Arab fundraiser raises unprecedented funds for Israeli chari...
Arab fundraiser raises unprecedented funds for Israeli charity
As reported in the Jewish Press on June 17th, the Israeli Arab city of Kalansua held a fundraising event called ‘A Smile of Hope’ for leading Israeli disabilities organization, Beit Issie Shapiro, and their Sindian Center, which serves the Kalansua community and Arabs from across the Southern Triangle. The event is believed to be the largest fundraiser of its kind in an Arab community for an established Israeli charity, with 700 people in attendance and 300,000 NIS raised.
Disability rates are much higher among Arab children, adults, and elderly than among Jews. At the end of 2009, approximately 1.5 million people with moderate to severe disabilities lived in Israel. The percentage of disabled people within the Arab community was twice as high as in the Jewish community: 17.2% of adult Arab citizens suffered from severe disability, compared to 8.7% of adult Jewish citizens. Yet, people with disabilities in Arab society often faced great stigma.
Given this reality, a number of civil society organizations have worked to address disabilities from the vantage point of societal mainstreaming and philanthropic engagement,as well as service-provision angles. Both the Masira Foundation and Beit Issie Shaprio, for example, have engaged community leaders within Arab society to raise awareness and remove stigmas about disabilities. Moreover, organizations like Beit Issie Shapiro working in both Arab and Jewish communities leverage the issue to bring Jewish and Arabs together.
Read more about this fundraiser and the issue in the Jewish Press article from June 17th.
 Brookdale, November 2008.