The Jewish Future Still Matters

Our annual Giving Day campaign was planned into the NCSY Israel schedule from the beginning of the year. This was going to be our second year running this crowdfunding campaign. But as coronavirus spread and halted the economy worldwide we reconsidered whether to move forward as originally planned. I spoke with NCSY Israel board members, other supporters, and fellow colleagues in Israel and abroad for advice. Some recommended canceling the campaign. “Now is a hard time to be asking for money” some said. “People are hurting.” “Many of our general donors may be without a source of income.” But there was another voice. Maybe people still care about our mission. Maybe there is a community of people who care about inspiring teen olim through passionate Judaism and religious Zionism and have the resources to contribute to the cause. Maybe people still care about the Jewish future.

So keeping in mind those cautionary comments we received, we decided to continue with the campaign. We set a modest reasonable fundraising goal of $25,000 and contacted our donor pool, parents of NCSY Israel teens, friends, and family. We were stunned by the response and support we received from our calls and emails. Within the first 9 hours of a 48-hour campaign we had reached our original goal. Apparently, people do still care. The Jewish future still matters.

We set a higher goal of $50,000, double the number we originally intended to raise, and by the end of the campaign we raised a total of over $57,000. This increased revenue allowed us to finish the NCSY Israel fiscal year without a deficit and plan for an even stronger year to come. We are now motivated and prepared to do more, to reach more teens, and to change the Jewish landscape of teenage olim in Israel.

All this amidst a worldwide epidemic and shrinking of the global economy. All this amidst the closing and downsizing of numerous companies and organizations. Because the Jewish future still matters. I have heard stories of numerous nonprofits committed to providing their services to their clients, but unfortunately without the funds to pay their staff. It is heartwarming to see organizational professionals who feel such a strong responsibility to their clients and cause that they continue their tasks on a volunteer basis even after being furloughed. However, I find it even more satisfying to focus on the group of nonprofits who are able to provide the salaries their employees deserve and have been promised. We at NCSY Israel feel privileged to be included in this group of sustainable nonprofits.

This would not be possible without the support of our donors who recognize the importance of our mission. People who see the need in investing in our Jewish future. Their support has strengthened our organization, enabling it to provide more critical social, educational, and cultural programming to teen olim. We are beyond thankful for our supporters who inspire us with their passion and commitment towards these teens. The Jewish future looks brighter because of them. And as NCSY Israel grows, we look forward to developing these and other partnership opportunities to advance our reach and impact.

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.

NCSY Israel is the premier organization in Israel dedicated to connect, inspire and empower teen olim to the Land of Israel by encouraging passionate Judaism through Torah and Tradition. Find out more at israel.ncsy.org

About the Author
Gavriel Novick, also known as Gaby, is the Director of Regional Development at NCSY Israel and the Coordinator for Machon Lev’s International Program. 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.
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