Fri., 11:00-3:00) which serves healthy, seasonal, locally-grown foods, and allows customers to pay what they feel is a fair price for their food, and/or to volunteer in exchange for a meal if they cannot afford monetary payment.
13. Women Aware
Women Aware is a Middlesex County agency that provides services to victims of domestic violence and their children. They operate a 25-bed shelter that provides safe housing, food, transportation, counseling, group support, and assistance with financial, legal, employment and housing search needs. In addition to operating an outreach center in New Brunswick, they also staff a 24-hour, 7-day/week crisis hotline, and conduct community education workshops about domestic violence.
14. Yedid: The Association for Community Empowerment (www.yedid.org.il/english ) NEW
Yedid (“friend” in Hebrew) empowers low income and vulnerable Israelis to break the cycle of poverty and reach self-sufficiency by accessing their rights and economic opportunities. Since its founding in 1997, Yedid has provided free assistance to thousands of people a year throughout Israel via its network of 24 Citizen Rights Centers. Utilizing volunteer legal, business, social work and accounting professionals, as well as empowered former clients, Yedid provides individualized assistance to clients on issues such as insurance benefits, employment rights, mortgage foreclosures, housing rights, food insecurity and the like. On a community level, Yedid’s educational programs provide participants with the skills and information needed to effect positive changes in their lives and that of their neighborhoods. On a national level, Yedid utilizes a grass roots approach to effect policy changes on a broad range of issues including homelessness, labor, welfare and healthcare.