Israel & Overseas
Our story begins with the Montreal Jewish community's tremendous ongoing and generous support for Israel.
Israel & Overseas (I&O) has both a local and overseas committee. Together, we have created a true partnership or mifgash. We act as a bridge to support the needs of Jews living in Montreal, Be'er Sheva, and the B'nei Shimon region in Israel as well as various Jewish communities overseas.
Our goal is to support programs that have growth potential and sustainability and that include real time spent in our partnership regions to help foster lifelong bonds between participants across the regions.
Every year we accept applications to fund programs that bring Jewish groups together both locally, in Israel and overseas. We support programs for entrepreneurs and seniors, as well as professional internships and creative cooperative programs that link Montreal school-age children with students in schools in our partnership regions—and so much more.
Partnership2Gether "P2G" Programs
Partnership2Gether works to strengthen the bond between twin cities - specific regions in Israel and Jewish communities in the diaspora. Montreal's partnership region are two cities in the Negev, Beer Sheva-Bnei Shimon.
The goals include providing historical perspective, immersive experiences, and creating authentic engagement with Israel, and encouraging local pride for residents of Beer Sheva-Bnei Shimon, as well as Montrealers
CBB Madrichim Mission to Israel
The Camp B'nai Brith Madrichim Mission to Israel aims to create a mifgash among CBB's senior campers (S.I.T.s) and The Leadership Together youth program in Be'er Sheva/B'nei Shimon. The SITs travel to Israel at the beginning of the summer to begin the experience together then return back to Montreal to spend the rest of the summer at camp.
CSUQ Bar Mitzvah Mission
The CSUQ Bar Mitzvah Mission mobilizes a team of volunteers to organize Bar Mitzvahs for vulnerable children, orphans, or underprivileged families in Be'er Sheva who would otherwise not be able to cover the cost of a Bar Mitzvah celebration.
CSUQ – Leadership Development Program
The CSUQ's Leadership Development Program is a two-year program. Participants learn to be change agents, managefundraisers, preparing presentations do volunteering, and enhance their Jewish identity.
In year two, an exciting trip takes place that is aimed to strengthen the participants' connection to their heritage and community involvement. The trip visits historically significant sites in Spain and Israel that have marked the identity of Jews from the 15th century to the present day.
Yachad is an Israel Experience trip that brings Sephardic youth from Montreal to Israel. Participants have the opportunity to volunteer in the community and take part in various activities with their Israeli peers in our sister cities of Be'er Sheva/B'nei Shimon..
TOV Teen Mission
The TOV Teen Mission brings students in Grade 9 from Montreal to Israel to complete their community service hours, while fostering a deeper connection to the country. Students have the opportunity to learn about a country and their people is to meet with their most vulnerable and take the time to make a difference.
YCC Teen Mission
The Jr. CIT (Counselor in Training) program offers campers who completed grade 9 the best of both worlds. YCC campers spend three weeks at the Y Country Camp followed by three weeks in Israel. The trip includes both fun and educational activities around the country ncluding a week in Be'er Sheva with home hospitality.
Diller Teen Fellows
The Diller Teen Fellows program is an immersive leadership program inviting a select group of Jewish 10th and 11th graders from around the world to, lead their communities and repair the world. This is done through monthly workshops, Shabbaton (weekend retreats), a visit from the Israeli teens to their overseas peers, and a summer experience that brings all students together in Israel.
The depth of the program, global engagement, and a focus on experiential learning creates an enduring impact on participants and their families, building leaders with the power to change the world.
Onward Israel is a multi-faceted experiential six-week program in Be'er Sheva, where participants are immersed in Israeli culture through an internship program. The participants live together in apartment-style housing and are set up with internships within the Israeli community that match their interests and career goals.
One of the goals of Onward Israel is to maximize opportunities for cross-cultural immersion, a feature that is highly prized by employers and academic institutions. The group gets to explore the country through educational seminars, visiting diverse communities and cultures representative of the State of Israel. The trip takes place in Be'er Sheva, specifically to strengthen our connection with our sister city, and the participants are matched with a group of local Israelis to maximize the connection and immersion into society.
Israel Engagement Shinshinim program
The program is made up of a group of Israeli leaders called Shinshinim. ShinShinim are participants in 'shnat-sheirut', an Israeli Service Year Program that places Israeli high school graduates in Jewish communities abroad for a year before enrolling for their military service.
This is a volunteer program that encourages interaction and peer to peer engagement among young Jews around the world. It enhances the connections, knowledge, and foundations for Israel and its people, in the diaspora.
The program provides meaningful local opportunities for Jewish Montrealers of all ages to learn about and experience diverse aspects of Israel and it's people through a variety of unique experiences and learnings created and facilitated by Israeli emissaries (Shilchim).
Israel and Overseas, has supported through its direct portfolio a variety of new and innovative projects focusing on three main fields: Arts Culture & Creativity, Healthy Lifestyles & Wellness, and Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, Math (Steam) education. The goal of this strategic focus is to increase the vitality, quality of life, and attractiveness of Beer Sheva and Bnei Shimon to attract and retain its current and future upwardly-mobile residents.
Negev Now Network (NNN)
NNN is a network of volunteers and professionals of each Federation. The network serves as an innovation lab to create beta sites for testing the feasibility of innovative ideas to strengthen the resilience of the Negev. NNN supports the development of platforms that promote capacity building, healthier lifestyles, community events, and revitalization of public spaces. These programs increase the sense of community and local pride among the residents of the Negev, provide them with new capabilities and social offerings, and enable the engagement of new partners in the region.
JDC Ukraine Overseas Program
Montreal's support for elderly Jews in Northeastern Ukraine helps provide food, medicine, homecare assistance, social activities, warm clothing, and heating for thousands of impoverished elderly in the Ukraine.
The goal of the program is to enable children to gain hands-on experience through courses that emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM). Courses offered include photography, cyber, Young Doctors, robotics, and architecture. At the end of the school year, a robotics competition is held, as well as a photography and architecture exhibit, at which students display their work from the year.
Creative Placemaking Course BGU
The Creative Placemaking (CPM) workshop introduces students to the theory and practice of creative place making. The students assist in projects, which are assigned by local Negev activists. They conduct background research, develop operative ideas and, finally, assisting with onsite work or conducting an onsite simulation. Lectures are held to enrich students knowledge about culture based upon urban renewal strategies, which are augmented with field trips to various activist initiatives and CPM programs in other cities.
Social Workers Training
This program is for social service department managers, social workers, and community members to identify opportunities in the absorption of new residents in communities and to promote active residency by digital means.
Participatory Citizens Budget Be'er Sheva
The first project of its kind in the city of Be'er Sheva, that is planned and executed in full partnership with neighborhood residents. It includes mapping community requirements, meetings to enable public involvement, and consideration of future public-space projects to meet neighborhood needs. Selected projects will be carried out by neighborhood residents under the supervision of municipal project coordinators. Through this initiative, the local authority wishes to formulate and develop long-term "active residence" and to strengthen ties with residents.
Youth Futures Health Promotors Bedouin Program
This program encourages at-risk children and their families who participate in Youth Futures to maintain a healthy lifestyle through fun and educational activities. These activities are centered around nutrition, exercise, hygiene, emotional health, and other aspects of physical and mental wellness. The program recruits Youth Futures children and families to serve as "Peer-to-Peer Ambassadors" who share their knowledge and experiences which extends their impact to the entire community.
Youth Futures Health Promoters: Be'er Sheva program
At Mitzpe School, 32 Youth Futures children from grades five and six were selected to be the first "health ambassadors" of the program. The children are currently participating in an in-depth course with activities that focus on engaging the children in a healthy lifestyle.
After learning about a topic, the children volunteer in the community with the goal of promoting healthy lifestyles through the volunteer activities that they choose. Some of these activities include volunteering at a local non-profit, taking care of vegetable gardens, and packing and distributing food to needy families.
The Fringe in the Community – Beyond the Generation
This project will bring theatrical activities and make theater accessible to a new kind of population. The Fringe Theatre will reach the disadvantaged neighborhoods for the purpose of formulating identity and strengthening the neighborhood narrative through the tools of theatre. The theatre workshops, which are free and open to people of all ages, will be given by the Fringe Theatre actors, and will focus on the neighborhood's stories with an emphasis on "from generation to generation". The idea is to make the concept of theatre accessible to various communities in Be'er Sheva.
Based on the successful model developed in the "Bet" neighborhood in 2015, this program expands the desire and increases civic involvement by increasing the quality of life for young adults in additional Be'er Sheva neighbourhoods. Guiding a local coalition of residents and organizations active in the "Gimel" neighborhood, there will be a focus on creating local initiatives and projects that inspire more residents to take an active part in shaping their neighborhood through placemaking, activities that invite residents to open their homes to neighbours, and other participatory initiatives.
Placemaking for All – Artists and Everyday Residents
This program is intended to promote placemaking to improve the aesthetics and community atmosphere in Be'er Sheva. A coalition of residents will learn how to create placemaking projects to make public spaces of the Old City more dynamic and friendly. The coalition will learn from local artists and entrepreneurs, working closely with the artistic community. The course will provide the professional tools to carry out projects, as well as practical skills such as marketing, promotion, resource development, and how to gain approvals from city officials for projects.
B7 Health Season
This program aims to implement and develop an active neighbourhood network by promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. The model is based on a holistic view of Neighbourhood "Gimel", with a systemic vision that considers the potential of the population and organizations that are already functioning in the neighborhood. It focuses on connecting various activities, municipality departments (education, engineering, innovation, environment, etc.), health authorities, academia, as well as public and philanthropic organizations.
BGU- Healthy Placemaking Course
The Healthy Placemaking course has been offered in the last six years by the School of Public Health at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, in partnership with the NEGEV NOW coalition, to promote health and well-being for people and communities living in the Negev.
Students attend lectures, take field trips and learn about a variety of disciplines and subjects about healthy placemaking and health promotion principles. Subjects include public health, health inequalities, food security, active lifestyles, and community intervention regarding health promotion. Students enroll in community projects where they will implement their studies and co-operate with interdisciplinary representatives from the local municipalities, social services, and NGOs.
Active classroom "movement-based learning" is a program that assists schools in creating a system of encouragement for students and their families to move to an active and healthy lifestyle using techno-pedagogy. During the first semester, were trained in the program for advancing a healthy way of life through a combination of physical activity during their classes in varied disciplines.
AMIT Junior College
The new "AMIT Elaine Silver Junior College" will fill an important gap in the south of Israel by offering young men and women the opportunity to further their education and become computer technicians. The students study in a post-secondary framework, known as Grades 13 and 14. After two years of study, graduates are certified in computer networking and can continue on to a BA degree or to achieve significant employment in the field of computer networking.
The "StudioLab" engages children in subjects that interest the local community by using scientific and digital creative tools. The goal is to increase their sense of belonging and connectedness to the community around them. Children in the program study a topic concerning their local community, and learn how to break it down into a story that includes their personal take on the issue. They then express it to their community using digital media (e.g., animation, 360 videos, augmented reality).
The Israel & Overseas committee is a collaborative team of diverse professionals who work cross-border between Montreal and Be'er Sheva with a shared love for Israel and a deep commitment to strengthening the bond between the twin cities of Beer Sheva/B'nei Shimon and Montreal.
Our committee receives and reviews proposals from different organizations who request funding, and we evaluate the proposals to determine if they meet the required criteria and goals. We also seek out "forgotten" Jewish communities overseas that are struggling and in need of financial assistance to help maintain a sense of "Jewishness" in their lives.
Our Montreal committee meets approximately eight times per year, and we have virtual meetings with our Israeli counterparts. Once a year, we meet together in either Israel or Montreal for a three-day steering committee conference.