The Future Generation Fund (FGF) operates according to the classic definition of a charity. All fund members are volunteers. Administrative costs are kept to a minimal. There is a continuous and concerted effort to ensure that as many people benefit as possible with the limited financial resources available.
The range and scope of activities has changed over the years. The main emphasis remains to ensure that as many children as possible in Israel receive access to a decent education so that they can become fully contributing members of society. Thus the challenge can be both pedagogic (extra tuition) or emotional (extra support in the home environment).
The FGF strives to provide full transparency with all its activities. Requests are supported by recommendations from known and professional social workers. FGF complies with all government regulations for non-profit organizations. If it is deemed that parents are studying rather than working to support the family, there is a policy not to approve that specific request. Newsletters are sent out twice a year to donors, or as per requested.
The FGF was founded by Meir Abelson in the early 1980s. Meir had survived a training crash as a pilot in the Second World War and went on to a successful career. He and his wife were devoted to their Judaism, which prompted them to move to Israel. Within months of landing in the country, Meir was determined to do something for the next generation, especially for those he felt were falling between the proverbial gaps. He thus simply started befriending children in need of financial support. His reports of his home visits were fascinating, including how he would deal with those who drew a knife on him.
What Meir was to discover very early on was that he had tapped into a much larger problem. He was soon welcomed by social workers from different parts of the country, all demanding his attention. Meir found that he was in need of a small team. And the next thing he knew, the Future Generation Fund became a recognized non-profit charity.
FGF spread to other cities. At one time, there were official representatives in Carmiel and Beit Shemesh. Additional backers were found from overseas, this at a time when the competition for donors was beginning to multiply. In all, it is not possible to say how many children have been helped over the decades, but one very conservative estimate puts the number at over 10,000. If you then add on to that figure the other family members, the reach of such a small and relatively anonymous fund has been staggering. Today, most of the activity is concentrated in the Jerusalem region, and even then not all of the requests can be answered.
If there is one small anecdote that sums up the work of the fund, Meir would describe how one day he was waiting in a queue in a bank. It was finally his turn, when the young female teller smiled and said ÿou don’t remember me”. Meir was flummoxed. It turned out that the ‘former client’ of the FGF had received extra curricula help. Meir would say he had many similar such stories.