22 June 2010

B.Y.O.B. (Birthright on Bat Yam) - Going Strong!!!

Photos by: Michael Rajzman

With over 500 young Jewish adults coming through Bat Yam this spring and summer as part of a new initiative in conjunction with United Israel Appeal of Canada, Canada Israel Experience trips with Taglit-Birthright & Hoops 4 Israel; the social action encounters have brought new perspective and nachas into the hearts of these dynamic children of this vulnerable community. UJA Federation of Greater Toronto's sister-city for the past two years has been Bat Yam - as several fundraising and now grassroots initiatives are cropping up to bring support to the youth of this growing city.

Birthright Israel participants visiting the community within Bat Yam on June 2nd, 2010

Founder of Hoops 4 Israel in Toronto, Canada - Dave Goodman greets the kids!

The visit to Bat Yam gives young Jewish adults from Canada a glimpse into the lives of these young children who have to face significant challenges to assimilate and adapt to Israeli society. Many children living in Bat Yam have only moved to Israel in the past 1-4 years and are still going through the transition phase of life. The CIE Taglit-Birthright time with these Ethiopian-Israeli youth give them a better idea of how difficult adolescence can be during a life of transition and difficult cultural change.

Over 80 care packages were made for IDF soldiers who are stationed
away from family during their service on bases throughout Israel.

Bat Yam youth really taking to the Canadians playfulness and durability

Over 50% of these children come from families relying on social welfare services

40% of these children are categorized as 'at-risk' and 1 in 4 will drop out of high school

B.Y.O.B., an initiative to bring participants of TBI to visit the community and bring tangible goods to enhance these children's lives. If you have any of the following and would like to have them shipped to Bat Yam via CIE trips, please contact goodman@hoops4israel.com:
  • school supplies
  • musical instruments
  • sports equipment
  • gently used or new clothing

17 June 2010

Oh what a night!! Jam 4 Israel 2010

Photos by: Giordano Ciampini

On Thursday, June 10th, 2010, the Hoops 4 Israel charity hosted its first official after-party to celebrate another year of fundraising success that will wholly benefit the vulnerable Ethiopian-Israeli community in Bat Yam. Jam 4 Israel, H4I's sister-project, added another $29,000 of fundraising revenue and packed the London Tap House with over 575 attendees supporting Israel in a great time of need. Just one week prior to the party, the international media condemned Israel for the controversial decision to board flotilla filled with "humanitarian aid" intended for citizens of Gaza.

Although Israel's acts were also seen as justified to guarantee the safety of its own population and to ensure that weapons were not secretly hidden aboard the flotilla, the majority of international coverage of this happening did not agree. Widespread demonstrations demonizing Israel took place in nations around the world.

Jam 4 Israel was a timely event that demonstrated young Jews in the Diaspora coming together to celebrate Israel's right to exist and defend itself in the wake of virulent condemnation. It is for this reason that Jam 4 Israel stood for much more than just a celebration, but rather, a solidarity rally!

Event Chairs & Organizers (Top: Josh Howard, Elissa Grossman {Founder of J4I} & Dave Goodman)
Bottom: Rob Altbaum (Social Chair of Jam 4 Israel 2010)
Event Sponsors: George & Kitty Grossman and Jamie & Rami Benayon

The event showcased some home-grown talent with Keys N Krates, DJ Applescratch and DJ J.T. mixing a plethora of urban and top 40 beats and keeping the crowd bumping until after last call. Thank you to one of our event sponsors - Sole Power Productions and Magen Boys Entertainment for pulling the show together for us on such tight timelines!

Keys N Krates tearing it up (above)

DJ J.T. (below) opened the night on the tables, with DJ Applescratch - both donating their skills to the night's events for free - what mensches!

Mini Bball Shootout was donated in kind by Hart Entertainment for J4I attendees use on the rooftop patio

King David's Pizza was also donated in kind to bring in some extra fundraising revenue
for our friends in Bat Yam!

J4I Committee Member Lauren Ashley and friend Brad Silverberg

J4I meets H4I:
Elissa says: 'Who knows what can happen?'
Dave says: 'Happiness!'

A great big thank you to our event sponsors, attendees, committee members and event chairs for making the inaugural Jam4Israel a smash hit! Looking forward to upping the enterprise in 2011!!