This week, the Mazkir Joe Woolf, speaks in depth about FZY's exciting new venture; Friends of FZY. Joe puts forward an emotive case for the importance of our movement's sustainability, presenting the Friends of FZY as a means to "ensure stability for the next 109 years."
Over the last week you may have seen brightly colored posts on our social media, just like this one:
Yesterday, the announcement was revealed: a new website for the Friends of FZY, and a new, systematic process for FZY’s fundraising efforts. For our members, there’s every chance that this announcement isn’t so exciting, but this announcement is no less important. This venture signals the start of FZY’s commitment to making an impact long into the future. I can’t be sure what you thought when the announcement was made, but I am fairly confident that some people would have rolled their eyes...
"I’m always giving money to FZY to send my children on their programmes!”
“I have donated before to FZY. Why now?”
“Sure, I love FZY, but do they really need my money? I don’t have spare coins lying around for a youth movement."
This article isn’t the place to go into detail about who FZY are and what incredible things we’ve achieved in the past. If you want to find out some more about that, just check back to recent Young Zionist articles, or trek even further back into our archive. Instead, I want to use this post to answer some of the responses above…
"I’m always giving money to FZY to send my children on their programmes!"
Thank you! Parents like you who encourage your children to engage with FZY are making a profound impact on them, and on the UK’s Jewish community. Young people like your children and their friends are having transformative experiences every year on Israel Tour, on Ofek, or on FZY Year Course. They are thinking in depth about what it means for them to be Jewish; discovering their connection to Israel, its people and its culture. Some of them may have become more committed, volunteering as Madrichim to lead and engage hundreds more people with FZY. These individuals have gone on to make huge changes to their communities, schools, universities, and even their countries. So, again, thank you!
The Movement believes that all of our programming should be as financially accessible as possible, even if this means that we have to lose money to make it happen. FZY’s Mission is committed to inspiring and educating all Jewish youth to take part in the future of the Jewish people; we certainly don’t want to place financial barriers to that. We are asking people like you to help us achieve this mission. Your donations will allow us to do everything in our power to offer programmes at the lowest price possible. Any help is greatly appreciated to help us to function in this way, and you’re welcome to specify where you want your money to go.
"I've donated before to FZY. Why now?"
Over the last few years, FZY has done extensive research, created a clear plan, and hired a fundraiser, all in preparation for this moment.
The Movement has spent the last 109 years doing incredible work for young people. Unfortunately, our efforts have been heavily focused on the present. Now, we’re planning for our vision: ‘the Jewish People, living in peace in the State of Israel, as One People, and as a Light Unto the Nations’.
We must think long-term. Or at least, we have to act in a fashion that would ensure stability for the next 109 years. Now, with all the good work in place, professional roles allocated, and extensive research completed, we need your help to future-proof FZY’s vision. You’re the last piece of the puzzle. We need your help if we are to continue to impact the lives of young British Jews in the coming years.
"Sure, I love FZY, but do they really need my money? I don’t have spare coins lying around for a youth movement."
Unfortunately, we do need spare coins. However, we are looking in depth at how we can make it easier for people to support us, even if they don’t have money to give. The Friends of FZY website explores different ways you can help, such as ensuring corporate funding or helping us to fundraise. You can also explore ways to give by shopping, or completing different challenges and events.
For some, FZY will only ever be a summer programme. But for thousands of young people in our community, FZY is so much more. We’re a voice for British youth and provide a bridge with Jews from all over the world. FZY produces leaders for today and for tomorrow, whose impact will outlast them by many years. As a part of FZY, young people show immense growth, and gain a connection with their identity that they could only ever hold through experience in a youth movement.
No matter what reason you’re connected with FZY, you can continue to have an extremely valuable impact on the movement that never stops moving.
If you're interested in getting involved with the Friends of FZY, click here.