Each year, we support Israel and Jews in need around the world.
With a portion of the funds raised from JCBA’s Annual Campaign, we help Jews worldwide during times of peace or times of conflict. In 2016, we allocated $10,000 of campaign funds to the Aharai program in Israel. This was in addition to the $12,000 raised for Aharai through a crowdfunding campaign this past spring.
Aharai nurtures leadership, social, and personal skills in at-risk teens. With branches across Israel, the program is in its second year in Kiryat Ekron, a working class town with a large population of immigrants, especially from Ethiopia. The Akron Jewish community has had a long relationship with Kiryat Ekron, which is our sister city in Israel.
With the funds raised and donated from Akron, Aharai in Kiryat Ekron was able to hire two additional counselors for two years, to serve many teens in need. So far this year, participants have focused on team building and challenging physical exercises, when they meet twice a week. They are preparing for a three-day field trip in the desert.
“They prepare themselves to be stronger—physically and, especially, mentally,” says shaliach Shay Goldenberg, who served as a southern region coordinator for Aharai. “They do so as a group, so they work on teambuilding skills. They’re working on leadership, improving their self confidence and self-motivation.”
This May when the students of The Lippmann School visit Israel, they will meet teens from Aharai in Kiryat for a collaborative activity.
“Aharai does amazing educational work with teenagers that come from the periphery,” says Goldenberg.
Three JCBA funds significantly added to the crowdfunding goal—The Jeanne S. Leventhal Memorial Fund, The Sands/Rogovy Fund (in loving memory of Irving Sands), and the David and Cheryl Sokol Fund.