Israel and Overseas Council - July 2011

Israel & Overseas Council
July 18, 2011
A brief update was given by David regarding the Federation’s  transformation regarding our Association and merger. The Federation hopes to conclude our repayment plan with JAFI asap so we have a clear direction of what we will be able to fund.   The following months will be focused on these  issues:
August-          Priorities/Goals JDC/RFP Update
September-   Solutions-Discussion of how to reach those goals and expectations of RFP
October          Presentations-  Birthright Israel and others
Nov                 Review of Proposals
December      Final Funding Recommendations
Steven Schwartz and Steve Weitzenkorn, Community Think Tank Chairs hope to have a joint meeting with all of the councils to meet the new Association’s CEO in September or October.
David asked those that just returned from their Israel Wexner experience to share their impressions and observations. Some of the participants commented  they met with  municipal and corporate leaders who expressed the need for Israeli  self-reliance and less financial support from the Diaspora would allow this. With the recent success of upper income Israeli’s there is a  need to promote philanthropy locally.  The council had a good discussion of what everyone’s perceptions is and perhaps thought we should explore programs that could teach philanthropy and raise awareness as to the importance of Tzedakah. While this is good to see the growing upper income communities like Kiryat Malachi still have a great need for the diaspora. After a recent  TIPS Meeting held in Israel one idea that was discussed was encouraging the Bnai Tzedek programs of each community to work with   our partnership region. The council felt it was very important to find possible programs in Israel that could educate people about charity.
Discussions were held regarding the role of JAFI and its emphasis in philanthropy and how we should work though it or around it. It  was recognized that many older donors value its role but at times we could have a greater connection to Israel through more TIPS like projects. Examples such as Yemin Ord that assist Ethiopian children at risk or Ein Prat which is an Israeli Academy for Leadership are effective programs that are efficiently run. In addition there is a Medical Clinic in Addis Abba that serves the Ethiopian community and the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled.
Hannah, Michael and Jason are going to contact our JDC Representative, Michael Novick for any suggestions he has for programs that we could consider for funding. His contact info is  Michael Novick is Executive Director of Strategic Development, JDC, in Seattle.  Michael two years ago helped us fund a Hillel Leadership program in Tashkent of the FSU. After discussions the council thought we would send an RFP to him for consideration.
Tami is going to work with some other professionals and work on a RFP Template that we could submit to various organizations asking for their proposals.  The council felt there was no need to allocate by region (i.e. FSU, Israel, Africa) but rather by need and connection we could have to the program. If it is   possible to work with other organizations where we could provide matching funds it may have the widest impact.
While other councils have a real hands on capability for due diligence and monitoring of the programs our relationships with the organizations we fund will be different because of the geographic differences. The merits of having an effective way to monitor these programs is very important and a responsibility we have to our donors.
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