The largest US-based Israeli-owned bank is launching a project to support Israeli Defense Force (IDF) veterans experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following active military service - in cooperation with an Israeli NGO.
IDB Bank (IDB), a New York-based private and commercial bank, has partnered with Israeli nonprofit organization Invisible Album to raise both awareness and critical funding for the issue, the bank announced on Sunday.
The organizations kicked off their partnership with a joint benefit event at the Bank’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters on Thursday, inviting guests to hear the unique experiences of former soldiers and learn more about Invisible Album.
“As the largest Israeli-owned Bank in the United States, an important part of our vision is to serve as a bridge between the US and Israel,” said Ziv Biron, IDB Bank President & CEO. “We are inspired by Invisible Album’s approach to building awareness of PTSD through music and by its innovative portal providing easy access to a wealth of support programs.”
“We are proud to use our unique position to help this cause by bringing forward our relationships, community reach and resources to be part of the solution,” he added.
Founded in 2020 by IDF veterans Maj. (Res.) Shani Sofer and Capt. (Res.) Ohav Givaty, who have experienced the impact of these realities first-hand, Invisible Album aims to solve these challenges through a comprehensive approach, democratizing accessibility to nonprofit and non-government organization resources with the click of a button.
The NGO describes its mission as supporting veterans through a first-of-its-kind immersive platform that brings together the universal power of music and critical support resources.
According to the Israeli Veteran Affairs, while estimates vary, it is believed that there are between 70 and 80,000 IDF veterans living with PTSD today, but only 8,000 of these individuals are officially recognized. Bureaucratic public rehabilitation processes and a continued stigma inhibiting open discourse are among the leading barriers facing unrecognized veterans in need of support services.
“Now, more than ever, there is an urgent need to connect IDF veterans with accessible resources and programming that can improve their mental and emotional health for the rest of their lives,” said Sofer, who along with Givaty, completed more than eight years of service with the IDF.
“While we are continuing to make significant headway across these efforts at home, we also understand the potential power of our global Jewish and Israeli communities in making a difference for those who have already sacrificed so much,” he added. “Our continued partnership with IDB will help us take the first steps to build long-lasting relationships in the United States.”
The project takes a unique approach to further its reach, using the power of music to tell the complex story and long-lasting effect of PTSD. At the heart of the project is a five-part visual album, sharing the story of a combat soldier who has been coping with PTSD for several years. The clips then lead the viewer to an interactive interface that presents a database of versatile rehabilitation resources currently available for combat veterans across Israel, at subsidized cost or free of charge.
“Our mission is to foster open and courageous discourse around military post-trauma, while connecting those in need with critical resources,” said Givaty. “We understood that to do this, we needed to tell the story of PTSD in a way that could truly and universally resonate with individuals. We chose music as our medium because we believe in its ability to foster identification, break down barriers, and evoke emotional states that inspire action.”
Following years of development, the platform’s recent launch has already received a significant response.
“We are thrilled to announce that just one month after launching the project in Israel, we have already achieved significant milestones,” said Sofer during the event. “Our content has received over eight million views, the digital interface has garnered 40,000 visits, and 300 veterans have already completed the registration process that will begin their rehabilitation journey.”
This article was written in cooperation with IDB Bank.