Help provide medical care, education, and mental health services for those affected by violence in Israel and Africa.
As a member of JCTF, I attended a number of incredible workshops about worthwhile causes. When the entire board gathered together, we discussed which causes we were most interested in focusing on for the year. One cause elicited far more emotional reactions than the others- the people recovering from Civil War in the Congo. When we heard about the horrific things happening there, we were floored. Women and Children especially have been targeted. Three-fourths of the world's rape happens in the Congo, and almost one in every three women or girls has been attacked, raped, or mutilated. We decided that we wanted to help these people, including victims of rape and former child soldiers.
Interestingly, we have been studying the Congo in school in terms of how imperialism has affected it. I came to an even deeper understanding of what the war in the Congo means. This country has been deeply destabilized for decades, and the war is not only a result of present conflict but of struggle with the horrific past. This information has helped me understand that there aren't good guys and bad guys in this war, there are just people who have been devastatingly hurt, their lives ripped apart by violence.
As a Board focused on approaching philanthropy with Jewish Values, we also have a responsibility to help struggling Jewish communities. We saw parallels between people who have been affected by civil war and people who have been affected by terrorism in Israel. Both parties have been psychologically, if not physically, scarred. They need support. After a lot of discussion, the board came to a consensus about our mission statement for the year.
The East Bay Jewish Community Teen Foundation will fund organizations that provide rehabilitation to people affected by violent conflict in Africa and Israel through medical care, psychological services, and educational opportunities that promote self-sufficiency.
Please help these people rebuild their lives after violent conflict.