Founders and Managing Partners:
A charitable body reflecting the history, experience and identity of its founders, the Merage Foundation was established in 1998 by David and Laura Merage in support of Persian immigrants in Israel. Indeed, over the last 15 years, the Merage Foundation has been a pillar of support for the growing community – from old timers to new comers – providing educational, cultural and social opportunities to enable their full integration into Israeli life.
Since its inception, the Merage Foundation has undergone a metamorphosis from community charity to foremost philanthropic player in both Israel and the US. Guided by the vision, profound benevolence and tireless work of David Merage who sits at the helm, the Merage Foundation has helped settle thousands of immigrants from Iran - from creating networks of volunteers, assisting in the realm of employment through workshops, enrichment courses, placements and more, encouraging women’s advancement through group forums and unique events, to contributing to processes toward national and military service, which the Foundation perceives as the gateway to Israeli society. It also co-founded the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University. In parallel, the Foundation has helped the people and institutions in Israel’s peripheral South in spheres such as health, employment and housing.
Upon this backdrop, the Merage Foundation has embraced WINGS and in conjunction with the Jewish Agency, the Foundation resettles lone soldiers into Israeli society following their discharge. Harnessing its vast experience in resettling Persian immigrants, the Merage Foundation has been intimately involved in creating a holistic educational, employment and life mentoring program that empowers lone soldiers to become independent and contributing members of Israeli society. The Merage Foundation undertakes the strategic and administrative management of the program: cooperating with the IDF, managing the budget, resource development and the marketing of activities.
The Jewish Agency for Israel
Since 1929, The Jewish Agency for Israel has worked to secure a vibrant Jewish future. The Jewish Agency was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel and we continue to serve as the main link between the Jewish state and Jewish communities everywhere. This global partnership has enabled us to address the Jewish People’s greatest challenges in every generation. Today, we connect the global Jewish family: bringing Jews to Israel, and Israel to Jews. We build a better society in Israel, and beyond, energizing young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. The Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they are at risk. One key focus is ‘Lone Soldiers’ who enlist in the Israel Defense Forces without a network of family and friends to support them.
Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal
Since 1920, Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal has been at the forefront of Israel's growth and progress. Founded as the fundraising arm of the Zionist movement, its history has been inextricably intertwined with that of the State of Israel. In its early years, KH developed the economic, educational, and cultural infrastructure for the state-on-the-way. After the State of Israel was established, Keren Hayesod – UIA became one of its National Institutions; the “Keren Hayesod Law” of 1956 recognized the organization’s unique status.
Today, in partnership with the global Jewish community and Friends of Israel, and in close coordination with the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency, Keren Hayesod continues to help further national priorities. These include: rescuing Jews from places where their lives are in peril, encouraging Aliyah and absorbing new immigrants; strengthening weak populations in Israel and providing opportunity for disadvantaged youth; and connecting young Diaspora Jews to Israel and to Jewish life.
The Joseph S. and Caroline Gruss Life Monument Fund for Assistance to I.D.F. Ex-servicemen was established in 1988 After establishing itself in the field of scholarship assistance, determining its target populations and establishing the projects division, the Fund has made great efforts to increase and enhance partnerships with other agencies according to the strategic plan approved by the Board of Trustees. This enables the Fund to broaden and deepen its activities and reach many more ex-servicemen. The Fund has grown from a small organization distributing scholarships to a number of target populations to a vast dynamic body affecting the lives of thousands of young men and women throughout the country who have completed their military or national service. The Fund, whose policy is determined by its Board of Trustees, defines its goal to assist ex-servicemen to realize their ambitions and help them to become a contributing, integral part of Israeli society. This goal is achieved by defining target populations and providing services and aid to young ex-servicemen from the periphery (from development towns and rural settlements), new immigrants, lone soldiers, minority groups and those in dire economic need as well as those coming from large families in underprivileged areas.
The Fund has been making efforts in the past years to create new partnerships in order to be able to broaden its scope of activities. The Fund works closely with the I.D.F., various government ministries, municipalities, the Council for Higher Education, the Jewish Agency, The JDC and many foundations. Having gained knowledge and experience in the field, the Fund is approached by ministries, government, public and private agencies for advice and information.
The Fund makes a major effort to provide quick, efficient and courteous service to all applicants. The Fund evaluates the programs it supports and is in an on-going search to find appropriate, effective methods to realize its goals throughout the country.
Israel Defense Forces.
The Rotary Club is a worldwide, apolitical organization made up of business people and leading professionals, who undertake humanitarian, volunteer activities in the community and the world, regardless of religion, nationality race or gender.
Big Brother/Big Sister
Founded in 2003, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Israel is modeled after the veteran American Big Brothers Big Sisters organization which is considered the oldest, largest and most effective youth mentoring organization in the world. Since 2003, BBBS has been making a significant contribution to lonely children and teens, many of whom are pre-risk and at-risk. These Little Brothers and Sisters are matched with dedicated, adult volunteer mentors (Big Brothers and Sisters) who meet in order to achieve a warm, supportive and long-lasting relationship.