Faith Abramowitz lives with her husband and two teenagers in Port Jefferson Station, on Long Island. While they used to feel like they were middle class and managing, because of illness coupled with rising expenses, they are now struggling — and really not making it at all, Abramowitz says.
In what is being hailed as a dramatic shift in approach at the Jewish Agency, the organization that some Israeli Arabs have viewed as out to steal their land has agreed to support the New York-based Abraham Fund Initiatives in its efforts to teach conversational Arabic and culture to elementary school children in northern Israel.
In the event of a future terrorist attack aimed at a Jewish institution anywhere in the world, a communications network being established on Long Island would contact each of the 225 Jewish institutions here — including synagogues and day schools — to alert their leadership and provide whatever guidance is necessary.
The friction between ORT Israel and the rest of the worldwide ORT organization has intensified since their split last September, with ORT Israel suing for the right to continue using its name and World ORT opening its own office in Israel, The Jewish Week has learned. “I don’t think we can have any relations,” Zvi Peleg, director general of ORT Israel, said here regarding the break with World ORT.
Faced with an operating deficit of $3 million to $4 million in the United States, State of Israel Bonds unexpectedly slashed its workforce Monday by 20 percent and closed its Long Island office along with two others, the largest cutback in its history.
Although the organization said sales would not be hurt, a source familiar with the Long Island operation insisted it would have a "major impact."
Seeds of Change, an award-winning cross-cultural program for Jewish and Hispanic youth, will be a model for the newly created Latino Jewish Council of Long Island as it seeks to strengthen Jewish-Latino relations in at least three Long Island communities, the group announced last week.
In the belief that there is an "untapped potential" in terms of synagogue volunteers who wish to help the Jewish poor in their communities but don't know how to start, UJA-Federation is encouraging its agencies to team up with synagogue volunteers. It recently awarded $750,000 to facilitate eight such partnerships.
The Jewish Communal Fund, which has consistently been the largest single contributor to UJA-Federation, broadened the scope of its support last year with gifts to UJA-Federation's fund that supports building projects.
Noting that JCF donations in the past have been used for UJA-Federation's general operating budget, JCF's endowment committee decided also to "help the network of services to the Jewish and general community by targeting specific projects," according to Lynn Kroll, JCF's endowment committee chair.
When it was created more than three years ago, the Trust for Jewish Philanthropy was seen as an innovative endeavor designed to channel significant dollars and creative ideas from some of the largest Jewish foundations into the Jewish federation network. But after achieving only limited success, its end was announced this week, a victim of economic hard times.
The announcement, made in the form of a press release Tuesday evening by its parent organization, the United Jewish Communities, came as a surprise to many.
The Peace Corps, a shining example of President Kennedy's New Frontier that was introduced in 1961, is about to be emulated by the Jewish community.
A worldwide recruitment drive for Jews ages 21 to 35 is slated to begin in November, with a pilot group of 50 volunteers expected to spend three months in Israel next summer, and then a year in two needy countries beginning in September 2001, The Jewish Week has learned.
The volunteers could be expected to do everything from providing disaster relief to working on social and welfare issues, according to program organizers.