2021: Building Community for Israel’s Newest Young Leaders
It is with great pride that IAJF Young Leadership will dedicate its second annual campaign to providing Shabbat dinners for lone soldiers in Israel. Hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh, Friday Night Shabbat dinners offer IDF lone soldiers an English-friendly, welcoming environment to help them feel connected and build community.
Nefesh B’Nefesh is a non-profit that provides support and networking for immigrants to ensure successful integration into life as productive Israeli citizens. Their Lone Soldier Program (LSP) acts as the address for every lone soldier in Israel before, during, and after their service in the IDF, providing resources, emotional and professional support, and guidance for successful service and acclimation to life in Israel. Nefesh B’Nefesh has seen needs increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, as lone soldiers have been particularly vulnerable in a year of lockdowns, quarantine, and illness.
The Shabbat table is where generations upon generations of Jews have conversed, engaged, and shared a meal. It symbolizes the strength of our unity and tradition, and is a powerful generator of community. IAJF-YL has an incredible opportunity to not only create a transformative integrative platform, but to enable these immigrant soldiers to build relationships that unequivocally contribute to successful acclimation.
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2020: Empowering Israeli Youth with Severe Disabilities
In 2020 IAJF’s Young Leadership Division launched its first-ever capital campaign. IAJF-YL dedicated its inaugural campaign in support of Aleh Negev (now known as ADI Negev) Rehabilitative Village for severely mentally and physically challenged children and youth in southern Israel. IAJF-YL is proud to announce that the campaign exceeded its goal and raised $26,000 for this beautiful cause.
Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran is a 25-acre, state-of-the-art rehabilitative village in Israel’s Negev region that offers unparalleled care for people with severe disabilities in a warm, dignified environment. IAJF is a proud supporter of Aleh, and our Young Leadership Division is excited to help sponsor the village’s Therapeutic Cafeteria.
The Therapeutic Cafeteria is the heart and soul of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran’s Rehabilitative Day Center. Four days each week, two volunteers prepare nutritious, tasty lunches for staff, volunteers, and patients and their families. One day a week, students of the village’s Special Education School are in charge of food preparation, selling their products to cafeteria visitors at at-cost prices. Rehabilitation patients concentrating on fine motor coordination cut vegetables and knead and roll out dough while others practice communication skills as they interact with customers, sell goods, and take payment. Since the Covid-19 crisis broke, meals are also provided to the medical staff and people in need from the area.
IAJF-YL’s gift will enable the purchase of groceries and other goods, cafeteria supplies, and 100 annual occupational therapy sessions for rehabilitation patients.