Restoring Hope and Creating Educational Solutions In Israel

Operation Solidarity

ISRAEL AT WAR

MBKI Co-founder Dov Gelman has recently returned from a second trip to Israel since the massacre of October 7, 2023.

We have now entered the second phase of Operation Solidarity and have zeroed in on the humanitarian needs of the displaced residents of Kibbutz Nahal Oz and the unique needs of the children and teens with special needs of the Shar HaNegev county that was attacked on October 7, 2023.

During this visit, MBKI met with the director of welfare of Kibbutz Nahal Oz who are now housed in a kibbutz in the Lower Galilee. These residents are unable to return to their homes while the war continues because of the proximity to the border and the fact that the kibbutz has become a military base.

15 residents of the kibbutz were murdered including four children. Two fathers remain in captivity in Gaza. There are 80 children from first to twelve grade who are in need of some type of psychological treatment. 

To date, 25 children who experienced the trauma of losing a parent or sibling during the initial massacre or have a parent who remains in captivity receive animal therapy twice a week. There are three groups of 14 children who participate in animal therapy once a week. 

MBKI will help subsidize the continued animal and art treatment and expand the project to include more of the 80 kibbutz children.

MBKI will assist the kibbutz leadership in subsidizing both “Mother’s Day Out” projects monthly to give the moms a much needed break and heal in the company of their friends.

MBKI will provide a supplemental budget for two outings to a national park to further strengthen the resilience of the entire community. Subsidizing a community wide field trip includes the cost of renting buses, guides, armed escorts and food.

Cost Break down:

ANIMAL THERAPY
$125/child for two session per week or  
$500/child for an entire month 

MOTHER’S DAY OUT
$150 per mother
$470 per bus

KIBBUTZ RESILIENCE FIELD TRIP
$470 per bus (4 buses)
$190 per guide (2 guides)
$280 per armed guard (4 guards)
$3000 for food to feed over 200 people

– Operation Solidarity Update 10/15/2023


Blood Warming Machines for Tier One IDF Units

These machines will help save lives on the battlefield. IDF paramedics will use these machines for blood transfusions and stabilization of combat casualties for transport. The great thing is the machines are manufactured in Israel and are ready to ship to the units. MBKI has already given $25K.

Friends, I am in Israel right now. Allow me to present what our org is doing. We have entered into a new partnership with Israel’s Navy Seal Foundation. This org takes care of the veterans, families of the fallen and injured. You helped us with blood warming machines. That mission was a success.

THANK YOU, MISSION SUCCESS!

Tzamid Mother’s Forum for children with special needs

I am beyond excited to announce a new partnership with Dorin Oz Badichi, the founder of a new initiative in the Gush Etzion region of Judea called the Tzamid Mom’s Forum.

This grassroots project brings moms with children with special needs together monthly for special times of empowerment, camaraderie, learning, mutual support and friendship. MBKI has been heavily involved in working with special needs educators for over a decade. This opportunity to fund projects that bless these moms have ripple effects on their families. Below is an excerpt Dorin published during her Spring fundraising campaign:

“It is said that parents of a child with special needs sometimes get absorbed in caring for the special child and forget everything else. Forget other relationships. Forget the other children. Forget themselves. You make excuses like, I’ll make it up to you…today I have to go to the hospital. You live from compensation to compensation. And there is something diminishing about compensation. Because the compensation is an escape from the confrontation.

Project Title: Tzamid Mother’s Forum for children with special needs. 
Location: Gush Etzion, Israel
The need: Caring for a child with special needs is all encompassing and requires constant attention. It is common that the mother carries the majority of the responsibilities for the care of the child. Isolation and stress can wear down a mom’s resilience and lead to health issues, marriage problems and sometimes neglect of the other children in the home. 

The Forum is a grassroots initiative that exists to empower mothers of children with special needs, promote resilience and  enable a sense of connectivity and community through participant created seminars, outings and learning experiences. 
My Brother’s Keeper in partnership with the Gush Etzion Foundation has come alongside these heroic moms to provide the needed funds to expand their outreach and assure the sustainability of this world changing project. 


Ukrainian Rescue, Relief and Resettlement Operation

My Brother’s Keeper International is partnering with Chabad of Warsaw to care for both Jewish and non-Jewish refugees displaced in Warsaw, Poland and assist eligible refugees in their immigration to Israel. For more information please contact co-founder Dov Gelman at dov@mbki.org
100% of all donations go directly to housing, feeding, transportation, social, educational and recreational programs for women and children displaced by the war in Ukraine.


Liel Military Preparatory Academy for at-risk Israeli Teens

The Academy is a therapeutic residential rehabilitation program for at-risk teens from all over Israel who struggle with juvenile delinquency, drug and alcohol addiction and homelessness. Located in the remote Jordan Valley village of Gadi, 30 teens participate in a year long program that combines individual and group therapy with physical fitness, agriculture, animal husbandry and education. The goal of the Academy is to empower the teen graduates to maintain their sobriety, return to the normative path of induction into the Israel Defense Forces or National Service, strengthen their Jewish identity and become productive citizens in Israel’s society. For the participants, this is literally the last stop before they fall through the cracks of Israeli society. 

Ground breaking ceremony Jan 2023 

My Brother’s Keeper International is partnering with the Academy to build an air conditioned multi-purpose building that will house counseling rooms, classrooms, ceremonies and Krav Maga training. This project will be the largest space on the campus designed for its versatility and durability in the challenging environment of the Jordan Valley. Once we have all the funds raised the teen participants will come alongside all the trades that are hired to complete the project and help. To date, the concrete foundation and metal frame has already been constructed.

Cost: $40,000 THANK YOU PROJECT FUNDED


MAGICAL MUSICAL SPACES IN KIRYAT ARBA/HEBRON

MBKI is continuing our longstanding partnership with the special education department of the Kiryat Arba/Hebron municipality. Our mission is to remove as many obstacles as we can from the path of educators by exploring creative and innovative ways that will help them reach and teach their kindergarten students. Many people do not know that special education throughout Israel did not stop during the three nationwide COVID lockdowns. However, the economic impact on families, increasing anxiety and overall shift in how life is lived has nonetheless affected children with special needs. Shira T, one of our partner educatorsrecently wrote MBKI co-founder Dov Gelman the following:

“Dov, I want to share with you what happened in my kindergarten this year.  ***

Already at the beginning of the year I saw that the group of children is very complex and each child has separate and different difficulties from the other children.

It was hard to reach them. Each in his own world. One with communication difficulties, another with selective mutism and another with significant anxieties..and more. I was looking for a way to get to their heart, to their brain. I was looking for a way to open their senses. 

And I got it! Music !!

As soon as I started teaching them everything through music – I suddenly saw eye contact, body reactions,

The children started to express themselves – and it was very exciting !!!

We set up a small corner in the garden with lots of music

And I also built a music corner out of wood so that the music will also be in the yard and only inside the garden. (I will send you pictures)”

We want to create Magical Music Spaces in Shira’s kindergarten and use her space as a model for special needs kindergartens around the country. 

Help us help Shira unlock the children with music. Thank you so much for your consideration.

Kindergarten Adoption

We offer a Kindergarten Adoption Program that empowers educators to care for and teach their children while being fully resourced.

THE NEED

Israeli kindergartens operate separately from local municipal elementary schools. The kindergartens MBKI partners with are in low income neighborhoods or rural villages. The majority of the children come from single parent homes. As a result of their socioeconomic situation, our kindergartens are underfunded and are unable to access resources.

THE SOLUTION

Our Kindergarten Adoption Program pairs inner-city and rural kindergartens with donors in the US and Europe. Each school year MBKI’s staff conducts needs assessments with our partner kindergarten educators to identify their program goals, access to educational resources and determine financial needs.

MBKI provides supplemental budgets to our partner kindergartens that cover the costs of subsidized lunches, educational equipment, books, supplies, toys, field trips, enrichment classes and infrastructure improvement.

HOW IT WORKS

Donors are paired with partner kindergartens throughout the course of an academic school year. Your $4,000 donation is divided into quarterly payments and distributed to the educators based on the action plan designed by MBKI field staff. Donors have the ability to communicate with their adopted kindergarten and arrange a visit during the school year.

MBKI field staff designs a uniquely tailored action plan for every kindergarten, oversees the distribution of the donation, conducts fiscal compliance inspections, provides logistical support and acts as the liaison with the donor in all forms of communication.

Now is the time to invest our best efforts in the lives of the children. Now-when they are starting to bloom.

Karen Arosti ~ Principal Zalman Aran Elementary School, Jerusalem


Youth Baseball In Judea

Since 2019, My Brother’s Keeper International has been supporting youth baseball in the county of Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. Our partnership with the Efrat youth baseball league serves over 200 boys and girls aged 7 to 15 who play in three different leagues. We have committed to sponsoring two teams each season (spring and fall).  We also provide a grant to cover the cost of scholarships for any child that wants to play baseball but whose family cannot afford the registration fee. Because of generous supporters, we are also able to assist the league in helping to cover the cost of equipment replacement and field improvement.

MBKI’s teams have decided to call themselves “The Brothers.” This rally call is the foundation upon which we build character and a love for the game. In addition to learning the fundamentals of baseball, every player is exposed to the core values of team work, leadership, training hard, having fun, good sportsmanship and the love of the Land and People of Israel.

Your generosity is making a real impact in the lives of children living in rural Judea, Israel. Thank you!

2020 Division 3 League Champions

2020 Division 1 Little Sluggers


First Responders Assistance

In times of war and national crisis in Israel, MBKI has been called upon to lend a strong hand. First Responders Assistance is a program designed to mobilize MBKI’s supporters to provide critical life saving equipment to the civilian organizations and first responders in the communities throughout Israel that we operate our educational programs.

MBKI partnered with The City of Sderot, the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, One Israel Fund, Hatzalah Yehuda and Shomron and local first responder teams. MBKI Volunteers and donors in the US have supported our collaborative projects during Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009), Operation Protective Edge (2014) and the current wave of terrorism (2015- ).


Completed Programs

About Us

My Brother’s Keeper International’s mission is to restore hope and create educational solutions for children and families living in poverty and conflict zones in Israel. MBKI has been on the cutting edge of community and school-based program development and delivery since 2005.

Our basket of services are tailor-made to remove obstacles to learning that are unique to children, families and educators that struggle from the effects of urban poverty, geographical isolation and armed conflict.

The source of our success is the collaborative partnerships we have established with Israeli educators, municipal and county authorities and community and business leaders. Together with our US and European donors we are able to empower, resource and care for the most vulnerable of Israeli society, the children.

My Brother’s Keeper International is a registered 501(c)3 not for profit corporation in the United States. All donations are tax-exempt.

For more information, comments, or questions Email Us!


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