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Yokneam’s “Shark Tank” Projects are Up and Running

By July 30, 2021COMMUNITY, GLOBAL JEWRY

Inspired and influenced by years of financial support from the Atlanta and St. Louis Federations, Yokneam and Megiddo are taking bold steps to create their own fundraising infrastructure. The communities plan to launch the firstever Yokneam Community Fund, providing a charitable giving platform for companies and individuals to financially support innovative local initiatives. The goal is to empower individuals and local businesses to take an active role as philanthropists, and to empower local groups to create their own programming. 

Here’s a rundown of community-driven projects that were recently green-lighted following a “Shark Tank” style competition. All are adding to the quality of life in our Partnership region.

  • Gaia Club for Upcycling — Gaia Club for Upcycling is a community club operated by volunteers that will create a “store” for second-hand clothes and accessories for children and babies, as well as subsidized social rental of large equipment, such as construction equipment, gardening, and camping. It will be run by volunteers and will also operate a social club to empower retired women.  
  • Shed Sherut — The Shed Serut will be a unique logistic basis for equipment such as paints and painting tools, gardening tools, work tools (for small repairs) and more. The Shed Sherut will be used and operated by Rikma’s Shnat Sherut (gap year) volunteers.  
  • Social Kitchen — Social Kitchen provides home-cooked meals and groceries for needy families. Families within the community cook and provide food to needy families whose condition has worsened with the pandemic and who are not currently receiving welfare support. 
  • Kibbutz Megiddo — During their Bar Mitzvah year, 12- and 13 year-olds are volunteering for a community social project in Kibbutz Megiddo. Taking an unused corner of the settlement, they will create a green corner to be used for both young and elderly members of the community. These age groups suffered from COVID-19 more than most of the others. For the elders, the isolation and loneliness took a toll on their mental and physical health, and this year four of the community members passed away. This corner will be a meeting place for the elderly members of the community, and at the same time this will be a place of interaction with youngsters who will volunteer there. In addition, a community vegetable garden will be added, where both age groups will work together, and the vegetables will be given to those in need in the community.  

Shomrei Hanachal (Guards of the Stream) — The COVID-19 crisis struck many people around the world, and especially young retirees who stopped almost all their activities and became socially disconnected. This project will help young retirees to see the possibilities in the crisis, to think outside the box, and to engage in groups that can enhance feeling of belonging, being meaningfully active and influential through inter-generation activity.