Our Adoption Process
We initiate the process by contacting such Israeli agencies as Atzum--our current Israeli connection--and requesting biographies of potential families. These are carefully screened by the VOT Committee. Certain criteria weigh heavily in the Committee's vetting process: a previous history of employment, financial needs beyond that provided by Betuach Leumi (Israeli national social services) and other agencies and the potential to utilize the resources Bridges can provide to best advantage. We do not have a religious, cultural or political litmus test.
So far, Bridges to Israel has adopted 7 Israeli families all victims of various terrorist attacks. Members of our group keep in constant contact with the families--usually by phone, e-mail or visits—as well as with the Israeli professionals working with them on the ground. As a result, we have developed close relationships with each family and have a really good picture of their specific needs. Some of our members are mental health professionals and thus we have insights into the emotional as well as the socioeconomic situation of the families. At a minimum, the Committee reviews each family's situation on a quarterly basis using the input of the professional(s) on the ground as well as information culled from personal contacts.
In consultation with the Israeli professionals the VOT Committee allocates funds for specific projects or needs not covered by other sources or Bituach Leumi. The VOT program is supported by your generous donations to our annual campaign supplemented by the proceeds from the sale of Israeli roses and some of our educational programs. In all we have raised over $100,000 earmarked to help the adopted families.
Israel Emergency Campaign
The outbreak of the Lebanese war in the summer of 2006 resulted in rocket attacks on Israeli cities in the north. Every major Jewish organization carried out an emergency campaign to help displaced Israelis or those who chose to stay put and survive in shelters. The Bridges Israel Emergency Campaign focused on the mostly impoverished Ethiopians in Northern Israel who fled to safety with relatives and friends near the Netanya area. The latter were already struggling economically to make ends meet and thus the large influx of others found them ill-prepared to provide even such basics as food, sleeping cots, etc. Over a period of just over one month Bridges raised over $5000 and working together with a social agency called, Ziv, all of these monies were allocated to buy scrip for food and other basic items for these displaced individuals.
The Adopted Familes
Yael Ben Chamu