According to numbers collected by the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million charitable organizations operating within the United States alone. If expanded to a global scope, accurate numbers are impossible to estimate.
Given the vast number of options, individuals wishing to make a monetary contribution to an impactful charity program may find themselves struggling to narrow their options. For those seeking reputable international charities (especially initiatives that serve the Near East), Shiloh University founder Gary Hargrave has compiled the following list of organizations which, through the contributions of Hargrave Ministries and other generous donors, are able to provide relief and support to Israel’s most vulnerable. They also collectively preserve the nation’s history and environment.
1. IDF Widows and Orphans Organization
Commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal, IDF Widows and Orphans Organizations delivers support and care to the wives and children of Israel Defense Force members who have died while defending Israel.
Among its many forms of support, the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization also fosters a valuable sense of community and source of compassion for families who have experienced loss by participating in significant life milestones. In supporting these struggling families, IDF representatives attend Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and other significant events. The organization also extends companionship to impacted individuals and families who might otherwise spend the High Holidays isolated and alone.
All donations to the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization (including those collected by Hargrave Ministries) go directly towards providing financial assistance and support to the widows and orphans of Israel’s fallen soldiers.
2. Yad Eliezer
Gary Hargrave relates poverty as one of Israel’s most central problems. As the nation’s most expansive poverty relief initiatives, Yad Eliezer regularly facilitates 20 economic and social services programs that provides food supplies, basic necessities, baby formula, clothing, school items, rehabilitative programs, and social support to Israeli families stricken by poverty and/or tragedy. Given that Israel suffers from a poverty rate of around 21%, Yad Eliezer’s initiatives are essential in delivering relief to the nation’s most unfortunate.
The organization collectively delivers 72,880 boxes of food annually and feeds more than 2,000 malnourished infants on a monthly basis. In addition to these resource provisions, Yad Eliezer also offers juvenile mentorship and career training programs which seek to give individuals and families the tools they need to effectively end Israel’s poverty cycle. The organizations contributions are made possible largely through overseas donations such as those provided by Hargrave Ministries.
3. International Christian Embassy Jerusalem: Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors
As highlighted by Gary Hargrave, over one-third of all holocaust survivors living in Israel are impoverished, ill, or leading isolated lives as they age. Stirred to create a warm, supportive environment for these revered elderly individuals, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) launched Haifa Home in 2009. The initiative’s programs provide aging holocaust survivors with well-maintained living facilities and a thriving environment of enrichment.
The program consists of a small campus of centrally located buildings which have been renovated and expanded to meet individual needs. Outside of its living quarters, the organization has features community spaces where residents can participate in enrichment programs, activities, and group celebrations.
Above all, the Haifa Home program uses donations to provide shelter and social support to lonely and elderly holocaust survivors who may otherwise suffer in isolation. Currently, the facility cares for almost 100 survivors, each of which enjoy vibrant, independent lives within the program’s supportive community network.
4. City of David Foundation
The City of David is a non-profit organization established in 1986 which seeks to preserve the heritage and history of Jerusalem, a biblical city where much of the Bible was written. Through generous donations, the foundation is able to enrich its educational programs, bringing Jerusalem’s significant biblical history to life for visitors from across the world.
Donation funds are used to continue archaeological excavations, construct dynamic educational programming, reconnect Israelis to their heritage, and operate interactive tours which bring the Bible’s text to life. Site tours currently include the First and Second Temples, the Gihon Spring, Hezekiah’s 2,700-year-old water tunnel, and other locations central to biblical events.
In addition to the foundation’s educational endeavors, the City of David Foundation also operates preservations efforts which help to ensure Jerusalem’s heritage can be experienced and appreciated for generations to come.
5. Jewish National Fund — Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Israel loses an average of 1,100 hectares (more than 2,718 acres) of forest per year. To combat these impacts and strengthen the nation’s natural environment, the Jewish National Fund seeks to plant trees, cultivate community park programs, and preserve the country’s natural beauty.
Since the initiative was launched, The Jewish National Fund has planted more than 240 million trees, converting otherwise desolate, barren land into lush, green landscapes that foster growth and enrich lives. Outside of their clear ecological impacts, the green spaces cultivated by the JNF also serve as valuable recreation areas for residents and visitors. They are accessible, free, and open 24/7.
Hargrave Ministries is proud to have an active role in the reforestation of Israel, helping to create “The Gospel Trail” that runs between Nazareth and Capernaum. Beginning at Mount Precipice, travelers can journey approximately 65 km to the Northern shores of the sea of Galilee. Known widely as the path that Jesus took, they believe this pilgrimage route an important piece of history and worth preserving.
In addition to its ecological and recreational benefits, forestation initiatives piloted by the JNF also helps Israelis work towards a more sustainable future by integrating agricultural solutions into their forestation initiatives. This, in turn, helps communities produce food and feed the hungry. With the help of donations, the organization is also able to make water more accessible to Israel’s farmers through the construction of reservoirs and dams. Thanks to years of hard work and many generous contributions, JNF is responsible for two-thirds of the water used for agricultural purposes within the country.