In December 2020, JCC Global partnered with the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto and several other organizations to produce the Z3 event: “Reimagining Israel-Diaspora Relations.” As part of the event, 45,669 USD were raised to promote 7 Jewish Peoplehood values. See below what 5 out of the 7 JCCs (from Jewish communities outside of North America) have accomplished during the past 6 months (in their own words):
Music that Builds Bridges Kfar Yona Community Center, Israel- and Asfahani Society for Arts & Culture Jewish value: Art and Culture
Jewish and Arab teens from Kfar Yona, Israel and the Qalansuwa Arab village that study music together, year-round, gathered for a joint program of music and discussion that promises to bring lots of lights. In spite of the complicated situations faced by the citizens living in mixed Jewish and Arab cities, the group kept on meeting and practicing, and bringing light to all their surroundings. The "Heartstrings" ensemble and the strings orchestra are meeting on a weekly basis. They have already performed at a two-year celebration of the project, at the Ra'nana Music Conservatory, at Tel Aviv University and more.
The River of Life
Burgata village, Za’it, Emek Hefer, Israel and JCC Alef Istanbul, Turkey
Jewish value: Holidays/Rituals/Shabbat
The River of Life project was launched during a Hanukkah candle-lighting event that brought together the two communities. This led to forming a group of visual artists from both communities that wish to deepen their acquaintance and conversation in a more intimate space. The group already met 7 times and focused on topics related to the Jewish/Hebrew calendar.
Between the meetings the participants received artistic assignments to prepare and present to the group. In this joint voyage where language is sometimes a barrier, the artwork has a powerful way of creating a bond. The works of art replaced language and elicited powerful responses. The group is now preparing for the final program that will take place during the upcoming Jewish holidays of Tishrei.
Leaders of the Future Beit Ross JCC in Kharkiv, Ukraine Jewish value: Identity
Within 5 months from the onset of the program, about 70 young leaders participated in the program. The young leaders attended 9 seminars and led several traditional events: "Purim Party", "Traditional Seder Pesach", "Lag ba Omer", "Shavuot and its Traditions" and "Closing the season". As demonstrated by the feedback received from the project participants, the participants gained new skills and experiences, for example: improved communication, self-confidence, and the ability to convey their thoughts without fear of criticism. They also made new friends and were able to be interact with like-minded peers and share their aspirations and challenges. This project had a qualitative impetus for the development of leadership qualities for the participants of the teenage club "Arayot" (Lions) where 70% of new participants, who have become active members of the club.
J-Cast - JCC Prague Podcast
JCC Prague, Czech Republic
Jewish value: Learning and Education
Being aware of the fatigue and congestion of virtual space, JCC Prague launched j-cast, an audio podcast about contemporary Jewish and Israeli issues, producing a new episode every week and reaching 6279 downloads. It is based on Libsyn and available, in Czech, on all major podcast platforms or directly on the website. j-cast already produced four series –
Jan Fingerland’s commentaries on contemporary events and topics, global and local, in the Jewish context.
Introducing the Israeli expat community to the Prague audience through interviews with Israelis in Prague led by Irena Kalhousová.
Special interviews with personalities such as the Israeli actor Sasson Gabai and Ilana Salama Ortal.
j-cast pod30 (under30) produced by Lauder Schools students Hugo Marx and Elias Gaydecka for their peers and beyond.
Currently, the fifth series on stories of the Bible is being planned.
Thus far, the responses have been very positive, both from personal feedback and via the analysis of audience data.
Club Náutico Hacoaj, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Jewish value: Tikkun Olam
Magal is an inclusion program for children with various abilities so that they are able to participate in the wide range of JCC programs. Thanks to the grant, 14 kids are participating in hadracha (counselor training) and sports programs. Along with them are 14 professionals and a new director that leads the program, working with the kids, their families, and the rest of counselors and sports professionals.
In addition, this year, the Magal team is fully integrated, working alongside the informal education team and the sports department as well, as a key strategy implemented by the new director. A total of 200 professionals received inclusion training in order to improve their service to the kids and also to encourage a more open ambiance for all.
Magal is taking part in all Hacoaj`s programming in each of its four locations.
Thanks to the grant, Hacoaj has been able to hire a new Director and train the professionals working with the kids. This has greatly enhanced the impact of Magal in 2021.