Community, Continuity and Charity: Philanthropy Fellowship Inspires Change Makers

05 October 2023

United Israel Appeal (UIA), together with the Australian Jewish Funders (AJF) and in conjunction with JCA in NSW, recently provided emerging leaders and philanthropists with the opportunity to make an impact on the local and international Jewish community by taking part in their annual Philanthropy Fellowship. 

This was the third successful fellowship which ran concurrently in Melbourne and Sydney and included 27 young people (between the ages of 25 and 40), who are passionate about community, continuity and of course, philanthropy. Delivered over the course of six weeks between July and August, this in-depth learning experience explores trends in philanthropy, collective giving and community building to inspire emerging leaders. 

NSW cohort

The program concludes with an unforgettable night of giving, when participants decide collectively on which UIA and JCA projects they will support with their donations. In NSW, Heartbeats, an early intervention program that gives young children a stable framework where they can thrive, would be the UIA program of choice to support. Located in 11 areas on Israel’s periphery, the Heartbeats program offers a framework for parents to receive support, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that the children in the program require less or no intervention as they continue to develop. In Victoria, Youth Villages resonated most with participants. KH-UIA supported Youth Villages provide a normative, residential environment where youth at risk who have been removed from their homes due to imminent danger, receive the appropriate care to heal and flourish. 

Ben Shafir, a participant from Melbourne said: “the Fellowship helped me connect with my core Jewish values and provided me with ideas as to how I can help those less fortunate. It introduced me to different areas of our community that could benefit greatly from financial support and expertise, and to which I can contribute. These organisations make critical differences to the Victorian Jewish community. From participating in the Fellowship, I feel I have the knowledge and skills as to how I can make a greater difference for our community.”

Miriam New, a Sydney-based participant said: “each week I learned something new and unexpected. The opportunity to embark on the Philanthropy Fellowship will expose you to a diverse and inspiring array of people - both within the cohort as well as on a communal level; challenge your approach to giving and equip you with the practical tools and network to nurture and enhance your involvement. This is undoubtedly among the most formative and rewarding initiatives that our community offers.”

Jessica Abelsohn, another Sydney-based participant added: “I went into the Fellowship hoping that I would gain some clarity on how to continue in my philanthropic journey, knowing that philanthropy is about more than money. But I got so much more out of it. I know that if I want my children to give back to the community, I need to lead by example. Thanks to the Fellowship, I know how I can continue to give back, and how to figure out where I can give back. I also have a greater understanding that life’s moments may dictate the way in which we can all give back, whether that’s financially, or with our time, our words or our networks. I look forward to maintaining all the connections I made during my Fellowship journey. I know that this is just the beginning.”

UIA Victoria CEO Jeff Feldman concluded that, “UIA is delighted to partner with JCA and AJF to engage the next generation of philanthropic leaders. The Fellowship assists the next generation to discover where their philanthropic passion lies and how to bring that passion to life.”

For more information about the Philanthropy Fellowship, contact or