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The Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit has added $100,000 to a $600,000 grant from the Max M & Marjorie S Fisher Foundation to help small businesses in Israel.

The three-year Fisher Foundation grant brings its total support for the SparkIL initiative to $1.1 million over an eight-year period.

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SparkIL was established in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel and The Ogen Group. It enables users around the world to participate in crowdfunding interest-free loans to create impact on underserved populations across Israel.

The funds transferred to the platform will allow SparkIL to offer more borrowers opportunities to raise much-needed capital.

David Elimelech, one the first borrowers to open a campaign with SparkIL and a resident of a low-income neighborhood in Ashkelon, grows mushrooms that are now being sold to restaurants. Elimelech credits SparkIL with helping him make an impact for vegans throughout the country through his business, FUNGGIZ.

“We are deeply grateful to the Fisher Foundation for their generous early-stage and continued support for SparkIL, and we welcome the Detroit Federation in providing risk cushions that enable us to attract more borrowers in Israel’s periphery,” said SparkIL CEO Na’ama Ore.

“The support from these organizations is helping us to empower Israel’s small business owners with the long-overdue resources that they need and deserve, while simultaneously pioneering a new vehicle for creating connections between Israel and world Jewry.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.