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Impact Scholarship

 

Israel is a tale of two countries. The major cities – Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, even Beer-Sheva, thrive. They have been part of an economic miracle as Israel takes its place as a major hub of technology and innovation. Other cities, places like Sderot or Tiberius, have been left behind. Those cities experience more poverty, more drug use, and less education and opportunity. Yet no matter where you live, you still serve in the military.

Young Israelis serve their country. Then some of them go to college and return back to major urban centers where they live lives recognizable to us in Silicon Valley. Indeed, many of them move to this area for some period of time and we see them at the OFJCC or at Kol Emeth. Others, however, return to their developing cities and remain shut off from opportunity and education.

Friends of the IDF, a US based charity that cares for Israeli soldiers in a variety of ways including things like winter coats and Purim gift baskets, started a program called Impact Scholarships designed to offer a kind of GI bill to Israeli’s after their military service. It targets young adults who would be the first generation in their family to go to college, people who grew up in developing towns away from the
opportunities of Start Up nation. The program endeavors to open up opportunity to Israelis otherwise trapped in a cycle of poverty.

I love the idea of caring for people who have offered their service, and of helping to democratize opportunity in the land of Israel. I am moved by the notion of helping Jews from Arab lands and other locations that have never had the economic opportunities of Ashkenazi Jews to study and enrich their own communities. In consultation with the Kol Emeth board, we have decided to take on one such
scholarship.

Kol Emeth is committed to raising $20,000 over the next four years. We will learn who our student is in the next few weeks. I am hoping we can immediately fund our first year’s commitment on the same day we learn who we will be supporting. The clergy team – me, Rabbi Graff, and Sarah Miller, have agreed to guarantee the gift. We are asking for all of you to be our partners in helping an under privileged Israeli get a college education.

I will have more information about our student in the coming weeks. For now, I invite you to make donations to my discretionary fund with “Impact Grant” indicated in the donation. Soon, I will share more and introduce our student to the community.

All three of us are committed Zionists always looking for ways to build Israel. Several years ago, Kol Emeth helped build a hospital in the Negev. Over the next few years, we want to be partners with a young student in getting a college education and all the opportunities that will offer. I was grateful for your help then and hope you will be moved to be partners with us now. 

May Hanukkah be filled with light and hope as we do our part in building the State of Israel by offering health and education to all its people.

Warmly-
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi David Booth

Sun, February 5 2023 14 Shevat 5783