I founded Myisrael in March 2008, three years after making Aliyah from London.
I wanted to create a way for the UK Jewish community and other supporters of Israel to give directly to small charities that had previously fallen under their radar. I wanted to create something without bureaucracy, something easy and direct, something meaningful to potential donors.
I always felt that my own charitable donations were too small to make a real difference. I couldn't imagine that my donation would genuinely have an impact on someone’s life and I found charitable giving to be less of an experience and more of chore. It didn’t feel very personal.
I would have liked to have known that the recipient organisation of my donation was worthy, efficient and honest... but I never bothered to research it and spent more time choosing a lipstick or a sandwich for lunch than where I would make a donation.
In fact, I was always thankful when someone sent a request for me to sponsor them in a fundraising event and although I did donate through my salary at work, I never did increase the amount when my salary rose. No one asked me to.
Coming to Israel, my approach to life changed. I had taken myself out of the commercial world in London and suddenly I was living in the Jewish homeland, a place that I had a strong emotional attachment to and that I deeply cared about. I certainly didn't want to believe that there were people in Israel without enough food to eat, women being beaten and sexually abused, immigrants from Ethiopia and Russia who were not given equal opportunities in the work place, disabled kids left without help to reach their potential. The list goes on.
I slowly realised that there was a way to help people donate to Israel in a way that was meaningful to them and that this could help them become more connected to Israel. I understood that by using my skills, passion and commitment, I could create a simple process that would help make the UK community aware of some of the social problems affecting Israeli society and offer a way for them to help alleviate them.
The concept was Myisrael and the process is the one you see before you.
It took a long time to work out the best way of evaluating projects, communicating the information effectively and raising awareness of what we do and the process is constantly evolving.
Over the last four years I have seen with my own eyes how every donation makes a difference and it spurs me on. I have watched a 12-year old child receive dental treatment for the first time and heard his relief that he is no longer in pain or embarrassed to open his mouth. His treatment cost £28 at DVI. I have witnessed the impact of sensory therapy at Gan Hayeled for Etai. He’s nine years old and has autism. His therapy session cost just £50.
This is the story behind Myisrael. With your help we will continue to support amazing work in Israel and inspire others to do the same.