The past few months have simultaneously stopped us in our tracks and at the same time, seen us innovate faster than ever to meet the challenges presented to us by COVID-19. Many in our community are mourning and have faced unprecedented hardships. The UK Jewish community has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and yet from this same community we have also seen leadership, collaboration and innovation. UJIA are proud to play a part in these efforts.

Many of us miss a tangible connection with Israel that we can feel and touch. Many of our young people will not be able to experience the magical summer of Israel Tour. Many of us oscillate between appreciating our blessings and missing a great deal about the way life used to be.

It is in this context that UJIA has responded to the crisis by creatively adapting our efforts to strengthen the connection between our UK community and Israel. We are constantly learning and experimenting, strengthening existing partnerships and forging new ones. If you have ideas or feedback on anything we are doing, please be in touch.

We are very grateful for your ongoing support of UJIA, especially at this time. We never take it for granted and continue to work hard to fulfil our mission at this difficult time, both in the UK and in Israel.

Mandie Winston

Chief Executive, UJIA

Past events

Yom Hazikaron Tekes: UJIA led the British Jewish community in marking Israeli Remembrance Day with nearly 4,000 watching our online tekes.

Yom Ha’atzmaut Breakfast Event: Professor Dan Ariely addressed 858 people from across the Jewish community, and brought his message of positivity and motivation.

Shavuot Pyjama Party: UJIA provided a host of activities for families to have their very own ‘Pyjama Party’ at home whilst shuls are closed. We developed online and printable arts & crafts, educational, cookery, musical and Israel-based activities.

Lion of Judah event: In April and May a series of artistic-themed events were held for Lions of Judah, including Royal Sculptress Frances Segelman (herself a fellow Lion) giving a tour of her home and studio, and a talk by artist Ron Agam.

A series of three women’s events: Throughout June and July we hosted a series of conversations with inspiring women, including:

• KathyLette, bestselling author – June 22nd

• Lucy Aharish, Israeli news anchor – June 29th

• Deborah Joseph, Editor-in-Chief, Glamour magazine– July 6th

A celebration of the Israeli LGBT+ community:  two days of events July 1st-2nd, exploring the place of the LGBT+ community in Israel, a rainbow challah bake and more!

Upcoming events

Online tours of Israel from the comfort of your own home: This year UJIA was due to send over 1,200 young British Jews on Israel Tour. Now that we can’t physically be in Israel, we are making Tour more accessible than ever before.

Showcasing Israeli humanitarian work around the world, celebrating love on Tu B’Av, and more!

With Israel Tour sadly cancelled and holidays to Israel unlikely, we have launched a new £100k fund, the UJIA Summer Engagement Fund. Organisations and communities were able to apply for grants of up to £10k, for activities that will provide connections to Israel this summer.

We have worked closely to support our youth movement and Jewish schoolpartners, offering training, educational resources and helping them plan

• Our collaboration with PJ Library was a huge success. The April books, with our educational insert, went to 7,800 Jewish children across the UK, and the accompanying website had thousands of hits. The average time spent on the site was seven minutes, implying a high level of engagement with the activities

Etgar, one of our partners, ran a quiz on Yom Ha’atzmaut for families to play from home. Over 800 groups played along, from around the world

• We continue to support UJS with their programming. They have been reaching over 1,200 Jewish students with their online events and activities

• We are working with the youth movements on a range of exciting opportunities for young people who cannot go on Israel Tour this summer. Whilst nothing will replace a trip to Israel, we will be bringing Israel to them online and offline

Our online offering has been expanded to include:

Ivrit B’kef our new online Ulpan for school years 4-6. We have averaged over 30 young people every day to learn Hebrew with our Jewish Agency shlichim

JAMS Radio podcast high-quality guests interviewed by young people from our JAMS schools. Recent guests included entrepreneur Jonathan Medved, comedian Elon Gold and 5 Live DJ Nihal Arthanayake

• Hatikvah Histories – short stories about figures from the Israeli past aimed at primary school-aged young people

 

Si3, UJIA’s social impact investment portfolio, continues to provide critical support to 10 social enterprises – serving all sectors of Israel’s social and geographic periphery and driving socio-economic mobility. We are proud of Enosh – The Israeli Mental Health Association, one of UJIA Si3’s projects, for receiving a Genesis Prize Foundation grant in honour of Natan Sharansky to fund its response to the increased mental health caseload caused by COVID-19.

 

We continue working with our partners on our priorities in Israel.

• Ort Ronson Ussifiya School Refurbishment: This project will significantly modernise the school for its 500 pupils and the community

• Ort Henry Ronson Ashkelon School Project Based Learning (PBL) Centre: This will enable innovative technological studies for 1,200 pupils

• Carmiel Children’s Village: UJIA’s ongoing support positively impacts the lives and futures of 200 children and the committed staff. Construction of our fourth children’s home begins this summer and a fifth in 2021. UJIA also provided funding for laptop computers to enable distance learning during lockdown

• Zfat Academic – Nursing School: This project will ensure over 90 nurses annually complete their academic degrees and enter the workforce in the Galilee

• Western Galilee Academic College, Student Village (Dormitory Building): Planning permission has been requested and we have raised £1.9 million of our £2.4 million target for 200+ students’ on-campus accommodation

• New High School Building, Hand in Hand School, Jerusalem: Construction is on schedule for Summer 2021 completion

• Tel Hai Academic College Laboratory Building: Construction is underway for 2022 completion of a new home for the worldleading Migal Research Institute at Tel Hai and scientific research facilities for Tel Hai’s biological and life science programmes

• Ma’aseh Building, Akko: This project will provide hundreds of young people in Israel’s periphery the opportunities to develop, dream and reach their potential without limitations or prejudice

• Ma’aleh Yosef Primary School: Works have commenced for a new innovative primary school to provide cutting-edge education to 500 children in this peripheral community on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon