Initiation of Fund
During Temple's Mitzvah Mission to Israel in 2002, we learned how the current political situation has wreaked havoc on different sectors of the economy. Upon returning, the Rabbi was determined to try and help. So the Temple Micah Israel Fund was established with the objective of providing support for three projects:
- Rishon L'tzion Treatment Center. Rishon L'tzion, one of the most rapidly growing cities in Israel, has been the site of several major terrorist attacks. We had the opportunity to meet the mayor and deputy mayor. They are both remarkable people. The municipality is seeking funds to build a treatment center for victims of terror in the city. The center would provide physical therapy for the wounded and emotional counseling for the victims and their families.
- Support of culture and the arts. Funding for the arts has been drastically cut in the past years in favor of other pressing needs. While in Israel we met with the dean of the Jerusalem Academy of Music who described the pressing needs for the cultural vitality of the country. The next generation of Israeli musicians, artists, and writers is in dire need of support. In addition to culture reflecting the soul of the people, arts and culture has been a meeting place between Arabs and Jews. Like the universities, the art schools attract Arab students from within Israel as well as Jordan and Egypt.
- Har-El Synagogue. This is the oldest Reform synagogue in Israel, located near center city Jerusalem. Its needs are enormous. This congregation generously hosted us for Shabbat Services and then provided home hospitality to us for Shabbat dinner. Due to the current security situation, they need to provide security guards for their worship as well as for their kindergarten and nursery schools. Their costs are staggering and are an enormous drain on their limited budget.
None of these projects receives Israeli government support and they are non-political causes. These are all significant and important ways of supporting Israel no matter what your political leanings regarding Israel and the current crisis. Furthermore, these are all projects that are overlooked by the major Jewish fund-raising agencies that support Israel. This is an opportunity for us to do real tzedakah as Jews for Israel. Let us not miss the opportunity.
Please make your check payable to Temple Micah and mark it for the "Israel Fund."
In 2006, because of the emergency situation which existed in Northern Israel and our close affiliation with our sister congregation, Or Chadash, in Haifa, the Rabbi announced that the Israel Fund was being dedicated to the needs of that congregation and the broader community it serves.
Other Israel Charities
In addition to the Israel fund, the Rabbi suggests that congregants and other consider donating to the following charities that do significant work in Israel:
- Americans For Peace Now (tax deductible donations)
- New Israel Fund (tax deductible donations)
- Rabbis for Human Rights and its North American affiliate (tax deductible donations)
- Magen David Adom (tax deductible donations)