The students study together, learn Hebrew, Arabic and English along with a broad range of academic subjects and have both Arab and Israeli teachers. The parents work through issues together - everything from curriculum review to holiday celebrations. They estimate that between the students and their families that about 20,000 individuals are growing and learning together. Talk about an impact!
Then it was off to meet with Offi Zisser with the Jewish Funders Network Israel to talk about the state of Israeli Philanthropy. One of the questions I was asked to explore while in Israel was whether those Israelis that can are contributing to support important local causes. The answer is a resounding yes. It is happening in a number of areas, in a number of ways. In the United States it is part of the culture of the wealthy to be involved philanthropically. There is a move to create the same culture in Israel. Currently there are over 1,500 Israeli contributing $25,000 or more annually, with an estimated 10,000 having the capacity.
At the same time, there are grassroots efforts emerging where community members are supporting local efforts. Historically, the country was so new that Israelis didn't have the capacity to develop Israeli philanthropy while there were some who felt their contribution was simply living in Israel on the front lines. As the country continues to develop and expand its capacity, so too are philanthropic efforts underway.
We then wandered down Ben Yehuda Street, admiring the vendors and shops and stopped to have lunch. We finished up the day with Rick following the stations of the cross while I shopped.
You Can Go Home Again
Of course, also amazing was the fact that when we arrived at the factory, who do we run into but my cousins from Long Island and London.