The Jewish connection to the land of Israel goes back millennia. The establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948 was the result of a political movement that sought to protect Jews from anti-Semitism and persecution, an effort that elicited support from Jews around the world. Today, Israel is a wealthy and powerful country, but Jews around the world continue to lend it financial and other kinds of support as an expression of solidarity and Jewish peoplehood.
Yemin Orde offers a range of services to at-risk youth in Israel. The group operates a 77-acre youth village near Haifa that provides a home to 430 at-risk and immigrant youth, including education, therapeutic care and other support services. In 2006, Yemin Orde launched a new program to bring the village’s educational methodology to thousands of at-risk youth across the country.
Jewish Agency for Israel
Founded a century ago, the Jewish Agency is best-known for its effort to support immigration to Israel. Today, the organization offers a range of programs aimed at inspiring Jews to connect to Israel and addressing various social problems in the country, from at-risk youth to housing for the elderly. JAFI also dispatches emissaries to Jewish communities around the world and runs educational programs in Israel for Diaspora youth.
Founded in 1995, ZAKA initially came to prominence for its work recovering human remains after terrorist attacks and ensuring they were given a proper Jewish burial. The organization’s activities have since expanded dramatically. Today, the organization oversees a network of volunteers throughout Israel and around the world that offer a range of life-saving services, including rapid-response motorcycle medics and search-and-rescue teams. ZAKA teams were dispatched to provide assistance in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2015 Paris terror attacks, and the 2015 Nepal earthquake, among other natural disasters.
Leket Israel is Israel’s largest food rescue organization. In 2017, the group saved thousands of tons of fruit and vegetables and over 2 million cooked meals that would otherwise have gone to waste and redirected it to needy Israelis. With a fleet of refrigerated trucks and a network of staff and volunteers, the organization brings rescued foodstuffs to one of two logistical centers and then distributes it through one of over 200 nonprofit partners.
Yad Sarah began in the 1970s as an informal lending service for medical equipment. Today, the group operates a network of more than 6,000 volunteers providing a range of services aimed at assisting the sick and homebound and enabling them to live dignified lives as independently as possible. Over 400,000 people in Israel are helped every year by the organization with anything from home visits to the short-term lending of more than 150 kinds of medical equipment.