30 September 2009

Unibes: human solidarity since 1915

For Judaism, poverty is not inevitable.
The Jewish religion is concerned with the injustice since its inception.
We are delivering just what we do.
This is the fold of Judaism, is preaching the Torah

Unibes: Brazilian-Israeli Union of Social Welfare

Although officially founded only in 1976, one can say that the Brazilian-Jewish Welfare Social (Unibes) emerged from 1915 with the creation of the Beneficent Society of the Israelite Ladies Benevolent Society and the Friends of the Poor Ezra the first Jewish charities in Sao Paulo, which provided support for the Jewish immigrants who came from Europe to settle in Brazil.

In addition to these two institutions, which is known today as Unibes is also the union of other organizations such as Pro-Immigrants Society, Policlinic Linath Hatzedek, Home of the Child Checkers Israelis to Drop Milk of B'nai B 'rith and Jewish Women's Organization for Social Welfare (OFID). The Unibes is in some ways, the continuity of the two agencies, each with its specific mission, as the book says "Unibes 85 years. A history of social work in the Jewish community in Sao Paulo," compiled by Roney Cytrynowicz.

Practice wide

With the passage of time, Unibes is increasingly integrated into the local reality and expanded its social activities beyond the Jewish community, promoting global services to children and adults. However, the 60 thousand Jews Paulo never ceased to be the major focus of Unibes. "Our main concern today is to care for our impoverished Jews, the 'new poor'. And that is where our social service concentrates most of its forces," says Dora Lucia Brenner, the active campaigner and president of the institution.

The Unibes operates in several segments. In the area of Children and Adolescents, an estimated 1.1 million children between 2 and 17 years, with food, recreation and complementary education programs through the Nursery Betty Lafer, Young People Area and the Professional Courses. In another action arm, the Department of Social Services assists the approximately 1.6 billion poor families in the community through psycho-social orientation, guidance and technical assistance, financial and social advancement.

Unibes The projects also include the elderly, people with mental and physical disability, left out of the labor market, as well as services such that the Charity Bazaar, a Private Pharmacy, Healthcare, family assistance, health insurance, Holiday Home, Therapy Family, Program Committee, Shalom Program, Program Or, Labor Program, Pensionato Housed and more.

"In this difficult period of community life, with the apparent impoverishment of the middle class, the performance of Unibes has proved crucial to the rescue of our supporters, giving them the support necessary for recovery and maintaining a Jewish life of dignity", says Jayme Blay, president of the Jewish Federation of the State of São Paulo (Fisesp). "And volunteering at this difficult mission, occupies a prominent place. Dedication and efficiency that make up the binomial allows Unibes perform its task in an exemplary way. And all within the noblest Jewish spirit, which is to give a hand to those in need ! Completes.

According to the site www.filantropia.com.br the Unibes is the third party in Brazil on "Family Care", the 35th state of Sao Paulo and 63 th among the 400 largest in Brazil. No wonder that the body builds up several awards, including the Very Efficient Prize - Kanitz & Associados, the Community Partnership Award, Project Workshops Socializing Sports - Unicef, the Vitae Foundation, the Human Rights Prize of the Ministry of Justice and others.

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Israeli Orphans, “Portraits of Compassion"

Local Program Helps give Israeli Orphan Children Personal Treasures

Yon Zlalo is 7 years old, living in Beit Elazaraki Orphanage in Netanya, Israel. Like his counterparts (over 180 in this one orphanage), Yon has few precious possessions, including not one personal photograph of himself. When Yon is 18, he won’t have a single piece of photographic evidence of what he- or his friends- looked like as a child.

Every day, we take for granted our photographs- treasures that Jewish children living in Beit Elazraki Orphanage in Netanya do not have. These children, many whom have been abandoned, neglected, abused, and/or orphaned, lack the personal keepsakes that provide them memories of their youth and connection to their heritage and identities.

In response, one local community member-Kathy Kanter-has helped to create a new program under the Federation’s Partnership 2000 (P2K) Steering Committee that will give these children a visual record of their childhood.

The program is called “Portraits of Compassion.” Kathy was inspired by Ben Schumaker’s successful Memory Protraits program (run by the Memory Project) that he began as a way to help orphan children in Guatemala. In this program, advanced high school and university-level art students create original portraits for children living in orphanages around the world. Once finished, these paintings are given to the children.

Barbara Miller, Director of the Partnership, had read about Schumaker and recommended that Kathy get involved with this kind of project in Netanya. Kathy, a phenomenal scrapbook artist herself, wanted our community to do the same for the Netanya children living in Yehuda’s orphanage, to- as she put it- “hold in their hands something all their own.”

During her last visit to Netanya in October, 2006 during the Partnership 2000 steering committee visit, Kathy took photos of 30 children in Beit Elazraki and collected their personal profiles. These profiles would be used by the artists to incorporate the child’s individuality into the paintings.

With the help of the Federation’s P2K committee, the participation of local schools and the JCC, beautiful, personal portraits of the children were created by artists. These include many done by three remarkable local artists :Blessing Sivitz, Carl Deutsch and Ruth Levinson from the JCC’s Senior Adult Art Class. An interesting note: despite her being partially blind, Blessing Sivitz’s portraits are amazingly detailed.

Also remarkable were the portraits created by Teri Hiudt’s local, non-Jewish public-school students. Her students made sure to incorporate the children’s personality by adding in pop culture, Israeli and Judaic symbols. In this way, the art project became a cultural lesson about Jewish children half-way around the world.

At the time of this article, Kathy is in Netanya with the Sycamore High School trip and is delivering to the children their personal keepsakes. Upon her return home, Kathy will have more photos of other children in the orphanage- more portraits to be made. And, of course, she will have her own personal photos of the joy brought to the faces of the children who, thanks to her and the artists, now have a precious childhood possession.

For more information about the Portraits of Compassion Program or the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s P2K program, please contact Barbara Miller at 513-985-1528

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27 September 2009

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur (Heb., “Day of Atonement”). Annual day of fasting and atonement, occurring in the fall on Tishri 10 (just after Rosh Hashanah); the most solemn and important occasion of the Jewish religious year.

The Shehecheyanu:

"Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam shecheyanu v'kiy'manu v'higyanu lazman hazeh".

"Blessed are you, Our God,
Creator of time and space,
Who has supported us,
Protected us, and brought us to this moment".

26 September 2009

Predicting the future:

Predicting the future: Philanthropic Support for Children and Youth Jewish
"The Jim Joseph Foundation"
Richard M. Joel
Yeshiva University

How wonderfully refreshing to be invited to provide advice as a foundation to spend twenty million dollars annually. And in the Jewish education! Those of us to invest our energies moving Jewish hope of life in an institution and its leadership that has focus and is brave enough to ask questions challenging. I spent most of my life involved, professionally and as a volunteer in most aspects of Jewish Education, formal and informal. My term as president of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life has given me something of an overview of both our people and their needs as well as young people and their dreams. My term of office at the University Yeshiva gave me yet another perspective confirmation. I firmly believe that this is a time when being Jewish has become an option, not a condition. After generations of our identity to be determined as much by a world of exclusion as a proud be people, most of Western society today welcomes the Jew in mainstream culture. How do we address the effects of assimilation, it is clear that nobody is obliged to be Jewish. Actually, we had a very significant influence on aspects of popular culture ways that in so many contemporary life is ours. In a welcoming society and assimilationist, the totems and taboos of the past of Judaism does not loom large. Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Israel, images, sounds and smells districts of Eastern Europe are no longer rooted parts of Jews "beings. I strongly believe that the feelings Jews or Jewish feeling, which was once called the "Pintel Yid" does not transmit generationally. In fact, Judaism is not an option for a condition. Only if there is a reason for the exercise of that option will pick a Jew. But I know that Judaism is much more than images and sounds, tastes and touches. He transcends tribal. We are a people of history and destiny, of pride and purpose, and therefore the alliance, and the community. But it is clear to me that these riches are not accessible through the catechism or visits with grandparents or with simple aphorisms. In a society elective, in order to "choose the Jews," our children have to be Jewishly literate and more, has to be experienced Jewishly. Put simply, they should know their history, and they have their own history. Without basic literacy, without the narrative of the family, we are lacking, in addition to being illiterate, we are homeless and without hope. I've seen in my years of Hillel that, finally, we have a common history of speaking, thinking about, and to build upon. However, knowing the history is necessary but not sufficient. We also need its own history, feel it, the experience of Jews, individually and collectively, to celebrate our existence. As the Torah says "v'laasot Lishmor" - "to learn and do" - we have to teach learning and doing. We are a nation of text and context. Therefore, non-formal and informal education, textual and contextual exposure to Jewish learning and is the essence of education.

It is the ticket for a Jewish journey. Community of Israel, customs, philosophy, practice - all are contingent on knowing the history and owns history. I believe our task as educators is not to be diverted by contemporary fashion for the post - modern views of identity. From a simple and clear, as we as a people, estimated to provide our children with education, we must provide our children with Jewish education. And Jewish education should be experiential and textual, which should be more than another matter. Our people are rebellious and fractured - there are threats to the Jewish future that are existential and schismatic. Many can be resolved, if at all, only during the passage of time, with solutions beyond my knowledge. But this I know: we have no hope for the sustainability of our people and be our opportunity to influence the world will come from a common commitment to make our children want to know and their own Jewishness. This is the great challenge of today. And that is the great opportunity that Jim Joseph, of blessed memory, who presented. With my bias Jewish education thus established, I am happy to share these thoughts as I with the Foundation. The Foundation's fundamental choices only he can do about how to choose the focus. He must also decide whether to be an operational base or a source of funding, or a combination of both. I can not presume to advise you on the decision. I know there are many talented professionals and institutions deeply invested in various realms of formal and informal Jewish education. They would be reinforced by a serious support resources. They also need to be in an environment where the community reinforces the imperative of Jewish education as the sine qua non of survival deliberate. And we all need to be performed with the standards and develop tools for measuring success. In terms of operating principles, I urge the Foundation to follow some basic rules: • Keep your partner - simple with its grant recipients, they do not jump through hoops. The work is very important, the resources and time very precious. • Encourage investment in being successful. • Housing subsidies so that they can have a lasting impact. • Trumpet the successes. • Develop the brand so that an investment Jim Joseph, who represents the quality of Jewish life should require. • The Foundation must stay for the proposition that Jewish education requires text and context, both formal and informal education, information and experience • The Foundation should be seen as an asset and a resource across the spectrum of the Jewish community. I suggest that offers five categories of initiatives: 1. Encourage the profession of Jewish education, 2. Challenge of developing programs of Jewish education for local initiatives; 3. Investing in training institutions; 4. Preserve and strengthen existing educational successes of the program, and, 5. Encourage the advancement of knowledge and research in Jewish education, I have arbitrarily on budget figures for each initiative.

Clearly, the Foundation would develop realistic budgets. 1. Encouraging Profession - $ 6 million I believe that a number of factors, particular and general, make the time ripe time to attract the best and brightest to the profession of education. Young people are looking for meaning in careers, if they think they can respect, and have a life of dignity that will train and enter the field. Even if you find ways to deal with the crisis of class, we must ensure that educators have quality across the board that can provide excellence. While the issues of teachers' salaries, are a challenge for each community to meet, the Foundation can encourage the field encouraging Jewish Educational career. I suggest the Foundation publicly commit a substantial amount of its resources to encourage young people to enter the field of formal education and / or informal education. This could take the form of a mortgage fund for educators to buy homes at heavily subsidized prices, the mortgage forgiveness programs based on years of service. Alternatively, the Foundation could support a program that would forgive the cost of their education or training related to the duration of the mandate. A capital fund to encourage the serious continuing professional education, or something similar, would make a powerful statement to young professionals. 2. Challenging the Local Institutional Development Program - $ 5 million in local, I would suggest to the Foundation to create a national fund for local institutions - schools, preschools, camps, youth programs - to receive two or three years grants to develop their own initiatives, with the incentive of getting funding for the endowment program on establishment success. As an example, if a school day or school network the day I would like to retreat model programs for high school students (or families) that could contextualize their learning, the Foundation would provide funding for research and development and deployment of a few years, if successful, a donation would be offered to make the program permanent. This would encourage local initiatives and creativity, it would diffuse existing resources, and could deepen the educational experience. The Foundation will have to decide whether he would develop in house consultants or a pool of consultants who could work with the recipients. Certainly, one hopes would be that the programs could be replicated elsewhere.

- Investing in training institutions - U.S. $ 5 million There is a wealth of ideas to expand the work of many institutions of quality education in the Jewish community. Foundation investment in developing new initiatives result, through multi-year grants and donations, would be invaluable to those bodies in both these institutions for training new professionals in contemporary professional education and being of assistance to the local schools. For example, certification programs can be developed to train camp counselors, youth advisers, etc.. Also, perhaps more fundamentally, we must strengthen the capacity of training institutions to develop and teach a generation of leadership - both lay and professional, and impact on local education these students of the institutions of purpose and passion - and our lay kodesh Klei - should be empowered and given the tools to lead. 4. The partnership with Global successes - $ 2 million there are some clear Jewish educational success in our community. They include the Wexner Heritage Program, Wexner Graduate School, Campus Hillel of service, and Birthright. The Foundation can partner with any of these to expand them and increase their impact. For example, many of us are convinced that Birthright is an important Jewish journey. We are also convinced that effective, personal monitoring is necessary to truly capitalize on the investment Birthright. The Foundation may choose to have an important effect in this area in partnership with Birthright to train and build a framework for campus-based follow-Birthright professionals who work with students to connect them to ongoing Jewish growth plans. Or the Foundation can offer $ 5000 scholarships for students that Birthright would begin to participate in programs of long-term Israel proper education. A million dollars a year would allow 200 participants significantly in the construction of Birthright. Another example would be a partnership with the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE) annually to launch niche programs to be modeled on CAJE conferences, providing educators with the school with additional resources to develop a common annual project in all its schools . 5. Encouraging New Ideas and Educational Technology - $ 2 million I think it is critical to the Foundation to support the continuous development of ideas and research in Jewish education. For example, the Foundation could commit to ten years of $ 100,000 annually for major academic conferences on Jewish education, encouraging research and writing by scholars and educators in several disciplines of Jewish education. Serious conferences on pre-school, camping, school curricula, learning processes, Israel education and the like would be very educational format. Alternatively, these funds could provide a visiting professor for education specialists.

Within the item described here, the Foundation can make several statements visible: 1. She wants to encourage young people to build careers as educators. 2. Strengthens extensive creative programming in a set of local institutions. 3. The aim is to strengthen and expand the training institutions. 4. It partners with educational programs worldwide success. 5. It advances research and development of new ideas and technology education. More importantly, a commitment of this magnitude significantly strengthens the culture of investment in Jewish education and be able to trumpet our successes there. It is also an affirmation of the importance of investment in human capital, and not bricks and mortar. In doing so, it's important that the name "Jim Joseph Foundation will be visibly marked as a benchmark of quality. Each of these initiatives could have a team or advisory panel of experts, teachers, lay leaders and philanthropists to help the Foundation. Finally, a report of the foundation can bring about change and progress. Clearly, there is no magic pill. After all, the house is the biggest driver education. The Jewish Home is reinforced when the Jewish community send messages of up and real education, text and context, knowing the history and owns the story, are accessible and valuable, and provide answers of purpose, meaning and community in a world desperate search of values

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