Ogen (f.k.a. Israel Free Loan Association) is a non-profit organization created by former Clevelander Professor Eliezer Jaffe, uncle of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz attorney Ari Jaffe. Over the past 30 years Ogen has made more than 65,000 loans to individuals, families, small businesses and non-profits in Israel. With a historical repayment rate of 99.3%, Ogen has been able to recirculate its funding into more than $350 million in loans to borrowers who span the full gamet of Israeli society.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had tremendous financial implications across the globe. With the support of generous donors and impact investors, including recent contributions totaling $30 million, using the latest technology and working remotely, Ogen has stepped up its mission to immediately deploy significantly more no-interest and low-interest loans to preserve families, businesses and non-profits. Ogen has also developed a system of mentorships and financial education for borrowers. Regardless of religion, ethnic background or location, Ogen is ready to support Israeli society.
Ogen is an award winning non-profit. It has cultivated close relationships with the government of Israel and leading financial institutions. To advance its mission, Ogen has received an interim charter and is planning to become a fully licensed bank.
JERUSALEM, June 1 (Reuters) – Israel’s Ogen Group said on Monday it raised $30 million to provide emergency loans and financial mentoring to small businesses, non-profits and unemployed and furloughed workers affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Ogen, a non-profit organisation that gives both interest-free and low-interest loans, said it is seeking to raise another $70 million to meet the growing credit needs of individuals and businesses. It noted it can currently finance 5,000 loans per year, far less than what is needed in the wake of COVID-19. More than 1 million Israeli workers have registered as unemployment but more than half are self-employed and not eligible for benefits, while over 20,000 small businesses have been turned down for state-backed loans, Ogen said. It has already issued a first wave of emergency loans, distributing $2 million in interest-free personal loans, close to $3 million to small businesses and more than $3.5 million to help non-profit organizations. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen)
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