Upstanders show support

Stand Up fundraising in full swing. From left: Arnold Shmerling, Justin Joffe, Dean Levitan, Adam Shapiro and Netta Shmerling.

Rebecca Davis

STAND Up raised $380,801 in only 24 hours last week.

The Jewish social justice organisation raised the money as part of its ‘Be an upstander, not a bystander’ campaign.

The initiative encouraged those “who refuse to remain passive bystanders in the face of social injustices” to contribute to the pivotal funding required for the delivery of Stand Up programs.

The 24-hour ‘festival of giving’ was facilitated by online fundraising platform Charidy, with each dollar donated being quadrupled by 22 generous donor matchers.

The campaign target was set at $300,000, and that never looked in doubt because $100,000 was donated in the first two hours.

“This result would not have been possible without our circle of generous donor matchers. By matching every donation raised, they’ve inspired the whole Jewish community to give generously,”
said Stand Up chair Arnold Shmerling.

Stand Up CEO Gary Samowitz said he was so inspired by the Stand Up community.

“We are feeling overwhelmed and more determined than ever to continue pursuing social justice for all,” Samowitz told The AJN.

Samowitz explained that rather than focus on one specific project, the funds will be used to expand the reach and increase the
impact through all of Stand Up’s programs.

These donations will boost the overall mission to harness the Jewish community’s efforts to create a better world.

One core area is the empowerment and support of Sudanese refugees from Darfur and the Nuba Mountains by providing homework clubs, women’s groups and leadership programs.

Fatima, a refugee from Darfur, has been a participant in the women’s group since 2009. She continues to learn English, knitting, painting and drawing from Stand Up.

“The women’s group is important for me and for every woman.

“Thank you for Stand Up and the whole Jewish community.”

The organisation has established strong long term relationships with remote Indigenous communities, which involve the organisation of school holiday activities, work experience and leadership
workshops for youth and young adults. Stand Up also provides innovative and inspiring educational programs for the Jewish community.