Israel & Overseas

Central to the mission of our Federation is enhancing and strengthening our relationships with Jews in Israel and overseas. It is the mission of the Israel and Overseas Committee to facilitate and help define those relationships for our community.


The Israel and Overseas committee evaluates, recommends, and advocates the extent of our relationships and allocation levels to our existing international partners: the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), World ORT and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC); it also evaluates and implements existing and potential partnerships.


The committee is also tasked with researching and developing other Israel and overseas initiatives providing value-added opportunities to engage additional human and financial resources in our community. It works to maximize fundraising and marketing potential by advocating for programs and services provided in Israel and overseas by our beneficiary partners, promoting missions to Israel and overseas, connecting to other partnerships involving the Tidewater Jewish community with Israel, and promoting the centrality of Israel as an essential element of positive Jewish identity.

Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)

Since 1929, The Jewish Agency for Israel has been working to secure a vibrant Jewish future. It was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel and continues to serve as the main link between the Jewish state and Jewish communities everywhere. Today, JAFI connects the global Jewish family by providing meaningful Israel engagement and facilitating Aliyah. The Jewish Agency continues to address emergencies in Israel, rescue Jews from countries where they are at risk, and energizes young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

JDC works in 70 countries to alleviate hunger, hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Their reach extends beyond the global Jewish community by providing high-impact disaster relief and long-term development assistance worldwide.

World ORT

Beginning in Russia in 1880 to help impoverished Jews acquire skills that would enable them to become self-sufficient, ORT has been focused on improving people’s lives around the world through education for over 130 years. Today, ORT provides skills training and self-help projects throughout the world, using funds raised by its supporters, and matched by development agencies and national governments, to put people on the path to economic independence.

Neve Michael Children’s Village

Family dysfunction, violence in the home, and child abuse cause unspeakable distress to young boys and girls. The children at Neve Michael Children’s Village are either orphans or emotional orphans – children whose parents are dysfunctional and/or abusive. Funding from UJFT goes towards the Therapy Enrichment Center, which treats 280 at-risk children, ages 5 to 18 years old, from all over Israel. The Therapy Enrichment Center is divided into two major programs: the Tutorial Center and Therapy Enrichment Programs.

The Therapy Enrichment Program is the most important program in Neve Michael. Without professional therapy, the children would not be able to overcome their traumatic past. Tidewater’s generous support of Neve Michael helps bring peace, healing and love to children at risk so that they can have a chance at a brighter future.

Minds in Motion

The Minds in Motion program in Israel had a simple beginning with one Jewish school in 2010. In 2018, the program was able to serve 250 students in both a Jewish and an Arab school. The MIM Israel residency was a great success, connecting students of two very different cultures and creating a space for understanding with dance as the vehicle for change.

Students who struggle with paying attention in class or are low academic achievers are more engaged and successful in the MIM classroom. The class pairs speech and movement vocabulary with dance steps to understand one’s actions. It demonstrates that dance can create an opportunity for positive communication, changes in perception and a celebration of joy between cultures.

Pardes Katz

Located outside of Tel Aviv, Pardes Katz has been an Israeli sister community with Tidewater for over 30 years.  Over the years, the Tidewater Jewish community has supported programming and capital expansion at the Matnas (community center), early childhood programming, the creation of a dental clinic, a summer Kefiada, a Nitzanim program, programs outside the Matnas such as the Bnei Brak Therapeutic center, meals for the elderly, after school programs, and summer camp. Our efforts in Pardes Katz are currently involved in assisting the Matnas with their children’s programming, summer camp, singing group, community arts program, and learning center.

Birthright Israel - Simon Passport to Israel Fund

The vision of Taglit-Birthright Israel is to strengthen Jewish identity, Jewish communities, and solidarity with Israel by providing a 10-day trip to Israel for young Jewish people.