On behalf of the board of directors, the staff, and most importantly, the tens of thousands of Israelis who have been touched by our programs, I want to thank the American Friends of KIEDF and the Koret Foundation for their foresight in establishing KIEDF, and their unwavering support for our work.

KIEDF has become a flagship representing two fundamental changes in Jewish philanthropy in support of the State of Israel: The first is the growth of directed giving, coupled with the demand for performance, accountability and transparency. As the vast majority of Jewish wealth has flowed to both public and private foundations, so too has the impact of directed giving from these sources grown to fund needs unmet efficiently by traditional institutions. The second, less recognized change is the deployment of philanthropy for economic development, and for the reversal of economic policies in Israel that inhibit free market growth, stymie employment opportunity, and prevent thousands from escaping the cycle of poverty.

The AFKIEDF and Koret commitments have enabled us to demonstrate that small-business lending in Israel is a small risk and that microfinance lending is the most effective way to improve the plight of the impoverished. In addition, our experience shows that improving the economic condition of Israel's minorities offers a viable route toward peaceful coexistence. Lastly, we continue to demonstrate how established western economic policies can substantially improve the climate for the small-business sector.

With your help, we will continue our work to create jobs and facilitate marketplace competition while advancing the individual and economic independence of Israel and all of its citizens.

Carl H. Kaplan
KIEDF Managing Director