“Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it?” Isaiah 43:19 (The Israel Bible™)
In a historic move to push tikkun olum to a whole new level (the Biblical dictate to do good in order to help repair the world), a unique month-long crowdfunding campaign was launched last week on Israel’s 68th Independence Day.
The campaign, called iAmIsrael, is the brainchild of Joseph Bornstein, founder and CEO of CauseMatch. “Crowdfunding, where websites are set up for people to donate to specific causes, has become a new and powerful platform for nonprofits to fundraise in a more effective way,” explained Bornstein to Breaking Israel News. “CauseMatch raises funds specifically for social causes and takes crowdfunding up a notch by having every donation matched by philanthropists. This doubles the amount of money raised. We don’t just call it philanthropy. We call it smart philanthropy.”
Eighteen of Israel’s most respected charities have united in this collaborative campaign geared towards strengthening Israel by supporting organizations which help to make the Holy Land flourish. “Israel’s Independence Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices so many people made for the state to exist,” continued Bornstein. “The variety of causes in iAmIsrael represents a rainbow of outstanding Israeli organizations.”
Participating organizations span a wide range of charities doing remarkable work. Causes include Birthright Israel Foundation, which brings young people to the Holy Land for a first-hand experience, and Dream Doctors, which trains and supports medical clowning. Zichron Menachem helps cancer patients while Shurat HaDin fights terror in courts of law. The Israel Bible seeks to publish the first-ever Bible with commentary focusing on the Land, the People and the God of Israel – and there are many more.
“The variety of causes represented by iAmIsrael demonstrates the dedication of the Jewish people in the Land to help and improve Israel and the world,” Bornstein said. “Through the campaign, donors can contribute to any charity closest to their hearts or donate to all of them.”
By clicking on any organization shown on the iAmIsrael site, one can watch a short descriptive video about the charity and how donations will be used. There is also a visual showing how much fundraising time is left, as these campaigns are “all-or-nothing”, meaning that if the goal is not reached by the end of the campaign, all donations are returned and the charity does not benefit. The iAmIsrael campaign ends on June 9th.
“We are about one-third done with this month-long campaign and have already raised nearly $430,000 for these worthy causes,” Bornstein excitedly noted to Breaking Israel News. “Part of the success of the CauseMatch system is that it allots smaller donors an arena to donate whatever they can and have even humble donations double their positive impact on Israel and its future.”
That fact that 18 charities were chosen to participate is not random. In Hebrew, the number 18 stands for chai, a Hebrew word meaning life. “Every iAmIsrael organization seeks to give a better life to the people they help,” continued Bornstein. “Additionally, these organizations are the ambassadors for the true values of life in the Jewish homeland.”
Rabbi Tuly Weisz, CEO of Israel365.com and creator of The Israel Bible, was quick to participate in this opportunity, which is uniting diverse groups of people and organizations for the greater good and spreading knowledge about the vital and creative work of so many Israeli nonprofits. His own campaign has reached nearly 80% of it’s goal thus far and has the highest number of backers.
“The purpose of The Israel Bible is to join people of all denominations by highlighting the most central aspects of the Bible; the Holy Land, the People and the God of Israel,” told Rabbi Weisz to Breaking Israel News. “The iAmIsrael campaign is in line with our goal since it is uniting people to support and strengthen important projects which emphasize some of the best Israel has to offer.”
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