Forging Strong Connections with Israel

Meital Lavasi was born in Ethiopia and came to Israel at the age of one. Today at 37 she is married and the mother of three children. Meital's life was greatly impacted by United Jewish Appeal when she received a UJA Federation scholarship for a program that promotes Ethiopian immigrants in the Nursing profession.

Over the past 68 years, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto has established an exceptional bond with the State of Israel including investments in Aliyah (immigration) and absorption, vulnerable populations, education and healthcare. Through strategic partnerships, UJA multiplies donor dollars by leveraging millions of dollars from Israeli philanthropists, private foundations, and local and central government, to ensure a significant impact in all our areas of operations.


For over 80 years, The Jewish Agency has served as a link between the Diaspora Jews worldwide and Israel. In 2015/16 UJA in Partnership with JAFI:
  • Brought 31,200 new olim (immigrants) to Israel and facilitated their integration with networking as well as educational/career support.
  • Empowered over 12,000 Israeli youth at risk through the Youth Futures program.
  • Provided subsidized housing to 47,500 Israeli low income seniors and Holocaust survivors.
  • Provided over 10,000 young adults from the Diaspora the opportunity to participate in long term internship, academic and religious programs in Israel through MASA programs in Israel.


JDC is the world's leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, working in more than 70 countries to impact the lives of the world's poorest and most vulnerable Jews. JDC aims to help alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, build tomorrow's leadership among Jewish youth, and provide support to victims of global emergencies. In the past year, UJA in partnership with JDC has:
  • Assisted some 122,000 Jews living in poverty in the former Soviet Union and provided critical Emergency support for thousands of internally displaced Jews in Ukraine
  • Supported community-based Jewish renewal programs in Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as helped send 1,500 Jewish children to the international summer camp in Szarvas, Hungary
  • Aided victims of natural disasters, including those whose lives were devastated by the twin earthquakes that struck Nepal, through immediate relief and longer-term development support.

Special UJA Federation of Greater Toronto Partnerships:

In 2015/16, UJA Federation invested $2.6 million in our three partnership regions, leveraging a total of $3.8 million in matching funds from Israel, North American philanthropic foundations, and local and central government.

UJA Federation’s strategic investments in Israel have provided 1,000 children and young adults from Israel’s social and geographical periphery with new career horizons by investing in educational programs that train young people for jobs in Israel’s booming high tech/cyber industries. The benefits of these programs extend to Toronto through programs that link the Israeli schools to their counterparts in Toronto’s Jewish Day schools.


Through STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Education Program:
  • 2,541 pupils are currently involved in STEM Programs in Eilat and Eilot.
  • 2 Joint STEM programs have been set up with Elementary Schools in Eilat and Toronto
  • Increase of 20% in pupils choosing an advanced mathematics track in Eilot
Ben Gurion Campus in Eilat
  • New state-of-the-art Physics Lab has been built at Ben Gurion University campus Eilat to serve students and high school pupils
  • Over 100 students received full scholarships for BA and BSC Programs at the BGU in Eilat


Through STEEM (Science Technology Engineering English and Math) Education:
  • 360 kindergarten children are learning math through Robotics program
  • 500 elementary school children are enjoying the use of five new science laboratories
  • 200 junior high school students are benefitting from additional English classes
Netivim Young Adults Center:
  • Provides educational guidance and job counselling to thousands of young people
  • 250 Students received full college scholarships


Through STEEM (Science Technology Engineering English and Math) Education Program:
  • 780 pupils are receiving access to advance Math, Science and English programs in Bat Yam
  • 700 children are provided with field trips to science and technology centers in Israel
  • 100’s of children are participating in Cyber and Science competitions throughout the year
  • 18 young Ethiopian adults received scholarships to study Nursing