Since 1993, the Gush Etzion Foundation has worked to support and strengthen Gush Etzion and its residents while raising public awareness about the history and heritage of the region. An independent, non-profit organization, the Foundation approaches donors in Israel and overseas, keeping them updated about ongoing needs and new initiatives in the area.
All contributions to the organization are immediately transferred to projects including:
- Providing financial aid and holiday food packages for needy families
- Funding and furnishing schools and other educational projects
- Creating and equipping playgrounds and parks
- Purchasing and maintaining rescue teams and security equipment
- Financing Gush Etzion heritage projects
Due to severe cuts in government funding at the same time that security needs have actually increased, assistance is needed more than ever before. While the Israel Defense Force insist that we provide security guards at every school building, the costs for this essential security measure is not within our budget. Many funds for educational and other necessities have been rerouted to cover emergency needs and we must rely on our donors to help us through this difficult time.
The economy has also been particular hit hard, we have witnessed a severe increase in unemployment, with some cases of both husband and wife being left without any income at all.
The Foundation spearheads pre-holiday fundraising drives in Gush Etzion itself for the benefit of such needy families in the region. The bulk of funds are raised outside Israel where the Foundation – a non-profit, tax-exempt organization in the U.S. – conducts a bi-annual fundraising campaign via direct mail. Most contributions to the Foundation are earmarked for specific projects.
To inspire and widen support for Gush Etzion, the Foundation gives presentations in synagogues and other communal locales abroad, builds relationships and maintains ties with major Jewish organizations around the world, and provides visitors to Gush Etzion with intensive, “behind-the-scenes” tours of the area. The Foundation maintains a website about Gush Etzion, produces informational materials and works to inspire media coverage of the region.