As Israel fights the fight of its life, we are trying to expand our support through better and more impactful giving so as to fulfill the many needs that have been emerging since that horrible day of October 7th.
As we’ve been doing since this war was imposed on us, we continue to keep you updated about the changing needs on the ground – on both sides of the ocean.
To keep these updates shorter, we’re only including changes and new or heightened needs – and we’ll tell you if a specific need has become redundant. With that in mind, please check previous updates here since they are still relevant.
Also, continue to visit our website with updated needs and vetted organizations.
- JFN has been working on a centralized platform for needs and philanthropic support in Israel. The platform is a joint venture between the IDF, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Civil Society, the nonprofit sector, the business sector, the Forum of Foundations, and JFN. It allows individual funders to connect with vetted needs and approved campaigns conducted by different organizations or groups of citizens. A central office vets the needs and updates the website daily, and removes needs once they’ve been addressed. While platforms like this are not ideal for a long-term strategic intervention, they are a great resource to respond to immediate needs in real time. It can be accessed at ilrises.org for Hebrew, and www.ilrises.org/english/ for English. The platform is still being populated. The more it’s used, the more useful it will be.
- The advocacy war continues to be hard and relentless, especially on campuses. Some Universities are tackling the issue – which shows that the combination of public pressure and engagement works – but many others are still equivocating. We are recommending that funders support campus-based organizations, and to look at organizations that decode the particular dynamics of influence from social media. This is particularly important on platforms in which most adults aren’t active, like TikTok. We also recommend looking at organizations like the Academic Engagement Network, which deals with faculty – a key population. One particular challenge for funders is the mushrooming of new organizations. In that context, it is hard to avoid duplication of efforts. Together with some of our partners, we have created a map of all organizations dealing with advocacy, campus activism, and antisemitism. We will be happy to guide you in navigating that space. Please, write to us [email protected].
- Germaine to the increase of antisemitism is the greater need for security in Jewish institutions, including some – like some Hillels or Chabad on Campus – that had never considered that need. Defining, assessing, and implementing security needs require professional expertise. We encourage funders to work in coordination with existing entities rather than funding independent security programs at the organizational level.
- In Israel, needs related to women’s safety and wellbeing are becoming evident and more acute. On the one hand, there was the massive amount of gender violence perpetrated on Oct 7th. And there is also a great need to respond to this issue in the general population, where victims and survivors of abuse have been seriously triggered, and needs for counseling have increased. Simultaneously, as the number of weapons in civilians’ hands has skyrocketed, there’s an increased risk for women in abusive relationships and households. Please, consult with our staff if you want to learn more.
- The advocacy around the hostages is ramping up across the world. As we said last week, we encourage you to work with the Hostages and Missing Families Forum to add to their efforts. Hostage families are traveling around the world to advocate for their loved ones in key cities. These initiatives are not funded centrally, but community-by-community. Funders are encouraged to “plug into” those efforts. In the same vein, we are encouraged to attend rallies in our cities, as well as the mass rally in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, November 14th.
- As calls for a ceasefire that would leave Hamas intact and in position to do more attacks intensify, it’s important that decision-makers hear from constituents and be informed by the pro-Israel public opinion. Being mindful of whether this work is “501c3” or “501c4,” funders are encouraged to support this work through AIPAC and other organizations.
- Several initiatives are being planned for “the day after.” The years-long reconstruction process will necessitate coordination among different players, philanthropy, central and local governments, and the private sector. Israeli First Lady (and JFN member) Michal Herzog is leading one such effort in Israel, and US-based funders are also aiming to create a “day after” fund. Please, contact us for details.
- This lengthy crisis is starting to hit the Israeli start-up and hi-tech economy, in large part because many of the workers have been called up or volunteered for reserve army duty. Many venture capital firms have signed a statement of solidarity with Israel, but more support – in the form of investment – is needed. Like always, funders can support the great work of Start Up Nation Central to strengthen the Israeli start up economy.
- Many of you have asked if JFN’s conference in Israel next year is still on. The answer is “more than ever.” While we obviously continue to monitor the situation, we believe that the conference will go on as planned, even if much of the content we had discussed will need to be changed. We think that it’s critical for the Jewish philanthropic community to get together and address the many needs emerging from this crisis. No less important: showing solidarity, love, and friendship to the hundreds of Israeli members of our network.
We remind you that you can use our concierge service, our dedicated crisis-response line, our list of vetted organizations and non-profits, and the Israel Rises platform (in Hebrew and in English). Also, our newly-launched consulting service can help you plan a long-term strategy to respond to the crisis.
Stay strong, and never doubt that together we’ll overcome anything. We have 3,000 years of experience.