Givat Shmuel, Israel: The GSC – Givat Shmuel Community (R.A) is thrilled to accept the 2021 Initiative for Zionist Innovation Award, organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Steinmetz Herskovitz Family Fund.
For years, our community volunteers have worked around the clock to make Givat Shmuel the #1 place for lone immigrants, and our community leaders and the initiatives they create have not only helped local residents acclimate and succeed in Israel, but have gone on to influence Olim communities across the country.
“We’re honored to have been selected for the 2021 IZI award”, says David Berger, the GSC’s Executive Chair. “If there’s anything we have learned during these challenging times, it’s the value of community. The GSC was founded on the belief that an essential part of successful aliyah is feeling connected to a community, and we thank Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Steinmetz Herskovitz Family Fund for enabling us to continue strengthening and growing the English-speaking community in Givat Shmuel.”
The GSC plans to use the grant to expand the services it provides local residents, and navigate the new and existing challenges exacerbated by the global COVID19 pandemic. It will also work to expand its volunteer workforce, and invest in infrastructure and new local initiatives to ensure the community’s longevity.
“Until now, we’ve been victim to our own success,” says Dovid Levine, Board Secretary and one of the GSC’s original founders. “People would see how much our grassroots community was accomplishing with a shoestring budget and no paid staff, and assume there was nothing else needed. But there’s so much more we can do to help Olim not just stay in Israel, but thrive here, and the IZI award brings us that much closer to our goals.”
The GSC – Givat Shmuel Community is an Israeli-registered nonprofit. Founded in 2013, the volunteer-run, grassroots nonprofit helps lone immigrants – students, soldiers and bnot sherut, professionals, and young families who made Aliyah without familiar support systems – integrate into the city and Israeli society, providing the tools and support necessary to ensure their Aliyah stories are successful ones.
The Initiative for Zionist Innovation Award was launched in 2018 to empower immigrants not only to find rewarding lives here in Israel, but to improve Israeli society and leave it a better place than they found it. The grant is a joint project of Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Steinmetz Herskovitz Family Fund, led by philanthropists Marty and Pearl Herskovitz.