Gavriel Novick

NCSY Israel Still Matters

On June 17th and 18th we held our annual NCSY Israel Giving Day, a needed fundraising campaign to support the programs and activities of NCSY Israel and to enable its growth. We increased our goal to $150,000, compared to last year’s $120,000, hoping to fund significant expansion planned for next year.

We were warned before the campaign. “People are dry,” a colleague told me. Everyone has already given their charitable funds to war-related efforts. Internally we have been understaffed this past year due to the war, and still have staff members in the IDF reserves. Should we adjust the campaign to a less ambitious goal, or cancel it altogether?

But throughout the war and despite all the logistical challenges it brought, we maintained our regular NCSY Israel programming. In November, just a month after the war broke out, we brought together close to 100 teens from across the country for a needed meaningful night of song and unity. In December, almost 200 teens joined us for our Regional Shabbaton in Kfar Etzion, despite terror attacks that took place during the week leading up to the Shabbaton, and hearing rockets nearby on Shabbat itself. We have done our best to not let challenging situations cancel our program. Why should our fundraising campaign be any different?

We proceeded with our Giving Day as planned. We created a video to highlight the impact of NCSY Israel both before and during the war. By the end of the campaign, after many hours of calls, texts, and emails to our supporters, we fundraised beyond our goal securing over $153,000 for NCSY Israel.

We were blown away. The overwhelming response from our supporters was filled with positivity and appreciation. Families that were so busy and effected by the war still found the time and money to contribute to NCSY Israel. Donors that had already given large sums to other Israel causes still found it important to give to our campaign.

I was reminded of my first year working at NCSY Israel. It was 2020, when the world shut down from the coronavirus epidemic. The same thoughts went through our heads in planning our campaign. Should we really do this now? Will people still have the means to donate? With support and encouragement, we decided to proceed with the campaign and within 9 hours of the 48 hour campaign we met our goal. By the end of the campaign, we raised more than double what we had intended and thought we could under the circumstances.

We were similarly blown away back then, and I wrote an article at the time titled “The Jewish Future Still Matters.” I certainly feel that to be true once again this year. But another realization occurred to me as well. The continued success and support of NCSY Israel is not just a proof that the Jewish future still matters to the world. It is a proof that we at NCSY Israel are impacting, improving, motivating, and inspiring the Jewish future. NCSY Israel is focused on this important mission. We are guiding the next soldiers in the Israeli army, the next leaders of communities and organizations, the next generation to impact the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

I will conclude the same way I had 4 years ago as it is still so relevant and true:

“So, we end our programming year at NCSY Israel with a drive to do more. We conclude this year with excitement about the year to come and with the resources to expand our efforts. Indeed, from our viewpoint, not only does the Jewish future still matter but it has never looked so promising.”

Photo credit Yoni Mugrabi
About the Author
Gavriel Novick, also known as Gaby, is the Director of Development at NCSY Israel, the only youth movement in Israel specifically serving the English-speaking teen population. Gaby has worked in development positions for a number of years, previously at Shalem College in Jerusalem and Perry David Associates, a nonprofit consulting agency in New York.