The goals of this program are to give relief in the form of groceries to Israeli families suffering economically during difficult times, to bring awareness to Americans regarding the Israeli peoples' economic situation and to illustrate to the Israeli people American Jews' commitment to standing beside them.
After seeing a moving special-interest series on the Israeli nightly news about the sharp rise in poverty among Israelis as a result of the Intafada, members of Temple Beth El felt compelled to act. With the help of Israeli newscaster and talk show personality Orly Vilnai Federbusch, Project Ezra was created, identifying families in crisis who simply need a temporary hand to support them so they may regroup and find new livelihoods. Project Ezra raises money through fundraising events, drives and promotions, and sends donations to a leading Israeli bank. Eager to get behind a project helping its people, the bank personnel have agreed to regularly set up individual, monitored accounts. Each family chosen for the program receives the equivalent of $150 per month which purchases about half a month's supply of groceries. Every donation to Project Ezra goes directly into these accounts with no money ever extracted for administrative fees. All handling and promotional costs are paid through personal donations of the board of Project Ezra. After four years, nearly 150 mouths have been fed and 120 of these have successfully returned to the working world.
As a result of Project Ezra, families are able to regain pride in themselves as they regroup, revive and return to the working world, and Americans are able to give back to Israel.
For more information on what your congregation can do to help Israel, please go to the Web site of ARZA, Association of Reform Zionist of America at www.arza.org.