Israel World Jewry Bureau
The Israel-World Jewry Bureau is a unique allocations process, developed in 2004, that has allowed The Birmingham Jewish Federation to help fund smaller, yet equally important agencies, doing vital work for people in need in Israel and around the world.
Through the Israel-World Jewry Bureau allocations process, dollars raised by our annual campaign, as well as dollars contributed by the Birmingham Jewish Foundation, are not only making an important difference in the lives of those we help, but also enable members of our Birmingham community to work in direct partnership with our brothers and sisters in Israel and elsewhere around the globe.
Israel-World Jewry Bureau accepts allocations from organizations all around the world, but federal legislation requires that all recipient agencies be affiliated with a US charitable organization or receive approval from the Jewish Federations of North America through its oversight process. Agencies applying for funding must have a local community advocate.
The Israel-World Jewry Bureau committee is made up of different members of our community who review applications and make decisions based on priorities set by the committee, which vary year-to-year.
Organizations We Support
Provides free, first time, peer group, educational trips to Israel for young Jewish adults from around the world.
At $3,000 a person our gift provides 2 people to experience a Birthright trip. In 2017, Birthright Israel sent 47,796 global participants and 8,204 Israeli participants. In 2018, Birthright Israel sent 48,104 global participants and 8,305 Israeli participants. Since inception in 1999, 413 participants from Birmingham have experienced Birthright Israel.
Ethiopian National Project (ENP)
Empowers young Israelis from Ethiopia who have academic potential.
The SPACE (Scholastic Assistance) program reached 5,015 students in 28 cities in 2018-2019 school year.
The Jaffa Institute
Social services agency to assist severely disadvantaged children and their families, without distinction of religion or national origin, from the impoverished communities of Jaffa, South Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, and Bet Shemesh in Israel.
The Jaffa Institute serves over 4,000 children and adults in Israel annually. The Parent-Child Center (the specific program we fund) serves approximately 400 families annually. The Adjustment to Motherhood project serves approximately 40 families annually.
Feeds the hungry in Israel through a food rescue program that harvests excess fresh food from caterers, cafeterias, manufacturers, grocers, and farmers.
In 2019, Leket Israel’s meal rescue project increased its output by 14% over the prior year, to a record 2,500,000 meals – providing the equivalent of 6,850 needy people with a hot meal daily and saving 3.3 million lbs.
SELAH — Israel Crisis Management Center
Helps new immigrants and their families who have experienced trauma including terror attacks.
In the past two years, Selah served 1,875 individual immigrants in disaster directly, through both emergency relief and through longer term care, and in considering the effect on their families, we have touched the lives of over 5,850 people.
(Formerly American Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region) – Increases economic development between Israel and the Southeastern US by fostering understanding, cooperation, and business relationships.
At any given time, Conexx is working on over 100 active projects involving American and Israeli companies.
Provides humanitarian assistance all over the world to overcome extreme crises and has provided millions with the vital support needed to move from destruction to reconstruction, and eventually, to sustainable living.
2019 Porject: Sindos Community Center for Refugees in Greece, creating a platform for meaningful interaction between some 70 refugees and local Greeks on a daily basis. Refugees from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Morocco, Algeria, Congo, and Kurdistan facilitate and teach the daily schedule of classes, supported by IsraAID’s Greek and international staff.
The American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) (in the FSU)
The world’s leading Jewish humanitarian organization that provides assistance to needy elderly in the Former Soviet Union breaking the cycle of poverty and connecting them to a caring Jewish community.
The heart of JDC’s mission is to save Jewish lives. Our continued partnership with the Birmingham Jewish Federation will ensure lifesaving care, dignity, and human connection to nearly 90,000 impoverished elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union.
Seeks to alleviate effects of poverty including soup kitchens, school lunch programs, afterschool youth clubs.
Financial independent for women victims of violence.
This program serves 80 women survivors of violence (+50 mentors)
Israel’s dominant non-governmental lifesaving search and rescue organization. Supplies Israel with life-saving search and rescue expertise in accordance with Jewish law.
7 medical emergency kits for ZAKA volunteers in Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon, those closest to the Gazan border.
Dental Volunteers for Israel (DVI)
Offers free dental care to Jerusalem’s at-risk children and youth, regardless of race or religion.
5,409 patients aged 4-26 have been treated at DVI during 2017 and 2018. In addition, 141 elderly patients have been treated in the special free dentures project. More than half of these elderly patients are holocaust survivors.
Reduces poverty and diversifies the skilled workforce in Israel’s high tech and IT industries.
The only inclusive youth movement in Israel for children and youth with special needs, providing weekly social activities for young people with all types of mental and physical disabilities together with their able-bodied peers.
In 2018-2019 activity year Krembo Wings is serving approximately 6,000 children and youth – with and without disabilities. The branch in Rosh Ha’ayin currently has approximately 80 members with and without disabilities.
Provides above ground protective shelters for areas of the country vulnerable to incoming rocket attacks.
OL placed about 350 shelters throughout Israel since 2006. Between bell shelters and our larger shelters, let’s be conservative and say 10 people might be using each shelter. 10 people x 350 shelters would mean 3,500 people are served per year, so that would mean about 7,000 people have been served in the last two years. The IWJB has co-dedicated 5 shelters in the past 4 years. In 2015, the IWJB co-dedicated two bell shelters for the Israel Tennis Center in Tel Aviv; in 2016, the IWJB partially funded a bell shelter for a children’s library in Shaar HaNegev; in 2017, the IWJB’s contribution went towards the construction of a fortified room for Beit Malacha arts school in Shaar HaNegev; and in 2018, the IWJB co-dedicated a cuboid shelter to Haim B’Or Kindergarten in Ashkelon.
Introducing vocational training to provide graduates with a competitive edge when entering the job market.
Over 2017-2018, the estimate is that approximately 1,400 individuals have been served by the agency. This includes youth currently living in the Village, those who graduated last year, and graduates who remain in regular contact. This project will serve approximately 430 at-risk and immigrant youth attending Yemin Orde Youth Village during the 2019-2020 school year.
Explanation of Process
Most organizations are brought to the IWJB committee by community members who either have an existing relationship with the organizations or find them compelling enough to want to pursue sending Birmingham dollars to assist them. That community member serves as the “Local Advocate” for the organization.
Each organization completing a Request Form (Step 1) no later than January 15th 2021, with or without an existing Local Advocate, will be considered by a vetting subcommittee based on the mission, policies and guidelines of the IWJB. Every organization will also be vetted by our umbrella organization, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). After the initial subcommittee review, select organizations will be invited to complete a full application for consideration by the IWJB committee. All organizations, including those receiving allocations in previous years, must complete this Request Form.
Preference will be given to organizations with an established Local Advocate and/or a strong Birmingham community history/affiliation.
Please keep in mind that Birmingham’s Jewish community is small, and there are only so many organizations that can be funded. In 2019, $166,000 was allocated between 16 organizations. Most grants awarded were between $1,000 and $5,000, and not all organizations that applied were awarded grants.
Whether you are an organization that has applied or received funding in the past or a new organization (with or without a Local Advocate), you must complete the Request Form (Step 1) by January 15th 2021. Please read through our Policy Statement and Guidelines for more information. The IWJB staff member will notify you if your application makes it to the next step. Please be patient and do not check on your application status as this might take a few weeks for vetting and for the IWJB committee to meet. You will probably be notified sometime in February 2021.
Following review of the Request Forms, select organizations will be invited to complete a full application for consideration by the IWJB committee. Please note that being invited to complete a full application does not guarantee an allocation.
Policies and Guidelines
The Israel-World Jewry Bureau of The Birmingham Jewish Federation gives preference to grant requests from organizations/agencies that focus on our 9 targeted areas:
- Israeli Security Needs & Security Needs Elsewhere
- Social Services
- Portrayal of Israel in Media
- Strengthening the connection between the people of Birmingham and the people of Israel and the Jewish World
- Threat of a Nuclear Iran
- World Wide Jewish Needs
- Economic Development
- Immigration and Absorption
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Grantee must be a 501(c)(3) – mandatory.
- They must have an “American arm” or “Friends of…” Or, if they do not have this, the grantee must be approved by Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA)* Every organization that applies for IWJB is sent for vetting by IWJB staff member to JFNA.
- Programs and projects which have an impact on many people for a limited amount of money.
- The request must be solely for Israel or World Jewry.
- Preference will be given to organizations with an established Local Advocate and/or a strong Birmingham community history/affiliation.
Activities and Agencies that the IWJB is reluctant to fund:
- Religious institution
- Political groups/organizations/campaigns
*In post 9/11 world, you can’t give directly to overseas organizations without a thorough vetting process of their financials, boards and board member affiliation.
Since Birmingham can’t do the vetting ourselves we will only give to organizations that have a U.S. affiliate….” meaning Friends of…”
We send through JFNA’s overseas office which does the vetting for us in Israel. We use JFNA because we are comfortable with their level of due-diligence.