• Michal at her bakery, that she opened with the help of a loan that was guaranteed by The Jewish Agency for Israel.

    David Salem, The Jewish Agency for Israel ©

Supporting and Empowering Women in Israel

Michal, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, worked in the kitchens of prestigious restaurants before deciding to open her own confectionary shop and catering service on her grandparents’ farm in the Jezre’el Valley.

As her bakery’s popularity grew, Michal set an ambitious goal to open a branch in a suburb of Jerusalem. She developed a strong business plan, but had a serious problem: she couldn’t obtain a business loan without a guarantor.

Michal was surprised to find out that The Jewish Agency for Israel could help her obtain a loan to open her shop. “I knew they [The Jewish Agency] facilitated immigration to Israel,” she says. “I had no idea they also assist small business owners here in Israel.”

Jewish Agency Loan Funds encourage Israel’s economic development by supporting entrepreneurs in their efforts to launch or grow small businesses. We particularly aim to assist owners from populations that are often otherwise marginalized: such as new immigrants, Arab-Israelis, ultra-Orthodox Israelis, and members of the Ethiopian Jewish community.

Since 2002, our Loan Funds have assisted more than 1,800 small businesses and helped create close to 10,000 new jobs.  We help entrepreneurs develop their business plans, act as their guarantor, and even connect them with banks that recognize the significance of Jewish Agency support and grant them loans at exceptionally favorable terms.

Michal’s bakery has drawn loyal customers from all over the Jerusalem metropolitan area. She says The Jewish Agency “literally made my sweet dream come true!”

Loan Funds for small businesses is just one platform through which The Jewish Agency helps strengthen Israeli women and girls every day. Yarden Tamri grew up in a Jewish Agency Youth Village for teens from troubled backgrounds; now working toward a B.A. while raising a toddler. Yarden says that the Jewish Agency college scholarship she receives “is worth more than gold.” 

Tamar, 15, is in a Jewish Agency program to teach marketing, sales, and other professional skills like teamwork to at-risk youth. “I work here to feel independent,” she says. “I want to learn a skill so I can earn my own money and won’t have to depend on my parents or anyone else.”

Empowering women and girls in Israel strengthens Israeli society. We are proud of all women honoring Herzl’s vision of creating a model society in Israel for all its citizens.


This article was originally produced in Hebrew by Nathan Roi for The Jewish Agency for Israel
03 Mar 2019 / 26 Adar 5779 0
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