In April, the State of Israel celebrated 70 years of Independence. The only democracy in the Middle East, the country and its citizens are exemplars of rights activists. There are many non-profit organizations, teeming with dedicated volunteers who will stop at nothing as they advocate for and accommodate those who would otherwise be turned away (or worse) elsewhere in the world.
To honor Israel’s 70 years of Independence and rights advocacy achievements, Haaretz Labels is highlighting the country’s greatest non-profit organizations that work day in and day out to secure a promising future for minority groups or all genders, religions, affiliations and even animal-breeds. While these organizations may differ in the populations they address, their overall mission is unified: a safe, equal and fruitful future for lovers of Zion, regardless of their background or means.
The breakthrough work these organizations accomplish through sheer persistence is remarkable. To continue contributing the country’s many minority groups in need and improving the way Israeli society acts and interacts with one another, with no gain to the organizations themselves, charitable funding is desperately needed. This Giving Tuesday, contribute to a charity that advocates for the rights of a group you feel most connected to, and help improve the quality of life of those who love Israel like yourself (and their furry friends).
Rabbis for Human Rights
Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) is the only rabbinic organization in Israel that is dedicated to advocating for human rights. The organization and its volunteers are driven by Jewish tradition, which states that “Beloved are all human beings, for they are created in the Image of God.” (Psalms of the Fathers, 3:18), as well as by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As such, over 100 Israeli rabbis and rabbinical students from different religious streams and backgrounds volunteer to give voice to those suffering from human rights violations in Israel: the stranger, the different, the weak, the convert, the widow and the orphan.
Through its various activities, RHR seeks to inform the Israeli public of any human rights violations, whilst pressuring the government and State institutions to address and correct them accordingly. These activities include providing legal and agricultural aid in Palestinian Arab communities, leading human rights education programs in post-secondary and university settings and advocating for policy combating poverty and food security in Israel. HRH also assists hundreds of individuals obtain socio-economic rights at their Hadera Rights center, works closely with the Jahalin Bedouin communities on the outskirts of Jerusalem and engages in interfaith work - panels, activism and joint prayer & studies.
Anonymous for Animal Rights
Anonymous for Animal Rights (Anonymous) was established in 1994 and is currently Israel’s leading organization promoting farm animal rights and welfare and fighting exploitation across the country. The non-profit organization uses innovative approaches and strategies to change the harsh reality in which Israel’s animals are breeded, raised, housed and slaughtered, with sights set on championing animal rights on a global level.
Over the years, Anonymous has led many successful campaigns to create and modify animal rights legislation. The organization launches undercover investigations to expose routine cruelty and abuse inflicted upon animals in slaughterhouses and factory farms, broadcasting their findings on prime time television and using them to stop force-feeding, ban inhumane practices and more. Anonymous also runs human education programs for over 20,000 middle and high school students each year, inspiring participants to lead more animal-friendly lives. And their Challenge 22+ program provides support for people who want to try a plant based diet. Anonymous’ activities are funded by donations, mostly from private individuals. The non-profit organization relies on these contributions to expand their activities aimed at putting anto end the suffering of hundreds of millions of helpless animals each year.
There are many Jewish community centers in cities around the world, but none are quite like the Marlene Meyerson JCC in Manhattan. Open to all members of New York City’s Jewish faith, as well as to those from diverse backgrounds who wish to attend their programs, the JCC creates a warm community that allows for opportunities for people to connect, grow, and learn within an dynamic, Jewish landscape. JCC Manhattan imagines Jewish life as a diverse environment, within which members engage meaningfully with its values, culture and ideas, while taking part in the JCC’s many activities. From its pre-school and early childhood activities, year-round after-school programs and summer camps, to creative health, wellness, social/volunteer, religious and zionist programs for adults and senior citizens, JCC Manhattan has something for everyone, keeping all members of New York’s Jewish society engaged and involved.
Committed to redefining the meaning of Jewish life in the 21st century, JCC Manhattan operates according to seven core values. JCC serves as a model of modern Jewish society, strives to helps all members reach their full physical, intellectual and spiritual potential and espouses a broad and inclusive view of Jewish life and family. The organization additionally engages in meaningful actions to give back and support one another, provides access to Jewish culture and its exploration, creates an inclusive and accommodating environment for people of different backgrounds and abilities and embraces Israel and zionism into the fabric of everyday life.
Inspired to contribute to the awareness and advocacy for human rights in Israel (and abroad)? Donate now and make Giving Tuesday a day of inclusion and appreciation.