Fundraising goal met for Aharai program

The Akron Jewish community has had a long relationship with the residents of Kiryat Ekron, Israel, our sister city. Kiryat Ekron is a working class town with a large population of immigrants, especially from Ethiopia. The Aharai program recently began in the city, to help the at-risk youth in Kiryat Ekron.  

“Aharai changes the teens’ lives,” says Shay Goldenberg, our Israeli Shaliah. He served as a southern region coordinator for Aharai. “From my experience, youth at risk realize through the Aharai program that they can be accountable for their futures. By training and improving their physical and mental abilities, and by volunteering in the community, the teens learn how to be productive citizens.”

The Akron Jewish community was disheartened to learn that many teens had to be turned away from the Aharai project in Kiryat Ekron because of lack of funding. When Aharai in Kiryat Ekron appealed to the Akron Jewish community to fund two counselors for two years, we launched a crowdfunding campaign to support this effective project.

“Thanks to Akron Jewish Community contribution, we are now able to reach more than 200 teens, a number we couldn’t meet otherwise,” says Inbar Harush-Gity, Aharai’s CEO. “These two additional madrichim (counselors) are going to benefit the teens through two programs.”

“One program for 17-18 year-old teens will become part of the ‘Aharai to the Path’ program, which serves Israeli-Ethiopian teens in Kiryat Ekron,” Harush-Gity explains. “The second madrich that we are able to hire next year will work with 15-16 year-olds through ‘Ahari Bashetach’ (Aharai! In The Field). Aharai wants to thank the generous contribution of the Jewish community of Akron. Your support will make a huge impact for the teens and also in the city of Kiryat Ekron.”

Thanks to some very generous people and tremendous final-hour support from our community, the Aharai project is fully funded. Moise Zarouch, the Aharai project chairperson, immediately came forward with his generous support. Three funds significantly added to the goal—The Jeanne Levinson Fund, The Sands/Rogovy Fund (in loving memory of Irving Sands), and the David and Cheryl Sokol Fund. Generous donors added to the campaign through the online site and a 50/50 raffle at the Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration put the campaign over the top. Thank you to the Considine Family for contributing all of your raffle winnings back to the cause.

Thank you to all of the donors who made a difference for at-risk teens in Kiryat Ekron and benefited the entire city:

  • Nurit Kohl
  • Leora Cohen
  • Moise Zarouk
  • Trish Crane
  • Shay Goldenberg
  • Shelley Koch
  • Rick Spector
  • Carolyn Garfinkle
  • Debra Migdal
  • Mary Hickcox
  • Ron Lederman
  • Julie Katz
  • Laurel Gress
  • Esther Hexter
  • Phil & Livia Kades
  • Sands/Rogovy Scholarship Fund    
  • (In loving memory of Irving Sands)
  • David & *Cheryl Sokol Fund for Young Leadership
  • Stan Migdal
  • Jeanne S. Leventhal Memorial Fund    



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