Every day thousands of people in Israel and Palestine work hard, take risks, and shine brightly in an effort to bring about a more just and peaceful future for everyone living throughout these ancient lands. Often their efforts are not given the attention and media spotlight they deserve. Among the organizations listed below, you’ll find many opportunities for your communities to make connections, meet peacebuilders, and get involved in the work to forge pathways of peace and justice.
Pro-Environment: Leket Israel makes efficient use of Israel’s food resources, while reducing the quantity of food sent to rot in garbage dumps. The organization is certified “Greenhouse Energy Efficient” and is carbon footprint smart.
Collaborative: 1,000+ food producers (farmers, hotels, the Israeli army and more) supply excess produce and meals to Leket Israel; the food then goes to nonprofits and schools in over 70 cities throughout Israel.
Volunteerism: Tens of thousands of people from Israel and abroad volunteer annually in Leket Israel’s food rescue activities; of these 50% are children and young adults.
Diversity: Leket Israel employs a diverse mix of veteran Israelis, new immigrants, Muslim Arabs and Bedouins, ensuring equal access to professional development and extensive social benefits.=
Food Safe and Professional: As an umbrella organization, Leket Israel supports nonprofits through nutrition education, capacity building, and food safety projects to enhance their professional standards.
Global Stewardship: Leket Israel is the Israeli representative of the Global Food Banking Network (GFN), an organization that incorporates food banks from throughout the world to share information and provide training and guidance.
Current major plans for the organization over the coming 4-5 years include: (a) To significantly expand food rescue output while striving for further cost efficiency; (b) To move to a larger logistics center to facilitate growth; (c) To continue working with government ministries to promote changes to public policy regarding food waste; (d) To continue to invest in research and become the foremost authority in Israel on food waste and food security; and (e) To further study the effects of Leket Israel’s food sourcing and provision on recipients’ general health and wellbeing.
Covid-19 restrictions, including three lockdowns, have led to negative economic growth in Israel and double-digit unemployment with 80,000 businesses declaring bankruptcy. Bank of Israel figures indicate that those most affected are the unskilled, young families, and mothers working in part time or casual positions. Unfortunately, a new stratum of the poor is developing, many seeking help from NPOs for the first time. Leket Israel’s staff has worked hard to meet the needs of Israel’s growing poor population. At the height of the pandemic’s first wave, the organization added 120 NPOs to its recipient list (53 of whom were municipal welfare agencies) and recipient numbers increased to over 200,000 people during the past year.
Leket Israel will continue to ensure a continuous flow of food to those in need in 2021. Highlights of goals for next year include: a) The distribution of 21,500 tons (47,300,000 lbs.) of produce, an estimated increase of 19%; b) To rescue an estimated 1,400,000 meals in 2021 (similar to 2020 output); c) Meal purchase will continue to supplement rescue activity with an estimated 235,000 nutritious, budget meals to be purchased for the year; d) The organization will reassess and rationalize its NPO recipient list with the goal of servicing 250 NPOs; and e) Leket Israel will continue to lobby the Departments of Finance, Agriculture, Social Welfare and the Environment, promoting food rescue as the most cost-efficient way to address nutritional insecurity.
Synagogues and Congregants:
Volunteering In Israel:
(Note: Volunteerism has resumed in limited numbers)
Our goal is to influence the Israeli public, the Jewish diaspora and the international community to work towards ending the occupation through civil and political action. We believe it is of paramount importance to understand what the occupation is and how soldiers enforce its policies in order to effectively work towards ending the occupation. Perhaps because we were part of the occupation ourselves while serving in the IDF we have been targeted by vicious campaigns by right wing groups who support annexation and believe the occupation is justified and necessary. This makes it difficult for us to reach key target audiences both in Israel and abroad who are in a position to make a significant impact on the reality on the ground.
Invite your friends, family and communities to participate in a tour to see the reality of the occupation first hand or invite us to present in person or virtually to your congregation or institution. We do occasionally do speaking tours abroad and are always looking to make an impact wherever we go but the best way to engage is to come see the reality for yourself, in person or virtually, and share the testimonies and research we publish widely especially with those who are in a position to make a difference on the ground.
Benzi Sanders email@example.com +972-52-2442-800
We are dedicating to fighting for a better future for Israelis and Palestinians where the IDF is not used to militarily occupy Palestinians. We are eager to work together with partners in the Jewish diaspora to raise awareness and to garner support for ending the occupation which in our view is fundamentally opposed to Jewish ethics.
Our goals for the upcoming months in 2021 include building power through enlarging and diversifying our membership base, and the development of a broad spread of local activist circles throughout the country. We currently have 8 local chapters, 7 student chapters, and 2 themed national chapters: The Peace Chapter that leads initiatives against the occupation and for peace, and our Climate Chapter which is leading the Israeli Green New Deal alongside other partner organizations. With over 2700 monthly sustaining members and tens of thousands of supporters and activists, we are developing effective methods for training staff, organizing members and activists, and harnessing technologies and methods to mobilize people around our campaigns in the most effective way.
As a grassroots movement, Standing Togethers’ vast majority of activities are within Israel. However, we always love to engage with organizations and individuals overseas to talk about our work, have collaborative learning sessions, and participate in panels. We also offer internship and fellowship opportunities to those interested and we see fit to work with us (remotely or physically).
Sally Abed, firstname.lastname@example.org, Relations Coordinator and elected member of the national leadership
Standing Together is the only grassroots Jewish-Arab political movement in the Israeli Left that is building methodological training in the theories of community organizing towards social change. We understand that mass protests and mobilizations are not sustainable in the long-run without building power through organizing people - otherwise, they risk fizzling out without making any impact. We also know that it is vital to build the understanding that the different groups protesting have a common interest and a shared struggle. Through our organizing, we provide people with an alternative vision, tools to lead more efficiently, and create joint actions around struggles that are shared by all of us.
Organizing to build power and create sustainable change is especially crucial today, given that we are in the midst of the worst health and economic crisis of our generation. And all the while, we are being led by the most dysfunctional government in our country’s history. We must replace this prime minister and his government, but that alone is not enough. We also have to replace the very foundations of the political and economic system in this country which have allowed an unrepresentative elite to rule through division and exploitation with no regard for us - the people who live here.
During 2019, WWP gathered advice and support from security experts and public figures across the political spectrum for its first legislative initiative, after which the Political Alternatives First bill was introduced in the Knesset, requiring national decision-makers in routine times and during emergencies (1) to examine political alternatives for resolving conflicts, in coordination with representatives from civil society, before resorting to military options and (2) to allocate time, funds and personnel for detailed examination of political/diplomatic solutions to conflicts of all sizes. (The bill’s sponsors are Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli and MK Emilie Moatti.) In 2020, WWP joined other women’s organizations demanding the inclusion of influential women in Israel’s COVID-19 Advisory Commission. In addition, WWP collaborated with Women Lawyers for Social Justice and other organizations to mark the 20th anniversary of UN Resolution 1325. In early 2021, despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic, WWP also mounted its first UN-sponsored event as part of the 65th Commission on the Status of Women after being granted permanent NGO consultative status by the United Nations. The movement is currently preparing for its most far-reaching project yet, Partners for Peace – a year-long series of collaborative Israeli-Palestinian women’s organizing, leading to a peace summit for political leaders from both sides in Aqaba, September 2022.
Members of WWP’s Foreign Relations team are available to consult with your group to customize events and projects that promote solidarity (see, for example, https://womenwagepeace.org.il/en/solidarity-events/) while suiting both your locale and target population(s). We especially seek help in promoting Partners for Peace – a year-long series of collaborative Israeli-Palestinian women’s organizing joined by women worldwide, leading to a peace summit for political leaders from both sides in Aqaba, September 2022.
In addition to the WWP website, you may want to read “Why Women and Why Now?” by WWP activist and Reconstructionist rabbi Donna Kirshbaum.
For current initiatives, recent and upcoming events such as Partners for Peace, and a glimpse of the meteoric rise of the movement, also see:
Facebook for English speakers. https://www.facebook.com/womenwagepeaceenglish
YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/WomenWagePeace, featuring brief but moving clips with English subtitles such as: