|Brandeis Hillel Day School 7th Grade Donates to NIF grantee the African Refugee Development Center|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
On June 1, Becky Buckwald, Co-Director of NIF’s San Francisco Bay Area Region, attended a special presentation at Brandeis Hillel Day School (BHDS) of San Francisco and accepted a check on behalf of NIF grantee the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC). ARDC was chosen as a recipient of Brandeis’ 7th grade students’ Tzedek (Justice) Fund.
ARDC was founded in 2004 by refugees and Israeli citizens to assist, support and empower the estimated 27,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Israel. ARDC works to ensure access to basic social services, facilitate integration and promote self-sufficiency. It also advocates for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and for a humane and fair Israeli asylum policy.
Students in the 7th grade at BHDS help to raise funds that would otherwise go toward purchasing b'nai mitzvah gifts for each student and instead create a class fund to be used for philanthropic purposes. The middle schoolers spend a semester researching organizations and then deciding, as a class, how to donate the pool.
This year's 7th grade Tzedek Fund donated $360 to national and international disaster relief, and funds ranging between $400 and $2,630 to the following organizations: Carmei HaIr, Arava Institute, Sierra Club, Global Education Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Save a Child's Heart, African Refugee Development Center, Helping Hands, Drop in the Bucket, Jewish Vocational Services, American Jewish World Service, Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, and the San Francisco Food Bank.