Jewish community leaders feel so strongly that a trip to Israel should be part of every Jewish child’s education that they have set aside $1,200 to enable your child to make the trip.
Through the Milk and Honey Gift of Israel Partnership, which began in Seattle in 1998, Jewish families can ensure that their children will be able to experience Israel in their formative teen or young adult years. The Jewish Federation, through the Jewish Education Council, offers grants to families that participate in a special savings program.
The savings program is normally open to families of 3rd graders enrolled in the community’s Jewish day or religious schools. However, now through June 2001, enrollment will be extended to include families of 4th, 5th and 6th graders.
The Milk and Honey Gift of Israel Partnership is a partnership between families, the Jewish Federation and area synagogues. Families put a minimum of $150 a year, in their child’s name, into a savings account housed at Washington Mutual Bank. The Jewish Federation then sets aside $100 per year, beginning in 3rd grade and continuing through 10th grade. At Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the JFGS also presents a $500 voucher to each student, which is part of the total gift. The Jewish Federation funds are housed in a “restricted fund” to be applied to an approved Israel program from the end of 10th grade through age 23. Synagogues can participate in this partnership by contributing to their members’ Milk and Honey accounts, by making a one-time contribution at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah and/or by marketing the Milk and Honey Program to their congregation.
The Milk and Honey ensures that every participating child enrolled in the program from 3rd grade, will accrue a minimum of $2,400 by 10th grade to apply toward an approved Israel Program trip. A critical stipulation is that participating children must continue their Jewish education through 10th grade (e.g. Community High School of Jewish Studies or Northwest Yeshiva High School or high school at one of the local religious schools). The Jewish Education Council is currently working on developing other options for smaller communities where extended Jewish education options do not exist.
Enrollment typically takes place in 3rd grade. However, through June 2001, enrollment has been extended to include families of 4th, 5th and 6th graders, giving those that didn’t have the opportunity to enroll previously the chance to “catch up.” Families of 4th graders can make retroactive deposits for 3rd grade and would get the full $1,200 gift. Families of 5th and 6th graders would get prorated funds.
The Milk and Honey Gift of Israel Savings Program also opens up a whole new way for friends and family to contribute to a meaningful and purposeful gift. It can be used for birthdays, B’nai Mitzvah, Hanukkah or any celebration when a gift might be given.
Brochures are currently being mailed out to families of 3rd through 6th graders enrolled in the day and religious schools.
For further information or to request a brochure, contact Sara Lahyani at 206-441-8479, ext. 236 or firstname.lastname@example.org.