Israeli Non-Profit Entices Socially Conscious Jews to Buy into the Zionist Vision

The Ayalim organization is looking for help in bringing young Israelis to rekindle life in the Negev, Galilee and social periphery.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Ayalim organization is betting on socially conscious investors to help it expand its student villages in the sparsely settled and poorer regions of Israel, Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.

Ayalim is a nonprofit association established in 2002 with the goal of strengthening the Jewish presence in the Negev and Galilee, as well as helping those living in the social periphery. The group brings young people to live in student villages. They receive stipend in exchange for volunteering 500 hours a year with children and youth, as well as working on building renovation projects.

Their newest round of fundraising is aimed at those interested in something called “impact investing,” in which profit is earned while making a positive social change.

Ayalim is offering as an interest rate a heightened sense of belonging to the Jewish people and the Jewish land in exchange for the capital needed to enlarge some of their 22 villages (Lod and Carmiel) and build others in such places as Arad, Sderot and Dimona. They are also planning an array of overnight parking areas along the route of the Israel Trail, which could interest lovers of the environment and outdoors.

“Equity owners are looking for where they can be part of social change, have investments that generate social profits [in] developing and growing projects operated by young people with vision,” said Ayalim chairman Yaakov Dayan.

It is a purely Zionist vision, Dayan acknowledged.

“The current fundraising model is one of our solutions in an attempt to connect the young generation in the Diaspora to Israel,” he said.