The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ major overseas partner, the Israeli nonprofit Unistream, has helped thousands of teenagers living on the socioeconomic fringes of Israeli society reach their potential as young innovators and entrepreneurs.
Through this extraordinary partnership, the Federation is working to expand Unistream’s organizational capacity and growth potential to empower more highly motivated teens from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Federation-Unistream union set out to nearly double the number of Unistream Entrepreneurship Centers by the end of 2019 — from 13 to 20 — operating across cities and neighborhoods that are most in need of economic development and investment. By the end of this month, that goal will be partially met, with five new Unistream centers having opened in Israel and 10 more within the next two years.
Lynn Bider, Chair of the Federation’s Unistream Committee, shared her enthusiasm for the project, saying, “The Federation’s partnership with Unistream is extremely impactful and inspiring — one which positively impacts the students, their families, and communities in Israel and beyond — and we are all proud and honored to be a part of it. This summer, community leaders and Federation professionals had the privilege of traveling to Israel for the Ted z”l and Hedy Orden and Family Entrepreneur of the Year Competition to see firsthand the life-changing work of this partnership up close. We met with teenagers and students, judged group presentations, visited centers, and spoke with Unistream’s mentors and alumni. Opening new centers in Israel is an important part of our partnership with Unistream, and we are excited to see the continued growth and development taking place there.
The centers are located in Segev Shalom and Beer Sheva in Southern Israel, the Yemin Orde youth village in the North, and Kiryat Malachi and Kfar Chabad in Israel’s Center. Each of these centers will serve under-resourced communities in Israel, providing beneficial educational programs for teens and long-term investment for the entire communities they serve.
The Federation has played a crucial role in the many steps involved in opening these new centers. Through extensive collaboration with Unistream’s leadership, the Federation helps determine the most-in-need areas in Israel and ensures that Unistream has the leadership capacity to expand. The Federation helps identify partners, funders, and municipalities to support the creation of new centers, communicating the impact of Unistream’s programs and reiterating our own commitment to its mission.
Each new center directly serves 60-75 new students and, indirectly, hundreds more. With Unistream’s innovative and empowering programs, some of these centers reach untapped populations, like Kfar Chabad’s haredi (ultra-Orthodox) students, for example, exposing them to the new concept of teen entrepreneurship.
“By opening these new centers, we will now be able to change the lives of hundreds more students across Israel’s socioeconomic periphery, who can in turn help shape the future of their communities,” said Unistream CEO Batsheva Moshe.
Thanks to Federation’s collaboration with Unistream, more students will have the chance to reach their potential. They will create their own startups, compete in a nationwide competition, build their confidence, and experience the life-changing power of Unistream.
To learn more about the Federation’s partnership with Unistream, e-mail AWeiner@JewishLA.org.