As the conflict rages on in Ukraine, Oksana recalls how JDC helped shape her identity, and Jewish life in her country.
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Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA and the Canadian federations and communities are integral contributors to an international philanthropic system that reaches and supports Jews in need around the world. Each member of this international network of organizations serves a unique and vital function in the development and maintenance of a vibrant global Jewish community.
Federations of Canada – UIA and Canadian Federations are engaged in unique alliances with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Keren Hayesod – UIA (KH-UIA) and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Comprehensive involvement with JAFI, JDC, KH-UIA and JFNA provides invaluable benefits to the Canadian Jewish community with regard to the experience and expertise of these organizations.
Each organizational relationship offers different opportunities and important leverage to the Canadian federations, allowing for Canadian participation in both North American and international environments.
Historic international agents include:
Founded in 1929, The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) is a primary agent for JFC-UIA in carrying out our mandate. JAFI seeks to inspire Jews throughout the world to connect with their people, heritage and land and to empower them to build a thriving Jewish future and a strong Israel. The Jewish Agency pursues this mission by forging strong connections to Israel through a sequence of Israel experiences for teens and young adults; facilitating aliyah for those who choose to make Israel their home; engaging young Jews from Israel and around the world in social activism, infusing them with Jewish purpose and connecting them to one another, while addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in Israel; reconnecting Jews from the former Soviet Union to their Jewish roots; rescuing Jews from countries of distress and re-settling them in Israel; and serving as a first responder to crises in Israel and around the Jewish world.
In 2011, JAFI redirected its primary focus toward one of the greatest challenges we currently face as a people – strengthening the Jewish identity of young Jews in both the Diaspora and Israel. Indeed, the solutions to local and overseas challenges facing Jews around the world depend on revitalizing a strong sense of Jewish community, which has faded over the last generation.
Since 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has given global expression to the principle that all Jews are responsible for one another. Working today in more than 70 countries across the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, JDC acts on behalf of North America's Jewish communities and others to rescue Jews in danger, provide relief to those in distress, revitalize Jewish communities overseas, and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens. In Israel, JDC's strategic partnerships with the government and local agencies help the Jewish state develop innovative interventions addressing poverty and strengthening its neediest groups, including youth at risk, the elderly, people with disabilities and new immigrants. Currently, Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA primarily engages JDC as our agent on social welfare assistance to Moldova’s 3,600 elderly and impoverished Jews.
Keren Hayesod – UIA (KH –UIA), in partnership with the global Jewish community, works to further the national priorities of the State of Israel and Israeli society, with special emphasis on advancing weaker communities; nurturing disadvantaged and marginalized youth; encouraging aliyah; implementing rescue operations; and connecting young Diaspora Jews to Israel and Jewish life. KH –UIA also promotes special donor group programs that serve a unique inspirational role. Examples are the International Leadership Reunion (ILR), an international gathering of very high level donors and the forum, a junior version for next generation of ILR donors aged 25 and 40 years old. Canadian federation leadership is represented on the KH executive committee and board of trustees. Canadian federation leaders also sit as part of the KH-UIA contingent on the JAFI board of governors.
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) helps communities meet Jewish needs worldwide, by providing leadership, products and services that strengthen the ability of North American Federations, their volunteers and professionals to serve and lead our people. JFC-UIA benefits from the many programs and services developed at JFNA and sends Canadian delegations to many of its programs (most notably the General Assembly, the International Lion of Judah Conference and more recently Tribefest).
Additional International partner agencies include:
For over 25 years, Rashi Foundation has been working vigorously to realize the vision of a stable and prosperous Israel that draws its strength from a society in which each individual can realize his/her potential, regardless of unfavorable personal circumstances. In order to translate this vision into a concrete reality, the Foundation concentrates on Israel’s peripheral regions - the Galilee, Negev and deprived inner-city neighborhoods - where under-achievement is rife and opportunities for self-fulfillment or social mobility limited. Emphasis is on children, teenagers and young adults – the generation on which Israel’s future depends.
World ORT works for the advancement of the Jewish people through education and training for employment; to provide individuals worldwide with the skills and knowledge necessary to cope with the challenges of their environment; to foster economic self-sufficiency, mobility and a sense of identity through the use of state-of-the-art technology. World ORT works in partnership with The Jewish Federations of North America, the Jewish Agency, JDC, and many other major Jewish organizations and educational institutions to deliver the best practical education for those who need it.