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The Jaffa Institute

The Jaffa Institute was established in 1982 by Dr. David Portowicz and Col. Ze'ev (Zonik) Shaham as a private, non-profit, multi-service social agency to assist the city of Jaffa’s severely disadvantaged children and their families. Our mission is to provide educational, nutritional, therapeutic, and social enrichment programs that assist children in developing positive attitudes and skills to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty in the impoverished communities of Jaffa, South Tel Aviv, and Bat Yam in Israel. Holistic in approach and responsive to the diverse needs of those we serve, the Jaffa Institute operates over 30 different programs, including crisis residences for at-risk youth, educational enrichment centers, food security initiatives, support to elderly individuals and Holocaust survivors, and women’s empowerment programs. Each year, the Jaffa Institute provides service and relief to over 4,000 citizens. In 2001, the Institute was awarded the President’s Prize for Most Outstanding Voluntary Organization.

Children in Classroom
Children in Classroom


The Jaffa Institute’s Three Organizational Goals:

  • To provide educational and social enrichment to disadvantaged children and other community members in need.

  • To increase the nutritional security of impoverished individuals in our service area.

  • To care for and strengthen the emotional and mental wellbeing of our program participants.

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

Holocaust heroes

We received a call from New York, by Mrs. Irit Strauss, who personally accompanies Selena, a Holocaust survivor.
Irit asked if we can organize "Zikaron Basalon"- which means Remembering the holocaust in the living room. and asked that we also invite boys and girls to listen and learn.
From there we found ourselves in the Strauss's living room together with Selena who has been accompanied for five years by The Jaffa Institute for the Advancement of Education in Tel Aviv-Yafo, girls from the shelter home, boys from the community care center, members of the Strauss family who volunteer and contribute to the project. Members of the association's management including the association's founder as well as the chairman, staff and members…
Yoni Malka volunteered to photograph, Roy Weisglass volunteered to play and Nurit Rothmann volunteered to host . Nurit has accompanied the association for many years with donations and volunteering.
It was empowering and inspiring to look at Selena, 92, a radiant and energetic optimist and even a sense of humor.

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