The Joseph S. & Caroline Gruss Life Monument Fund for the Advancement of I.D.F Veterans
Objectives of the Fund
- To promote activities that aid the education, professional training and absorption of discharged soldiers into civilian life and the job market
- To provide financial assistance to groups and organizations that work to further causes similar to those of the Foundation
- To award scholarships, loans, and grants to discharged soldiers to assist and reward them for accomplishments in the fields of education, culture, professionals training, and entrance into the job market and civilian life
- To manage the assets of the Foundation and the dispersal of funds in accordance with its goals.
Initially the Fund concentrated solely on granting scholarships. However, it quickly added an additional aspect to its activities. Rather than merely extending aid to the ex-serviceman and enabling the fulfillment of his/her personal needs, the Fund looked to further national social goals by directed giving of these scholarships.
The following goals were determined by the Board of Trustees from the outset:
- To encourage educational and social activity in development towns and the peripheral regions
- To assist in attaining a high school degree for those who had not done so before the army services and preparing them for academic studies
- To focus on vulnerable population groups
- To assist in obtaining employment in preferred branches of the work force
- To promote members of minority populations
As the Fund became more closely familiar with the needs of ex-servicemen and the shifting priorities of Israeli society, and as additional organizations became active in the field, the Fund’s focus and area of activity broadened beyond scholarships and grants.
These activities now include:
- The establishment of guidance and counseling centers for ex-servicemen as well as Centers for Young Adults, in partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), government ministries, local authorities and other organizations
- Partnering with the IDF, government ministries, local authorities and local NGOs in the building of a system to accompany soldiers as they move towards their discharge from the army and during their first years of civilian life
- Encouraging business initiatives and mentoring ex-servicemen who are interested in using their discharge grant to set up their own small business
- Running a series of workshops in preparation for civilian life to soldiers at the end of their service, with a focus on soft skills training and information in the fields of higher education, employment and re-entry into society
- Guidance and counseling to organizations and authorities interested in assisting ex-servicemen
- Guidance programs and aptitude testing with regards to choosing a profession
- A pro-active approach to understanding and responding to the needs of ex-servicemen