17 July 2011

All men are equal

The love always win
In the vast literature has a truth:
All men are equal.

Those of us who read Dante, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Tolstoy and other great novelists, understand each other and we feel as individuals of the same species because in the works of these writers we learn that as human beings, regardless of social position, geographical, financial situation or historical period, we really equal in emotions, needs and aspirations in the fight for survival.

Nothing better protects us from the stupidity of the prejudice, racism, xenophobia, religious or political sectarianism this truth that always arises in the vast literature: All men are equal.

Nothing can teach us better than good novels to see the ethnic and cultural richness of the human legacy and multifaceted manifestation of human creativity and love.

by Mario Vargas Llosa*

14 July 2011

Google.org / Foundation

How Google.org started;

In 2004, when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote to prospective shareholders about their vision for the company, they outlined a commitment to contribute significant resources, including 1% of Google's equity and profits in some form, as well as employee time, to address some of the world's most urgent problems.

That commitment became Google.org. Google.org is an integral part of Google Inc., and works closely with a broad range of "Googlers" on projects that make the most of Google's strengths in technology and information; examples of this approach include Flu Trends, RechargeIT, Clean Energy 2030, and PowerMeter.

Google also established the Google Foundation in 2005, which is a separate 501(c)(3) private foundation. The Google Foundation is managed by Google.org and supports our mission and core initiatives as one of our sources of funds for grant making.

More informations:
Projects; http://www.google.org/projects.html
Philanthropy; http://www.google.org/googlers.html

11 July 2011

9 BeTammuz

Today in Jewish History

Jerusalem Walls Breached (423 BCE)
Monday, July 11, 2011 (Hebrew Calendar - Day 9 - Month; Tammuz - Year 5771

The Babylonian armies of King Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls of Jerusalem on the 9th of Tammuz in the year 3338 from creation (423 BCE); King Ziddikiahu of Judah was captured and taken to Babylon (Jeremiah 39:5. A month later, the capture of Jerusalem was completed with the destruction of the Holy Temple and the exile of all but a small number of Jews to Babylon). Tammuz 9 was observed as a fast day until the second breaching of Jerusalem's walls (by the Romans) on the 17th of Tammuz, 3829 (69 CE), at which time the fast was moved to that date. (Talmud, Rosh Hashanah and Tur Orach Chaim 549)

The Destruction
The Old Jerusalem

08 July 2011

Yeladim - Fair Chance for Children

"Make a Child Smile"
In Israel today, over 7,500 children under the age of 18 live in 80 residential group homes around the country, and not with their families. For these children, who were removed from their homes by court order or by the social service authorities because of their parents' serious problems, concepts such as home, family, support and adult protection are not taken for granted.

Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children is a volunteer organization that was founded in 1986 in order to help children in residential group homes. Our non-profit association focuses mainly on activities that are not funded by the ministries of social welfare, education and health, but in coordination with and under the supervision of the Child and Adolescent Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. The main goal is to provide each child with opportunities similar to those enjoyed by children who live with their families, so that they can grow into independent, useful adults.

Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children concentrates on two levels of activity:
- Lobbying to protect the rights of children at risk.
- Fundraising and operation of educational, rehabilitative and therapeutic programs.

The following is a brief description of the main programs operated by Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children:

Remedial Teaching - a program that helps kindergarten and elementary school children catch up and acquire the basic skills needed to cope with the demands of a regular school in the community.

Educational Resource Centers ­- educational centers aimed at instilling children with values. To achieve this aim, the counselors use games and different social activities, creating enjoyable experiences during the children's free time.

The Guardianship Body - personal, close guardianship by social workers of children in the residential group homes who have no parents or whose parents are completely unable to fulfill this role. The guardians help see to it that these children's needs are fulfilled until adulthood.

Child - Parent Summer Camps - an opportunity for children to spend time with their mothers or fathers at a summer camp, with the aim of renewing or strengthening the family relationships.

Family Ties - aproject, operated in collaboration with the National Insurance Institute and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, with the aim of promoting and strengthening the ties of parents with their children who live in residential group homes.

Expressive Art Therapy - initiated and funded therapy in the different arts for children in the residential group homes. Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children now provides professional consultation, recruits new therapists, accepts students for fieldwork and holds workshops for therapists.

Cultural Enrichment Program - activities aimed at introducing children living in residential group homes to theater, music, and dance. The professional committee of the program also provides scholarships to artistically talented children.

Sports Project - a program offering children in residential group homes a regular framework for a wide variety of sports activities, which aid the children's physical and emotional development, their leisure activity and offer an opportunity to attain personal excellence.

Volunteers - training and deployment of hundreds of volunteers to assist children in residential group homes in different ways: as host families, friends of the children and more, with the aim of restoring the children's trust in the adult world.

My Album - Since many children in the residential group homes have no mementos of their themselves and their families, Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children aims to provide each child with a personal photo album created over the years, to highlight their unique traits, reinforcing the child's inner strength and sense of belonging and reinforcing their self-image. Volunteer and professional photographers run the project.

The Project for Residential Group Home Graduates with No Family Ties - established by organizations and operated by Yeladim–Fair Chance for Children, the project helps young people who have spent time in placement and still lack family support when they graduate. The assistance focuses on different aspects of life, including housing, supervision (during military service as well), teaching life skills, guidance, professional training and finding work.

Help with the Enlistment of Residential Group Home Graduates in the IDF - personal supervision of graduates of the residential group homes through all stages from pre-enlistment to completion of military service: initial interviews and selection, appropriate assignments, soldiers' conditions and so forth.

The Council Budget - 90% of the income of Yeladim–Fair Chance for Children comes from donations – foundations, private individuals, and the business community in Israel and abroad. 10% of the budget is provided by different government ministries.

Donations - Donations to Yeladim–Fair Chance for Children are recognized for tax purposes according to section 46 of the Income Tax law.

07 July 2011

Save a Child’s Heart (SACH)

Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) is an Israeli-based international humanitarian project, whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease and to create centers of competence in these countries.

SACH is totally dedicated to the idea that every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of the child's nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation.

SACH is motivated by the age-old Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world. By mending the hearts of children, regardless of their origin, SACH is contributing to a better and more peaceful future for all of our children.

The SACH mission is achieved through:
Providing life-saving cardiac surgery and other life saving procedures for children from developing countries at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel;
- Providing a full outreach training program for the medical personnel from these countries in Israel;
- Leading surgical and teaching missions to partner countries in the developing world;
- Holding pre-operative and follow-up cardiology clinics in Israel and abroad.

02 July 2011

Colel Chabad / Orphans & Widows

Help an orphan in Israel
Colel Chabad is the oldest continuously operating Tzedakah organization in Israel. It was established in 1788 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad Lubavitch movement. Colel Chabad is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.

Orphans & Widows
Today Colel Chabad remains the only organization in Israel that has an entire division dedicated to widows and their children. Our approach is holistic -- taking into account both the material and emotional needs of hundreds of orphaned families.

For the most urgent cases, Colel Chabad provides total family care. This means food, clothing and social services for 293 widows and more than 620 children annually.
Material want is only part of the challenges that confront the families of widows and orphans. Indeed, at times, money is not the problem.

The greatest challenges facing a widowed mother are:
1. The educational and emotional issues of their children; 
2. The ability to find and hold down a job; 
3. Coping with never-ending, 24/7 responsibilities.
Under the directorship of the renowned professor Dr. Amrom Blau, Colel Chabad offers a holistic approach that is designed to keep widowed families from fraying and falling apart.

Accordingly, Colel Chabad provides tutors for over 800 children; monthly ‘in loco parentis' contact with every orphan's teachers; social workers who monitor the domestic situation of each family; regular physical testing of each child, and monthly and semi-annual progress reports.

As needed, Colel Chabad provides widows and orphans with:
Cash grants, regular food deliveries, holiday clothing vouchers, interest-free loans, Career counseling and retraining, big brother/sister, psychological support, educational evaluations, youth clubs, music lessons, and driving lessons when a license is needed for employment.