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OuR Country is in A State of Emergency

About Us

Established in 1982, by Dr. David Portowicz and Col. Ze'ev (Zonik) Shaham z"l, the Institute for the Advancement of Education in Jaffa (“the Jaffa Institute”) is a private nonprofit organization that assists severely disadvantaged children and their families living in impoverished neighborhoods in Israel, including in Greater Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Bet Shemesh. 


Demonstrating our programs’ positive impact, the organization has a “Seal of Effectiveness” from Midot, a nonprofit monitoring association, and has twice received the Israeli Ministry of Education’s top prize for academic excellence. 

Group of volunteers with blue shirts "Karma, and the Rest Will Follow" and stacked rows of packed food boxes

Our work is supported by approximately 6,000 dedicated local and international volunteers throughout the year, and the Jaffa Institute is a proud past recipient of the President’s Award for Most Outstanding Volunteer Organization.

Our Vision:
To create a community in which children are nourished, educated and supported so that they become strong contributors to Israeli society.

The Jaffa Institute works to provide program participants with the educational, nutritional, therapeutic, and social enrichment they need to escape the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

image from behind of a child with a kippah doing homework in a workbook with the one on one help of a staff member sitting side by side at a childrens round table in a classroom

To address the needs of these individuals, the Jaffa Institute operates in some of the most poverty-stricken areas in Israel, where 50% of the population is impoverished, 30% regularly receive welfare services, and much of the population is unemployed. As a result of this socioeconomic distress, these areas are particularly vulnerable to crime, substance abuse, and nutritional insecurity. Consequently, many parents are unable to properly care for their children, which results in dire educational gaps, with numerous children in our service area dropping out of school before completing the 12th grade.

Each year, we reach more than 8,900 diverse individuals through 40 holistic programs.

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