IAJF Recipient Spotlights
IAJF has touched and improved thousands of lives. Behind each organization and program sponsored, there are real stories and real people, of all ages and backgrounds. Among IAJF's recipients are: Communities and individuals, seniors, youth, children, IDF soldiers, immigrants, injured and sick, at-risk groups, disabled, and first responders.

During the current global crisis and uncertain times, IAJF continues to strengthen and impact people locally, in Israel, and abroad.
Spotlight On: Assistive devices for children with disabilities
Autistic child utilizing a special iPad
The Ilai Fund supplies financial and practical assistance to children suffering from disabilities due to various conditions. IAJF supports the Ilai Fund’s iCan-iPad Program, furnishing iPads to children living with autism and cerebral palsy. These devices empower the children to express their needs and feelings, and ultimately teach them to read and write. The need for such devices has only increased over the past year, as more children were required to learn from home due to the pandemic.

IAJF is proud to help provide these children with a means of communication, thereby improving their quality of life and increasing their independence.
Spotlight On: Paramedical therapies for disabled seniors

AKIM therapeutic activities for older adults
AKIM Jerusalem works to enable intellectually disabled children and adults to achieve their full potential and inclusion within the community. Through a wide range of programs and services, these individuals are empowered to achieve greater independence.

IAJF is proud to support the paramedical therapies that AKIM provides to those aged 55-70. Services such as occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, and physiotherapy can make a significant difference in preserving the physical and mental functioning and well-being of this age group.
Spotlight On: Holiday food packages for needy Iranian families in Israel

Ezer Midavid Volunteers, Rosh Hashana 2020
IAJF is proud to support Ezer Midavid, an organization providing humanitarian aid to needy families and the elderly. Powered by volunteers of all ages, Ezer Midavid collects and distributes food and groceries to more than 500 families in need as well as victims of terror during the High Holidays every year. In addition, the organization helps girls and boys in financial need celebrate their bar/bat mitzvahs, and runs a club for the elderly.

This year was particularly challenging due to COVID-19. The lockdown and severe restrictions in Israel created both financial concerns and a personnel shortage. However, Ezer Midavid did not let the outbreak prevent them from helping. Volunteers delivered baskets containing holiday food staples like matzah and oil, as well as grocery coupons, to families for Passover and Rosh Hashana. Their efforts during the pandemic were crucial to the survival of hundreds of families.

Spotlight On: Assistance for lone soldiers under pandemic lockdown

2020 Aliyah of Lone Soldiers During COVID
The Nefesh B'Nefesh Lone Soldier Program (LSP) provides lone soldiers with the resources, support, and guidance for successful service and acclimation to life in Israel. Currently, LSP is providing services and support for 3,054 Lone Soldiers in active service.

During the pandemic, when Israel was under tight lockdown, LSP staff members delivered fresh fruits and vegetables as well as take-out vouchers to over 100 IDF soldiers. These soldiers were faced with the prospect of coming home to empty pantries, without their families or friends there to greet them. Not only did the LSP welcome them home with food and support, it also assisted local farms and restaurants whose businesses had been affected by COVID-19.

IAJF Funds were utilized for multiple purposes including:
1. Emergency grants
2. Food deliveries to the homes of lone soldiers
3. Crisis support
4. Packages to the soldiers' bases during lockdown
5. Holiday care packages and cafe vouchers
6. Moving assistance

With the recent 200% increase in Aliyah applications, the Lone Soldier Program has been more active than ever, despite the limitations presented by COVID-19. IAJF is proud to take part in NBN's vision of building and strengthening the State of Israel through Aliyah.

A Personal Impact Story

Doron is a Lone Soldier from New Jersey who is currently serving as an officer in the Israeli Air Force. Late one night, quarantined and unable to go out to buy groceries, Doron posted on a Lone Soldier Facebook group. A fellow Lone Soldier suggested that he reach out to Nefesh B'Nefesh and tagged a Lone Soldier advisor in the post. The Lone Soldiers Program immediately reached out to Doron, got his contact information and address, and made sure that he received a food package the next day.

"There is legitimately no way I can possibly thank you and everyone involved. Since my Aliyah over 3 years ago I have never asked for help from the program. I always said that there was someone out there who needed the help more than me. However, coming home to an empty fridge and not having the ability to leave my apartment to do grocery shopping or same day delivery put me in a bit of a pickle. When the delivery arrived, I was speechless, almost bringing tears to my eyes. For complete strangers to help and support us, us kids who are doing nothing more than following our dream to defend Israel, it's quite overwhelming and special. Thank you."

Spotlight On: Life Skills Program for Young Adults with Disabilities

House of Wheels, Summer 2020
Thanks to the support of IAJF, 15 diverse young adults (aged 14-21) with physical disabilities participated in the House of Wheels (HOW) Rolling Forward program in Jerusalem. The program focuses on learning life skills and tools for independent living to help ease the transition into adulthood. Participants were able to broaden their horizons and create and implement individualized plans for dealing with their challenges, all within a supportive environment of professionals, trained volunteers, and a social support network of people with similar challenges.

During the two months of COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings, HOW suspended its face to face activities. The close relationship between the participants and the volunteers was preserved as HOW continued to offer all of its activities online. Volunteers were in contact with the participants on a daily basis and held online group meetings at least once a week.

In mid-May HOW renewed its face to face activities and the Rolling Forward program returned to operate under a "new normal" of strict adherence to the Ministry of Health's guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. Despite the apprehension, and the requirement of masks and social distancing, magic is happening and progress is being made!

What may seem like a small thing to someone without disabilities can be life-changing to a person with specific challenges.
Spotlight On: Programs for Local College Students to Advocate for Israel and Fight Anti-Semitism

StandWithUs, Summer 2020
IAJF has supported StandWithUs programs to educate and empower local college students locally to stand with Israel and fight anti-Semitism.

Although colleges were closed, the COVID-19 pandemic did not disrupt the StandWithUs mission of educating about and inspiring support for Israel. Innovative and effective new approaches were immediately developed to offer the highest quality programming, delivered by educators and experts via digital platforms.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, StandWithUs social media platforms have reached over 28 million people!

Over 1,000,000 people have tuned in to webinars and workshops on the new StandWithUs Connect platform, covering a multitude of topics including Israel's history, fighting anti-Semitism, touring Israel, Israeli humanitarian efforts and strategic challenges, fighting Palestinian terrorism through the law, and so much more. StandWithUs has been hosting several sessions each week, viewed by international audiences of all ages, with engaging expert speakers and, military and government officials. This new platform is attracting people from countries all around the world, including the United States, Israel, Nigeria, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, China, and Mexico.

As college campuses have shifted to remote learning, StandWithUs has been hosting weekly campus webinars open to all college students, and during the pandemic, the campus department was able to effectively engage 5,000 student leaders via 120 online programs.

A student leader noted: "Fighting anti-Semitism and standing up for Israel's right to exist on campus is an incredible undertaking...It's one of the most important ways I am able to connect to my Judaism…to have an organization offer such vast educational resources in what's basically a campaign against misinformation is so valuable to activists like myself."


Spotlight On: Life-Saving Ambubike on the Streets of Jerusalem

United Hatzalah, Spring 2020
IAJF sponsored a new ambubike (electric bicycle ambulance) designed to facilitate the saving of lives on the busy urban streets and ancient alleyways of Jerusalem. The ambubike allows its rider to circumvent traffic and to access spaces that motor vehicles, cannot, such as narrow walking paths, pedestrian malls, and parks. Stocked with first aid equipment and supplies, the ambubike makes it possible to arrive at the scene of an emergency in less than 3 minutes, which can mean the difference between life and death in 25% of medical emergencies in Israel.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Israel, United Hatzalah's volunteer medics continue to put themselves on the line to provide emergency medical care to those in need. United Hatzalah has also stepped up to help coordinate and deliver food packages to elderly citizens, Holocaust survivors, and other affected populations.

IAJF is proud to support United Hatzalah's first responders as they provide prompt, caring, and expert emergency medical care during this global crisis and every day.
Meet Eliah Benizri, IAJF's Ambubike First Responder
The IAJF Ambubike has been assigned to Eliah Benizri, an aspiring young Torah scholar, dispatcher, and volunteer medic with United Hatzalah's Jerusalem branch. Eliah responds to frequent emergency alerts from headquarters as well as assisting in United Hatzalah's humanitarian relief efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic.

In an incident near the Shuk on Yafo Street, a young cyclist collided with a city bus. Horrified witnesses called for help and Eliah arrived in a flash aboard the ambubike. He quickly got to work caring for the 17-year-old cyclist, reassuring the injured youth as he provided initial immobilization. After securing the young man to a backboard and loading him into an arriving ambulance, Eliah cared for three wounded passengers on the bus, treating their injuries and taking vital signs. He then assisted as the now-stabilized patients were transferred to waiting ambulances for transport to the trauma center.

Even as lockdown restrictions ease, United Hatzalah and its more than 6,000 volunteers are responding to the lingering pandemic and resultant public health crisis with continued caution. It is thanks in part to dedicated medical professionals like Eliah that Israel ranked first amongst the top 10 countries in the world successfully combating this virus.
Spotlight On: Vocational Scholarships for Immigrant Youth
2020 IAJF-Yemin Orde Vocational Scholarships Ceremony
In 2020, IAJF sponsored 57 vocational scholarships for graduates of Yemin Orde's Young Men's and Women's Leadership Programs, and Yemin Orde Youth Village.

These scholarships enable young adults to pursue career-building opportunities through certificate programs, professional training, and community college courses.

Every year Yemin Orde and IAJF celebrate the awarding of the scholarships with special ceremonies. Two of the ceremonies were held earlier in the year, but restrictions on travel and large gatherings due to COVID-19 prevented Yemin Orde from holding the third. In its place, each of those recipients received a phone call noting the importance of receiving such a scholarship, and indicating the support and commitment of IAJF, prior to receiving their actual scholarship awards.

IAJF is proud to partner with Yemin Orde in offering these graduates the opportunity to gain competitive job skills and in helping them to secure promising futures.
Yemin Orde Leadership Programs During COVID-19 Crisis
The Corona crisis impacted Yemin Orde in a number of different ways. The downturn in the economy caused particular strain on the lower socio-economic communities from which Yemin Orde youth and young adults originate. In addition, the Ministries of Education and Health required that participants in the men's and women's leadership programs, as well as most of the youth living at the Village, move off-site until institutions were allowed to re-open. Adding to the difficult situation was the need to constantly adjust and adapt to restrictions and regulations that changed frequently.

Throughout the country-wide shutdown staff members were in daily contact with each participant through video chats and phone calls, providing emotional and logistical support as well as conducting lessons, lectures, and activities over Zoom. Participants were encouraged to do what they could to be helpful to others, including showing appreciation, lifting the spirits of a family member, or calling others to provide support. As participants return to their programs they have been engaging in volunteer activities such as distributing food packages to those in need and working with farmers to help maintain their fields.

Throughout the crisis the staff worked to identify those with significant financial need and provided stipends to help alleviate some of their financial uncertainty. They also identified those who had to cope with complicated situations within their nuclear or extended families and needed extra support. As the educational system re-opened across the country, all students and program participants were able to return to the campus and resume their programs.
Spotlight On: Community Pharmacy in Jerusalem

Yad Sarah Pharmacy, Spring 2020
IAJF supports the Community Pharmacy of Yad Sarah in Jerusalem, providing affordable medication to the needy for whom buying medication is a financial struggle. The National Health Funds' social workers and welfare agencies refer to Yad Sarah patients who cannot even afford the co-pay amount on their prescriptions.

The current health crisis triggered an economic crisis, increasing the number of families in Israel below or near the poverty line, and in turn demand for this prescription service rose dramatically. In addition, the implementation of social distancing measures led to an increased need among the high-risk elderly population, who were limited in their access to pharmacies. Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the pharmacy has made approximately 200 medication deliveries a week, compared to 70 a week in the preceding period.

IAJF is proud to fund medicine for the pharmacy and to strengthen the health and stability of individuals and families in need.
Spotlight On: Intervention Programs for At-Risk Families

Lehetiv Participants, Spring 2020
IAJF supports Lehetiv as it works with at-risk families, providing them with opportunities for growth and success as well as exposing them to a world of possibilities. Lehetiv offers those on the periphery personal and professional development, financial management, employment guidance, and services for children and youth.

In the current time of crisis, many families are now unemployed and face daily emotional and financial challenges. Previously stable families have been adversely impacted, some finding themselves very suddenly in acute distress. Among the types of support Lehetiv has been providing are food baskets, computers, and access to a crisis hotline, as well as professional counseling and tools for dealing with acute problems and improving family relationships.

IAJF is proud to strengthen at-risk families and individuals and to bring them from dependency to financial independence.
A Personal Success Story
S. is one of several siblings whose parents came to Lehetiv following her mother's unemployment and a serious car accident which resulted in her father losing his job as well. The family was in financial distress, and S.'s school reported that she was struggling emotionally, resulting in behavioral issues and poor academic performance. Her parents had difficulty maintaining parental authority, which caused great tension between S. and her parents and her brothers. Lehetiv recognized that S. was in need of emotional support, and recruited a "big sister" for her.

S.'s big sister provided her with judgment-free support and understanding, and a friendship developed. The big sister also discovered that S. had an interest in music and a desire to learn to play the guitar, leading Lehetiv to provide S. with a guitar to enable her to fulfill her dream. In addition, Lehetiv arranged for therapeutic support through horseback riding. S.'s parents were connected with an educational psychologist to provide them with tools for coping with day-to-day difficulties.

Lehetiv's coordination of meetings throughout the year between the school and the family, and the creation of a personalized program for S., have resulted in considerable progress both at school and at home. Her emotional and behavioral difficulties have improved, as has her academic performance. Now 16, S. is a positive role model in school. Recently, S. applied to volunteer with children through Lehetiv, explaining that she felt the need to give back for the help, love, faith, and support she received that contributed to this great change in her life.
IAJF is a tax-exempt non-profit organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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