Advocacy in Israel: MAZON visit July 14, 2013
Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO and Mia Hubbard, Vice President of Programs are in Israel, meeting with our grantees and gaining a deeper understanding of hunger in Israel. Follow along on their journey!
Today, Mia and I joined C & K Hecht Consulting to meet with three grantee partners, each of which focus on food insecurity needs of a particular population in Israel:
- Yad Ezra V’Shulamit – Orthodox community, particularly children
- Ezrat Avot – Elderly
- NACOEJ – Ethiopian Jews
All three of these partners are passionate and compassionate providers of essential services to communities facing real needs. It also became clear that the needs of each community are evolving, growing and becoming ever more complex. This complexity seems to mirror the food insecurity issue as a whole in Israel.
Each agency is meeting the immediate food needs of children, seniors and immigrants, and while each aspires to engage the government in their efforts, their optimism about succeeding is limited. In Israel, these organizations, their leaders and their communities have much closer access to policymakers than may be the case in the United States. Yet, even with such access, they are rebuffed all too often as the Knesset (the legislative branch of the Israeli government) struggles with competing demands and tightening budgets.
Daily struggles and successes consume these tireless community service providers. The desire to think beyond those immediate concerns – to find time to create and implement a comprehensive vision for ending food insecurity in Israel —remains a hope. But for the present, it’s out of reach.