UPJ Executive Director Steve Denenberg shares information about the 2015 UIA Progressive Trust campaign and encourages all donors to ensure that their donations are designated to the Progressive Trust.
- Why should I designate my donation to the Progressive Trust?
Our roof body, the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), runs a number of Jewish Agency approved projects for refugees, including an Aliyah Desk, preschools for children of olim, and absorption programmes within the congregations. It also funds Progressive rabbis to establish new congregations to help olim. Unlike their Orthodox counterparts, Progressive rabbis receive no funds from the state. Designated donations also free money for the WUPJ to fund projects that support Israel as a democratic and inclusive society. This includes the Israel Religious Action Centre, headed by Anat Hoffman, and the Legal Action Centre for Olim, fun by former Aussie Nicky Maor. It also funds shlichim visiting communities to promote Israel and aliyah.
- How do I ensure my donation is given to the Progressive Trust?
As an integral part of the UIA, we receive regular reports on the donations made to the Progressive Trust. We also track the funds through the WUPJ and receive a full reconciliation of the allocation of the funds.
- What happens if I don’t give my donation to the Progressive Trust where does my money go?
To the General Division of the UIA. These funds also go to the Jewish Agency to support their excellent work with refugees and olim. We support this work and greatly appreciate the extra benefits that the Progressive Trust provides to our community in Israel.
- Does the Progressive Trust provide for specific projects that benefit Progressive Judaism in Israel?
Definitely. Many migrants come as Progressive Jews, and belonging to an appropriate religious community helps their integration. Many others are seeking a Jewish setting that respects their traditions and treats women as equals. The growth of these communities is providing Israelis with the unprecedented opportunity to experience Progressive Judaism, which is built on tradition and embracing the inclusive values of modern society.
- Are donations to the Progressive Trust tax deductible?
They are. Every donation is properly receipted and tracked through its expenditure.
- If I can’t afford to make a large donation, why should I bother?
Although it is a cliché, every donation helps. Every dollar provides support to refugees and every donor demonstrates the strength of the Progressive community’s support for Israel.
- Does the Progressive Trust hold functions during the UIA campaign period?
We encourage everybody to attend the UIA General Division functions to hear the outstanding speakers that visit us. We also provide opportunities for members of our congregations to learn more about our specific projects by welcoming guests from the WUPJ. In March 2013 we will welcome Rabbi Steve Burnstein who is head of the WUPJ’s amazing Saltz Centre in Jerusalem.
- If I don’t want to attend a function, can I just make a donation to the Progressive Trust?
For sure. The UIA General Division will invite all to attend their function. People unable to attend will subsequently receive a letter and a pledge form, which can be used to designate a donation to the Progressive Trust. At the end of the campaign, we will write to members of our community and include a pledge form for the Progressive Trust.
- Who should support the Progressive Trust?
Any member of our community who supports Israel being a welcoming home for all Jews should support the Progressive Trust, whether or not they are Progressive Jews. As part of the UIA, the Progressive Trust fulfils the key goals of the UIA Refugee Relief Fund and supports the development of Israel’s democracy and inclusiveness.