Dr. Georgette Bennett
Dr. Bennett founded the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) in 2013, the USA’s leading interfaith response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Through her guidance, MFA has become a network of 100 organizations that raise awareness about the Syrian refugee crisis, advocate on behalf of Syrian war victims, develop fact-based material, and deliver humanitarian aid directly into Syria in close coordination with Israel and the IDF.
Over the past 2 years, MFA has shipped $120 million of relief items to Israeli ports, where they were then transported by the IDF to the Golan Heights and turned over to NGOs in southwest Syria. This effort sustained hospitals and family clinics, equipped a maternity ward, and established a baking facility. In addition, MFA has reached more than 11,000 people through in-person events and briefings – most involving Dr. Bennett herself.
Dr. Bennett, a child of Holocaust survivors and refugee herself, sits on the Board of the International Rescue Committee; founded the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding; and is the Board Chair of the Jewish Funders Network.
Jean-Claude is the Executive Director of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV), a holistic living and learning community in Rwanda. Modeled after Yemin Orde, an Israeli youth village, ASYV was founded in 2007 as a response to Rwanda’s post-genocide orphan crisis.
Jean-Claude became Village Director in 2011 and was promoted to Executive Director in 2015. Under his leadership, ASYV provides an education and a home to more than 500 vulnerable Rwandan youth a year and has impacted over 1,200 young Rwandans. As of 2018, 80% of alumni were enrolled in or had graduated from higher education programs.
ASYV partners with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and hosts Jewish volunteers. It also houses a solar field built by the Israeli company Energiya Global, providing clean power for Rwanda.
Previously, Jean-Claude worked in the Office of the President of Rwanda; founded XLcom, an agency that provided communication services to the African Development Bank; and served as General Manager for Saatchi & Saatchi Rwanda. While he is not Jewish, he is deeply committed to fostering connections with Israel and Jews worldwide.
Global Impact Awards for Israelis and Israeli Ventures Making a Positive Impact in the Developing World:
Professor Samuel Pohoryles