We have been placed in this world to do the work of Tikkun Olam– to heal and repair our planet. Our response to adversity can be shaped to help communities grow and evolve.
Yotam Polizer And His Global Impact
Since its establishment in 2001, IsraAID has responded to crises in 60 countries reaching more than 5M people affected by human-made and climate-related disasters.
In the last 3 years, IsraAID under Yotam’s leadership redefined its mission and theory of change to ensure sustainability and long-lasting impact. The theory of change (TOC) is based on the 3 R’s approach: Relief, Recovery, Resilience,
IsraAID sees crises and disasters as opportunities for not only initial relief and life-saving but also as opportunities to provide long-term recovery and capacity strengthening which eventually leads to resilient communities who are equipped with the tools and the know-how to support themselves not only in the current disaster but for the future.
Some examples of IsraAID’s global impact include:
– Supported over 120,000 Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced people through relief distributions of medical and food supplies, winter items, and the establishment of mothers’ and children’s safe spaces. IsraAID partnered with the office of the first lady to provide training and capacity building to Ukrainian psychologists in the field of mental health and trauma prevention.
– Provided relief in Afghanistan, partnering with a group of activists to facilitate the evacuation of more than 200 human rights activists and female leaders. This evacuation was followed by a project to provide education and mental health to the Afghan refugees in Albania, and eventually with their successful resettlement in Canada.
– Responded to Hurricane Maria in Dominica in 2017 and provided housing and relief to 300 families on the island. Today, IsraAID is the only international NGO helping the Dominican government become the first “climate resilient country” focused on supporting the 74 schools on the island to better prepare for future disasters and providing innovative livelihood programs in partnership with the Israeli tech company- FIVERR.
– Completed a 6-year project in Greece which started with emergency medical and psychological support to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees arriving to the island of Lesbos and continued with long-term education, livelihood, and psycho-social support programs for refugees in mainland Greece and Germany- a project that won the 2018 integration award from Chancellor Merkel.
Yotam speaks Hebrew, English, Japanese, Nepalese and basic Arabic. He has a BA in International Relations and African Studies from Tel Aviv University and Israel Open University and is a Shusterman Fellow. He lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and 3-year-old twins.