May 14, 2009
World Vision will not sponsor poor Jewish children
Most people are unaware of it but there are quite a lot of poor Israeli Jews. So in August 2006, I sent the following email to World Vision:
"I was thinking of helping a poor Jewish child in Israel. Do you have a facility for that?"
On 8.23.2006 I got the following reply:
"Thank you very much for contacting World Vision! I appreciate the time you took to communicate with us, and I am happy to respond. On behalf of World Vision, I want you to know how grateful we are for your interest in our organization.
World Vision always serves the most needy children in a community. We never choose to sponsor children on the basis of race or religion, but rather on poverty indices alone. We do have programs in Israel, including sponsorship which has been funded by World Vision Canada, but the worst poverty is in Palestinian areas. In this region, those areas are found in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem and are mostly occupied by Palestinian families.
World Vision United States funds sponsorship programs in other countries that include children from different religious backgrounds, including Jewish children. However, it is important to note that every child in our program has the same needs (they lack the basic essentials of life); a child's religion is not a criteria that is included when enrolled in our sponsorship program; therefore, we do not have a process or system in place to select a child for sponsorship based on race, religion, or political background.
Persons living outside the U.S. may sponsor a child through the World Vision office in the United States only with an international credit card. Unfortunately, due to shipping costs/constraints, international donors are not eligible to receive any premiums (for example, a free CD or stuffed animal). Currently monthly sponsorship rates are US$30.00 and Hope Children are $35.00.
Michael D. Restivo, Donor Contact Services, World Vision U.S.
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. Motivated by our faith in Jesus, we serve the poor--regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity, or gender--as a demonstration of God's unconditional love for all people."
I wrote back saying: "Sorry you don't want my money"
On 8.29.2006 I received the following reply:
"Thank you for your return email. Yes, you are correct, it is not possible to choose a sponsored child through our organization based on his/her religion. However, in the future, you may be able to sponsor a child from our sponsorship projects located in Jerusalem/Westbank/Gaza. This option is not currently available due to the impact of the recent Middle East crisis. After this situation settles down, sponsored children from these projects may be available for sponsorship. Once again, it is important to note that we cannot and do not guarantee that sponsored children from these projects are of the Jewish faith."
I dropped the matter at that time but I am putting the emails up now as an illustration of how "non-discrimination" can be used as an insidious mask for discrimination -- refusing to help a needy group because of their religion. If they really were a charity solely concerned with the welfare of poor children, they would be delighted to receive all donations, regardless of the religion of the intended recipients. It would have cost them nothing to honour the wishes of a donor in this matter but they would rather lose the donation than direct it to Jews. They are modern-day Pharisees: "Whited sepulchres", as Jesus called them.
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