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B U I L D I N G I S R A E L . O N E C H I L D AT A T I M E .

Scholars Mentors Leaders Advocates Volunteers AMIT’S BEST OF THE BEST IN THIS ISSUE: AMIT ACCO

PROFILE OF MOSHE UZIEL A L U M N I S P OT L I G H T H IGH LIGHTS

fall 2016 : : stav 57 7 7 : : Vol L X X X VIII No. 4

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$3,600 +

The Maks and Lea Rothstein Charitable Youth Trust

Laura and Joseph Goldman, MD

Fradelle and Jeffrey Milrad, FL

Phoebe and Steven Goldman, PA

Dori and Eric Mirvis, NY

Ellen and Erik Roskes, MD

Shulamith and Allen, z”l, Goldstein, NY

Rhonda and Michael Mont, MD

Doris Russo, NY

Susan and Steven Goldstein, NY

Vera and Robert Moreen, PA

Janet Sasson, CA

Aviva and Justin Gordon, IL

Miriam Muskin, OH

Carole Shnier, CA

Beth and Rabbi Michael Gottesman, IL

Bernice and Oscar Novick, IL

Larry Taylor, CA

Mitchell C. Green, CA

Myrna and Monte Nussbaum, NY

Lillian and Sherwyn Weiss, FL

Rose and Sam Gurfinkel, FL

Brenda and Ed Parver, NY

Marguerite and Ronald Werrin, PA

Nicole and Jacques, z”l, Hanau, France

Robbie Pearlstein, MD

Elizabeth Zeltser and Michael Dimond, NY

Carole and Didier Hannaux, France

Dana and Michael Petrover, FL

Eva Zilz, NY

Corinne and Jean-Marc Hannaux, Israel

Daniel B. Post, FL

$1,800 - $2,499

Laurie and Bernard Hasten, IL

Daphna and Daniel Raskas, MD

Ellin and Samuel Heilman, NY

Susan and Fred Raven, NY

Anonymous, Israel

Ayala and Joseph Helft, NY

Sylvia Ravetch, FL

Anonymous, FL

Ellen and John Hellman, Israel

Andrea and Stuart Rich, IL

Anonymous, PA

Janet and Ken Hoffman, NJ

Claudine Ries, Switzerland

Ora and Maury Aaron, IL

Shulamit and Joakim Isaacs, Israel

Ronni and Elliott Robinson, IL

Daniel Altshuler, CA

Faigie and Neil Isler, NY

Miriam and Jeff Rochwarger, Israel

Beth and Brad Alter, IL

Edith and Herman Itzkowitz, PA

Shulamit and Avi Rockoff, MA

Ann Holstein and Ed Altman, PA

Elaine and Mervin Jacobs, FL

Lynn and Marc Rohatiner, CA

Karen Antonoff-Presser, MD

Debra Jakubovitz, CA

Sarah and Jeff Rosner, PA

Roberta and Alan Aronoff, NY

Michele Ziskind Jonas and Larry Jonas, PA

Betty Atlas-Rumelt and Owen Rumelt, NY

Judy and Ron Aronson, Israel

Tirza and Sam Kahan, IL

Michelle and Mark Saks, NY

Yaela and Neil Baine, PA

Karen Kaplan, IL

Nechama and Daniel Saks, NJ

Joan and Joel Betesh, PA

Marilyn and Edward Kaplan, FL

Shirley and Matthew Schein, Israel

Rivkah and Shmuel Brandman, IL

Francine and Aaron Katz, FL

Rachel and Ian Scheinmann, PA

Yardena and David Brickman, NY

Genene and Marc Kaye, NJ

Barbara and Irving Schnipper, MI

Jill and Jonathan Brickman, NY

Judy and Abraham Keehn, NY

Julie and Jacob Schorr, MD

Elaine and Seymour Brief, FL

Gloria and Sanford Kestenbaum, Israel

The Schrager Family, FL

Leila and Rabbi Joseph Bronner, CA

Sue and Jordan Klein, IL

Sharon, z”l, and Scott Seligsohn, PA

Esther Cardash, IL

Miriam and Louis Kolom IL

Huvie and Nachy Shabat, IL

Wendy and Sanford Cohen, FL

Rachel and Bryan Koplow, MA

Susan Shapiro, NY

Judy and Michael Daniels, IL

Hedy and Morris Cohen, PA

Joyce and Bernard z”l, Kosowsky, MA

Yaffi and Joseph Shmidman, Israel

Stan Dorman, MD

Esther and Harvey, z”l, Felsen, NY

Susan and Saul Koss, MD

Donna and Robert Simons, OH

Debra and Marc Dubroff, NJ

Suri and David Kufeld, NY

Harriett and Yaakov Sklar, FL

Estelle Fink, Israel

Danielle and Ronald Ellis, Israel

Edy and Jacob Kupietzky, IL

Marilyn and Jamie Sohacheski, CA

Reva and Mark Friedman, Israel

Jill and Yoni Ellman, NY

Esther and Stanley Landsman, NY

Minoo Southgate, Israel

Debby and Steven Gage, NY

Francoise Elisheva Engel, MD

Cheryl and Lee Lasher, NJ

Sydelle Spero, Israel

Eudice Greenfield, IL

Amy and Daniel Erlbaum, PA

Carole and Manny Lax, FL

Rena and Bruce Spinowitz, NY

Grunberger/Cohen Family, MD

Molly and Joel Felderman, NY

Emma Leaf, NY

Marilyn and Moish Stadtmauer, NY

Howard Heller, MA

Jeanne and Alfred, z”l, Finkelstein, FL

Helen Leiderman, NY

Kaaren Staschower, CA

Donna and Robert Hoenig, NJ

Emmi Fischl, Israel

Jennifer and Mordecai Lent, NY

Naomi and Gary Stein, NY

Susan Julius, CA

Shari and Jeff Fishman, CA

Jill and Matthew Lefferman, CA

Helen Stoll, NY

Abby and Mordi Kehat, Israel

Shani C. and Rabbi Samuel Frank, NY

Ann and Charles Lesser, CA

Naomi and Ira Sved, PA

Rochelle Stern Kevelson, NY

Adina and Dovid Frankel, NY

Gertrude Levine, z”l, NY

Hope and David Taragin, MD

Sue and Jordan Klein, IL

Sandy and Myron Friedman, TX

Hyla and Stuart Levine, FL

Sandra and Gerald Turnauer, FL

Shirley Knox, FL

Sharon and Jeffrey Frieling, NY

Aviva and Nathan Lichtenstein, IL

Orlee and Joey Turitz, MD

Riki and Mordecai Koenigsberg, NY

Iris and Bob Frisch, MA

Sue and Barnett Lieberman, Israel

Judith and Mark Tykocinski, PA

Debbi and Lee Krantzow, NJ

Susan Galiounghi, France

Roslyn and Joel Linderman, CA

Jenny and Max Weil, Israel

Robyn and Craig Lewis, CA

Barbara and Steve Geller, IL

Melvin Lubin, NJ

Barbara and Michael Weiss, NY

Naomi and Shlomo Mayer, NY

Debbi and Marc Geller, IL

Fegi Mauer, IL

Mia and Herman Weiss, Israel

Miriam and Bernard Neuman, IL

Sharon and Seymour Gertz, IL

Karin McQuillan, WY

Sharon and Joseph Wiesel, NY

Bobbie and Jerry Nussbaum, IL

Andrea and Larry Gill, CA

Pegi and Gerard Medioni, CA

Douglas Williams, CA

Sarah and Paul, z”l, Okon, MA

Darryle and Michael Gillman, IL

Harvey Meshnick, z”l, FL

Laurie and Richard Wolff, NY

Pia and Stuart Pollack, PA

Shulamit and Abraham Gittelson, FL

Jenny Michael, NY

Marilyn and Noah Wolff, IL

Carina and Henry Rascoff, CT

Naomi and Stanley Goldis, PA

Maxine Miller, Israel

Bibsi and David Zuckerbrot, Israel

Anonymous, IL Anonymous, MA Pearl Elias and Steven Bacharach, PA Annie and Jean-Richard Bloch, Israel Mme Walker Claire, France Renee and Harvey Douglen, Israel The Families of Rabbi Judah Feinerman, z”l and Carol Feinerman, z”l, NY Shira and Gadi Goldress, NY Yedida Goldman and Nadav Schwartz, PA Norman Green, CA Barbara and George Hanus, IL Shelly and Stanley Kroll, IL Mindy and Ira Mitzner, TX Huti and Jay Pomrenze, Israel Elaine and Saul Schreiber, Israel Keryn and David Schreiber, IL Leo Thurm, NY TWINCO, Inc., TX Shirley Weinstein, Israel Baila and Stanley Weiss, NY

$2,500 - $3,599 Anonymous, Israel Anonymous, Israel Avi and Raquela Adelsberg, NY Adrianne and Leon Brum, FL Capstone Equities, NY Beth Chiger, NY Carol and Howard Clapsaddle, Israel

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*As of September 15, 2016

chai society members

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

fall2016 By Debbie Moed

THE OPENING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR IN ISRAEL IS AN exciting time that drives home, for me, the magnitude and significance of what we accomplish together at AMIT. Providing a transformative education for nearly 34,000 students is paramount to our mission, but addressing the whole student is what sets Reshet AMIT apart: character building, community involvement and scholastic excellence are equally important.

Ultimately, 200 elementary and secondary schools competed for top honors, and AMIT Bar Ilan’s team reached the finals with the highest ranking. The cybertrack students representing Gush Dan in the finals performed tasks that required highlevel algorithmic thinking and teamwork under pressure— 21st century skills that empowered the students and won them the championship.

The challenge of supporting our outstanding network is great, and our fundraising efforts to maintain AMIT’s position as Israel’s premier educational network must be commensurate. I share great pride and thanks that our collective work as valued donors has enabled AMIT to begin the year with greater excitement and possibilities than ever before.

• Amit Suleiman, a student at AMIT Gwen Straus Science High School in Ra’anana, won first place in the national Talmud competition among religious and yeshiva high school students throughout Israel.

The new term is a time of anticipation but AMIT’s students and teachers were engaged and involved throughout the summer vacation. Here is a sampling of recent AMIT accomplishments: • “We decided that all teens are entitled to summer jobs,” said Yutal Weil, a ninthgrader at AMIT Renanim in Ra’anana. Students at Renanim saw to it that teens with disabilities were hired for summer jobs like everyone else. As part of the Chen Program, a youth leadership program aimed at changing attitudes towards people with disabilities, students recruited businesses in town to offer work in cafés and restaurants, and in administrative and service jobs. The students then followed up to ensure the teens’ success. • Two AMIT Bet Ashkelon High School students won the mayor’s award for young adult excellence and community involvement for their significant contribution to the Ashkelon community. “Orly Malessa and Yarden Gihessi are exemplary models of the values we instill at school,” said AMIT Bet Ashkelon principal Yehuda Cohen. • On the academic front, Education Minister Naftali Bennett awarded AMIT Ginsberg Bar Ilan Gush Dan students first place prizes for the national junior high school cyber competition, in which students learned the basics of cyberspace, programming and computers. The competition’s first stage involved a quarter of a million children from 1,900 schools.

• Science coordinator at AMIT Hatzor HaGlilit Junior and Senior High School, Tal Shavit, won the outstanding teacher award sponsored by World ORT Kadima Mada and the Ministry of Education. Judges said that Ms. Shavit was selected for this national honor, from among dozens of teachers considered, due to her devotion to her students and innovative teaching methods. Tal initiated a number of collaborative projects with nearby Tel Hai College, including a program in which college students mentor AMIT Hatzor students. Said the principal of AMIT Hatzor, Avichai Golan “Tal has genuine love for her students and cares about them as individuals. She proves that Hatzor has outstanding young people who dream big and can achieve on a national level with teachers who believe in them.” • Finally, 13 AMIT schools were recognized by the Ministry of Education, among 277 schools countrywide, for integrity, values and achievement. Criteria included improvement over the previous year in matriculation success, academic integrity, immigrant absorption, social activism and drop-out prevention, inclusion of special education students, and army and national service enlistment rates. Three AMIT schools made it into the highest ranking, with an additional 10 chosen for this prestigious list. Each AMIT student is valued for her or his unique talents and capabilities. The educational playing field is leveled so that everyone has an opportunity to excel. My wish for the New Year is that we continue to partner successfully, building a strong State of Israel. Together we revel in our children’s achievements and marvel as they are recognized in and contributors to, the greater community. 

Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE :: 3

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8

fall 2016 – stav 5777 Vol. LXXXVIII No. 4

BUILDING ISRAEL. ONE CHILD AT A TIME.

8

AMIT KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL IN ACCO With an 88% Bagrut (matriculation), AMIT

Kennedy is among the top schools in Israel. By Helga Abraham

12

12

THE SICILIAN CONNECTION

The Jews of Syracusa and Palermo before the Spanish Inquisition. By Robert E. Sutton

16

HIS GIVING IS THEIR GIFT

Raised in AMIT Beit Hayeled and Kfar Blatt, Moshe Uziel has returned as the director of the Pre-Army Junior College (Michlalah) at AMIT Kfar Blatt. By Michele Chabin

16

28

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Interview with AMIT Gush Dan graduate Shachar Kriaf. Interview by Robert E. Sutton

About The Cover

B U I L D I N G I S R A E L . O N E C H I L D AT A T I M E .

Scholars Mentors Leaders Advocates Volunteers

Students who exemplify the best of AMIT.

AMIT’S BEST OF THE BEST IN THIS ISSUE: AMIT ACCO

PROFILE OF MOSHE UZIEL A L U M N I S P OT L I G H T H IGH LIGHTS

fall 2016 : : stav 57 7 7 : : Vol L X X X VIII No. 4

AMIT COUNCIL OFFICES

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National Office 817 Broadway New York, NY 10003 1-800-989-AMIT (2648) 212-477-4720 Fax: 212-353-2312 email: info@amitchildren.org Baltimore/Boston/Washington DC 2800 Stone Cliff Drive, Unit #112 Baltimore, MD 21209 410-484-2223 410-370-9411 Call for Fax: 410-484-2223 email: robbiep@amitchildren.org Chicago 3856 B West Oakton Skokie, IL 60076 847-677-3800 847-372-8702 Fax: 847-982-0057 email: amitchicago@amitchildren.org

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Cleveland 23743 Greenlawn Avenue Beachwood, OH 44122 216-382-4441 email: amitcleveland@amitchildren.org Southeast Region 2700 North 29th Ave. Suite 203 Hollywood, FL 33020 954-922-5100 Fax: 954-922-5199 email: robini@amitchildren.org Los Angeles 1122 S. Robertson Blvd., #9 Los Angeles, CA 90035 310-859-4885 Fax: 310-859-4875 email: michalt@amitchildren.org

Philadelphia P.O. Box 342 Wynnewood, PA 19096 410-484-2223 410-370-9411 Call for Fax: 410-484-2223 email: robbiep@amitchildren.org AMIT UK Friends of AMIT Women UK 152/154 Coles Green Rd. London NW2 7HD Phone: +44-208-438-6353 email: Karen.Am@amit.org.il AMIT FRANCE c/o Mrs. Carole Hannaux 18 rue du Conseil des XV 67000 Strasbourg, France phone: +33-611-487-314 email: carol.hannaux@gmail.com

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AMIT Switzerland c/o: Jennifer Osborn Unter Altstadt 10 6301 Zug, Switzerland Phone: + 41-41-729-0808 email: Jennifer.Osborn@ballag.ch AMIT Israel – Petach Tikva 28 HaMaccabim St. Petach Tikva 49220, Israel Phone: +972-3-912-3171 Fax: +972-3-912-3166 AMIT Israel – Jerusalem 21 King George St., 1st Floor P.O. Box 71075 Jerusalem, Israel 9171001 Phone: +972-2-673-8360 Fax: 972-2-673-8359

FIND AMIT ON

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22

COLUMNS 3

:: President’s Message

6

:: Planned Giving

7

:: Impressions

22 :: Highlights

26

26 :: Dvar Torah

DEVELOPMENT NEWS 30 :: Philly Mother-in-Israel 30 :: Long Island Yom Iyun 31 :: Schwalb Dedication 32 :: Menora Family Endownment 33 :: Baltimore Mother-in-Israel 33 :: Daniel Silva in Philly 34 :: DC Mother-in-Israel

30

34 :: Remembering Eleanor Greenberg, z”l 35 :: Visiting the 9/11 Memorial 35 :: Daniel Silva in New York 36 :: AMIT Symposium in Jerusalem 36 :: LA Independence Day BBQ 37 :: LA Appreciation Dinner 38 :: Beverly Hills Family Fun Day

33 35

39 :: Spanning AMIT World

39

President Debbie Moed Executive Vice President Andrew Goldsmith Vice President, Marketing and Communications Naomi Max Chair, Marketing and Communications Cara Kleiman Director of Marketing & Communications Shelley Labiner Editor in Chief/Creative Director Robert Ephraim Sutton Design Game6Media Editor Emerita Micheline Ratzersdorfer Signed articles do not necessarily represent the opinion of the organization. Reproduction of any material requires permission and attribution. To view us online visit www.amitchildren.org AMIT Magazine (ISSN 1085-2891) is published quarterly; Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer by AMIT. AMIT National Office: 817 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10003. 1-800-989-AMIT, 212-477-4720, Fax 212-353-2312 email: info@amitchildren.org Periodicals postage paid at New York, N.Y., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to AMIT: 817 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10003

AMIT enables Israel’s youth to realize their potential and strengthens Israeli society by educating and nurturing children from diverse backgrounds within a framework of academic excellence, religious values and Zionist ideals. Some 70 percent of AMIT students live in development towns or other “peripheral” areas of the country. AMIT approaches each child as an individual, maximizing his or her potential, and enabling our students to become vital, productive members of Israeli society. The AMIT schools promote religious tolerance, service to the state and the recognition that every child is blessed with unique talents and abilities. Founded in 1925, AMIT operates 108 schools, youth villages, surrogate family residences and other programs, constituting Israel’s only government-recognized network of religious Jewish education incorporating academic and technological studies.

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AMIT, founded in 1925, has a proud history of service to Israel and the Jewish people. Our name, in English, stands for “AMericans for Israel and Torah.” In Hebrew, AMIT is an acronym for “Irgun Mitnadvot l’ma’an Yisrael v’Torata” (Organization of Volunteers for Israel and Her Torah).

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STRENGTHEN ISRAEL’S FUTURE AND SAVE ON TAXES

Make a Tax-Free Gift From Your IRA If you are 70 ½ years old or older, you can now make tax-free gifts to qualified charitable organizations–such as AMIT–by making direct transfers of up to $100,000 from your IRA. The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you receive the benefits even if you do not itemize your tax deductions. HOW THE IRA CHARITABLE ROLLOVER WORKS: • This opportunity applies only to IRAs and not other types of reitrement plans. • If you have not yet taken your required minimum distribution for the year, your IRA charitable rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement.

We’d be happy to work with you to find options that work best. Contact Robin Isaacson at (954) 922-5100 or robini@amitchildren.org to learn more about this taxsmart way to make an impact today for Israel’s children.

• Your gift will be put to use today, allowing you to see the difference your donation is making.

The information in this public ation is not intended as legal or t ax advice. For such advice, please consult an at torney or t ax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetic al purposes only and are subjec t to change. References to es t ate and income t axes include federal t axes only. St ate income/es t ate t axes or s t ate law may impac t your result s.

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IMPRESSIONS

The Difference Between Them and Us By Andrew Goldsmith, Executive Vice President

T H E R A M AT K A L I S T H E SU PR E M E COM M A N DER and Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Given the importance of the IDF in Israeli society, the Chief of Staff is an important public figure in Israel. Former Chiefs of Staff often parlay the prominence of their position into political life, and sometimes the business world. Two Chiefs of Staff (Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak) have become Prime Minister, and nine others have served in the Knesset. Five former Chiefs of Staff held the position of Defense Minister, widely considered to be the most powerful ministerial post in the country. The current Ramatkal is Gadi Eizenkot. The son of Moroccan immigrants, Eizenkot grew up in the southern port city of Eilat, entered Tzahal in the Golani infantry brigade and rose to become its commander. He received a B.A. in history from Tel Aviv University and then received a Master’s degree from the United States Army War College. On any given day, his job is straightforward—keeping Israel safe—and enormously challenging. He is ultimately responsible for the safety of not only every soldier but every citizen walking the streets of Israel, and his daily briefing reveals perils aplenty—many the public will never learn about. Success is expected, and failure brings terrible consequences. So when the Ramatkal calls and asks for a meeting, it is frankly a bit intimidating—akin, one imagines, to receiving a royal summons—but that is exactly what happened to AMIT’s senior staff. The purpose of the meeting was simple—the Ramatkal wished to share with us (and by extension our entire network) what he perceived to be the greatest threat to the safety of the Jewish people. You’d think (as did I) that it would be a nuclear Iran, Hamas, ISIS on our borders or an unstable Middle East. But Israel’s top commander sees otherwise; to him, the threat is entirely internal. The Ramatkal divulged to us that the largest threat facing Israel are the rifts among the various groups

comprising Israeli society, which will only grow deeper in coming years. At the all-important Annual Herzliya Conference, President Reuven Rivlin outlined this new and unique threat to the Jewish state. In his words: “I have identified a very real threat in our collective suppression of the transformations that Israeli society has been undergoing in recent decades; in neglecting to confront what I call the ‘new Israeli order’.…[T]he ‘new Israeli order’ is not an apocalyptic prophecy. It is the reality. A reality, that can already be seen in the composition of the fi rst grade classes in the Israeli education system.” And that’s where we come in. The Ramatkal has asked the AMIT network to help address this strategic threat—to help conduct a “national check” of ourselves and form a plan to strengthen components of unity while still celebrating our familial heritage and diverse backgrounds. We’ll do it—and do it well—not just because the Ramatkal has commissioned us (he’s not a fellow to refuse) but because we must. AMITs impact isn’t restricted to our 33,000 students—it spreads far wider among the population. It’s telling that the Ramatkal came to us. Israel is a small country where reputation matters immensely. AMIT schools generally are a societal Jewish chulent, composed of Ashkenazi and Sephardi, sabra and oleh, Russian, Ethiopian and more and more French students. And while problems of racial prejudice, misogyny and bigotry plague Israeli society, AMIT schools are a safe haven where equality, fairness and mutual respect aren’t just part of the rules, they comprise our very culture—a culture we now hope to extend to greater Israel. After all, we have our orders. 

Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE :: 7

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PHOTOS: REBECCA KOWOLSKY

FEATURE

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One Heart, One Family To Grow with Love, Courage and Humility

A PRINCIPAL

WITH A MAGIC WAND By Helga Abraham Whatever she touches turns to gold. “When I first came here,” recounts Eti Zabary, the bubbly 54-yearold principal of AMIT Kennedy Junior and Senior High School in Acco, “I found broken chairs and tables, black-stained floors, rooms with no windows and pools of rain in classrooms and corridors.” This was in 2013. Within a couple of years, Zabary succeeded in transforming the run-down premises into an attractive educational institution that is fast gaining recognition PHOTOS: REBECCA KOWOLSKY

in the Western Galilee. As she shows me around the

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school, she is clearly proud of her achievements, pointing to a former garbage dump now transformed into a pretty courtyard with plants and decorative pots, brightly painted classrooms, curvy green tables continued on page 10

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continued from page 9 that can be used individually or joined together for group work, and attractive work-stands equipped with computers. There is also new flooring, air conditioning, and a large wall-to-wall carpeted music room. How did she do it? “As soon as I arrived, I began fundraising. I introduced many new educational projects, and each project brought in new funding. Within a year I had a proper working budget.” Most important, Zabary succeeded in raising the school’s academic achievements from the nadir to the heights. In 2013, the school had no more than a 57% Bagrut (high school matriculation) achievement level; by 2015, the figure had shot up to 88%. “AMIT Acco is now among the top schools in Israel for academic achievement,” says Zabary proudly. Ironically, Zabary never aspired to be a teacher. She studied biology and wanted to do research but, she admits, teaching was in her DNA. “My mother was a teacher and teaching came naturally to me. When I was a little girl, I used to line my siblings up in a row and teach them whatever came out of

my head.” She fell into education soon after gaining her BA when a religious boys’ high school close to where she lived, Yavne Haifa, asked her to teach a biology class. Just 23 years old and already a young mother, she was put in charge of large classes of 15 yearold boys. She sailed through. “I was never afraid of a class and never had disciplinary problems,” she says. “I always knew how to set boundaries and was never forced to punish anyone.” While Zabary’s science classes kept getting larger and larger, the other classes at Yavne Haifa were losing students. The school officials considered appointing Zabary as principal but the suggestion was rejected by the Israeli Ministry of Education, which refused to approve a woman as principal of a religious boys’ school. At this point, Zahalon Siri, then coordinator of AMIT’s school principals, interviewed Zabary and offered her the post of principal at AMIT Kennedy Acco. On taking up the reins at AMIT Kennedy, a junior and senior high school with separate boys’ and girls’ wings, Zabary completely revamped the curriculum, introduced new

“In 2013, the school had no more than a 57% Bagrut (high school matriculation) achievement level; by 2015, the figure had shot up to 88%. “AMIT Acco is now among the top schools in Israel for academic achievement”

The Ninth grade Project Based Learning biology class.

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Principal Eti Zabary

tracks (computer science, physics, communications, information technology), appointed new teachers and created myriad new projects. Close to her heart is the PBL (Project Based Learning) program, which encourages students to be actively engaged in the learning process. “PBL merges knowledge and skills,” explains Zabary. “Students research a subject, write up programs, build products and present their projects in front of teachers and students.” For their PBL physics project, last year, seventh-graders Noga Ben Shoshan, Sarah Amar and Lior Yaakov built structures aimed at enabling them to learn about materials, construction, insulation and conductivity. Noga built a kennel with a yard, fence, lawn and fountains, while Lior and Sarah built houses equipped with hot-cold water pipes and electrical conduits. “It was great fun,” says Sarah. “Instead of just listening to the teacher and writing notes, we built something and learned from the experience of building.” Another pet project of Zabary’s is the program of elective courses. “My dream,” she says, “is to enable every child from the periphery to study whatever subject he or she loves… irrespective of the school curriculum.

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I want to teach young people to dream and expose them to as many fields of study as possible.” Thus, during regular school hours, the students at AMIT Kennedy can attend two two-hour courses from four tracks: sport (sailing, biking, martial arts, basketball or soccer), arts (musical instruments, zumba, painting, cooking), science (medicine, advanced physics, hothouse planting, robotics, recycling) and academia (law, finance, sociology, debate, or Torah).

REAPING AWARDS IN PHYSICS Veteran science teacher Ora Eisenberg greets me in one of AMIT Kennedy’s

Not suprisingly, Zabary is hugely popular among the students. Eleventh-graders Ofek Amran and David Menahem were among the large group of boys that followed Zabary to Acco from Yavne Haifa. Both say the move was worthwhile because the school offers them a high standard of learning, and they still have Zabary as principal. “She is very professional,” says David, “and she also listens to us.”

new physics labs. “You have come to

The school’s staff are also enamored of their principal. English teacher Ariel Freedman, originally from Los Angeles, appreciates the professionalism he has found at AMIT Kennedy: “Eti is a great principal; she is always looking for new ways to develop the school and raise standards.” Veteran teacher Michal Raviv notes that Zabary is in a league of her own: “I worked with many principals who had no vision, dreams or passion. Eti has vision, enthusiasm and faith, and she understands that her strength lies in her staff and does her best to support us.”

Under science teacher Ora Eisenberg’s

Zabary is proud of the new atmosphere of success that permeates AMIT Kennedy: “Seeing the spark in the eyes of my students and my staff makes it all worthwhile.” 

the top place in physics,” she says enthusiastically. “When Eti arrived here, she caused a revolution. I never saw a principal like her. She enabled us to do all the projects we had dreamt of, and the standard immediately rose.”

guidance, a group of eighth-graders began, in 2014, an innovative project aimed at examining the effect of a constant magnetic field on the growth of plants. The result was astounding: not only did the magnetic field not have a harmful effect, it boosted plant growth. The experiment won AMIT Kennedy second place in the international Globe Program competition, partially sponsored by NASA. 

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FEATURE

PHOTOS: REBECCA KOWOLSKY

HIS GIVING IS THEIR GIFT

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By Michele Chabin

Petach Tikva, Israel - Raised in AMIT boarding schools from the age of 7-19, Moshe Uziel hoped to one day be able to give back to the AMIT community that nurtured him and his sister Miri through childhood, adolescence and beyond. Since September, Uziel, now 33, has been able to do just that as the new director of the Pre-Army Junior College (Michlalah) professional training program at the AMIT Kfar Blatt Youth Village – where he was once a student. “My dream was to use all that I’ve learned from AMIT to help today’s students,” said Uziel, whose charisma and confidence clearly bring out the best in his students. “The Michlalah taught me all about automotive engineering and technology, the field I pursued in the army, and where I eventually became a commander. I want my students in the Michlalah to take this profession to a whole new level.” continued on page 18

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continued from page 17 While some of the junior college’s students focus solely on the career track, many others also enroll in the college’s Mechina (life preparation) program. For 18 months, the college’s male students spend part of each day learning Jewish studies, Jewish and universal values and life skills. The other part of the day they pursue professional-level training in auto mechanics or industrial management at the junior college. Female students spend 18 months in the Midrasha, the Mechina’s sister program, where they learn Jewish studies, life skills, Jewish values, and train to become medical or legal secretaries. All of the Mechina’s students come from homes with severe socioeconomic and/or family problems, Uziel said. None can afford to pay full tuition, but AMIT makes sure every child receives a quality education that includes career coaching, mental health services, and housing in Kfar Blatt’s dorms. Danny Strick, a counselor at the PreArmy College, added that many of the youth village’s students, from seventh grade through junior college, come from problematic homes where economic issues may be exacerbated by a parent’s inability to adjust to life as a new immigrant, drug or alcohol use, sexual abuse, chronic mental or physical illness or incarceration.

Strick, formerly a guidance counselor for Kfar Blatt’s high school for boys, recalled how, when he and his wife received one too many microwaves as a wedding gift, he asked whether any of his students’ families would like it. “Half the students didn’t know what a microwave was,” Strick said. When he delivered the spare microwave to the home of one of his students, “The boy’s siblings gathered around it as if it was the brightest and most beautiful gift they’d ever seen.” That boy is now an IDF soldier, but AMIT is still providing him with assistance. For the past year, Strick has been coaching the young man on how to plan his life goals. If there is one educator who can relate to these kinds of challenges, it is Moshe Uziel, whose entire world changed at the age of seven. “When I was seven years old, my mother decided to send me and my six-year-old sister, Miri, to AMIT Beit Hayeled in Jerusalem, and a couple years later my father died,” Uziel recalled. “She needed help raising us. I feel it was brave of her to decide to put us in a good boarding school.” Although he lived at Beit Hayeled, Uziel attended an elementary school where the vast majority of students came from, and lived in, stable homes. “I didn’t know to read all that well, and my behavior was a little problematic.” But when Uziel was 14, he moved to Kfar Blatt. “When I arrived, I found that everyone was like me. I lived and studied there, and it was a real home. The AMIT staff gave me what I needed. They gave me the feeling I only needed to ask. They instilled Zionist values in me. Because of this, I wanted to go to the army, and [they] gave me the feeling I could accomplish anything.” It was at the junior college, where he lived until he was 19 years old, that Uziel said he “internalized” the need to attend university, “but not before serving in the army, to give back to the country.”

Moshe Uziel

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The army sensed Uziel’s potential soon after he entered the prestigious Golani

brigade, and sent him to an officers’ training course. Not long afterward, he decided to continue serving beyond the mandatory three years. But when the army decided to send him to Bar Ilan University and pay for his education, the young AMIT graduate found himself potentially homeless. “I needed a place to live, so I called Amiram Cohen, director of Kfar Blatt, and he said, ‘Of course come live here. This is your home. And while you’re living here you can be a role model to the students. They’ll see you and learn from you.” But the results of Uziel’s matriculation exam, taken while he was commanding soldiers in the field and getting little sleep, fell short of the university’s standards. Uziel called Cohen, who in turn called Amnon Eldar, Director General of the AMIT network. “Amnon called the university, and they accepted me on the condition that they would examine my grades in a year,” Uziel said. “I was accepted into a program where I earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Without Amnon’s help I wouldn’t have been accepted into Bar Ilan.” In return for the free tuition, the army required Uziel to serve in the army for four more years. “When I’d completed my four years, I decided to leave because I wanted to give back to AMIT, the place that saved me,” Uziel said. “I really, really want to give back to the children. I feel no one can understand them better than I can. This is my destiny: To save children.” Strick said the junior college’s students and staff feel energized by Uziel’s enthusiasm and leadership. “I’ve never seen a man with such leadership skills. Moshe has a big, big vision.” Strick recalled how, during Uziel’s first meeting with the college’s teachers, even the most veteran educators became excited. Everyone understood that something new and serious is happening here.” Uziel hopes to turn the junior college’s automotive technology program – already considered excellent – into the most-sought-after place to learn

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According to a recent study, about 80 percent of AMIT junior college graduates pass the exit exams administered by the Ministry of Education, and nearly 90 percent serve in their respective fields in the IDF or National Service. a profession in both the military and private sectors. “I know this profession and [I] think this is the future,” Uziel said as he walked around the Kfar Blatt building site where AMIT’s new automotive technology center and other campus facilities are expected to be completed sometime this winter. Uziel plans to bring the state-of-theart automotive simulators used in Italy and Germany to the center. With these and other innovations, he predicts the junior college “will be the best school for electronic and mechanical automotive technology in Israel.

Dr. Eldar recalled that he met Moshe and his sister Miri, who also works at Kfar Blatt, when they first moved to Beit Hayeled and where Eldar’s mother Techiya was the director. “From the beginning, I saw that they both had potential and they were very curious and excited about learning new things.” Eldar emphasized that Uziel, who in the past year earned teaching credentials, was tapped to head the junior college because he was the best person for the job. “We didn’t show Moshe any favors. He

is a great candidate with all the abilities and certificates he needs for this job.

And the fact that he grew up in AMIT

schools as a child-at-risk makes him all the more suitable.”

“To see that he came from the same

background and had the motivation to do something important with his life

shows them it’s possible for anybody to do that.

David Doueck, a second-year student

at the junior college, said that when

Moshe spoke with all the students for the first time, he was impressed by

Uziel’s drive. Said Doueck, “People think people like me can’t succeed. Moshe told

us, yes, you can succeed, with or without

a home. That your future depends on you as an individual and what you want to do with your life.”

Seated in the cramped prefab building

that serves as the junior college’s

administrative offices, Uziel insisted

that it is the AMIT network that deserves praise.

“All my life AMIT was by my side. I

tell everyone I speak to that AMIT is an angel. The people who donate to this organization give money, but what

they are really giving is love, warmth, education, values. The same is true of

AMIT teachers and counselors. Every day they come to work with smiles on their

David Doueck and Agnehu Molee

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faces. They give love to the children.” 

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$1,000,000 +

Ellen, z”l, and Meyer Koplow, NY Ethel and Lester Sutker, IL Ellen and Stanley Wasserman, NY

$250,000 - $999,999 Shari and Jacob M. Safra, NY The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc.

$100,000 - $249,999

Barbara and Jules Nordlicht, NY Dahlia Kalter Nordlicht and Mark Nordlicht, NY Joyce and Daniel Straus, NJ The Maurice and Viviene Wohl Philanthropic Foundation, NY

$75,000 - $99,999

ING

A TIME • AT

M I T • B UI LD

A

Laurie and Eli Bryk Ellen and Emanuel Kronitz, Israel

ISRA E

L

NE CHI LD •O

An Invitation To Join Me In

President’s Circle

$50,000 - $74,999 Hadassah and Marvin Bienenfeld, NY Suzanne and Jacob Doft, NY Norma and Emanuel, z”l, Holzer, NY Leon and Gloria, Edward, Sari, and Howard Miller, NY Debbie and Samuel Moed, NJ Harriet and Heshe Seif, NJ Carrie and Ilan Stern, NY Trudy and Stanley Stern, NY Robyn Price Stonehill and David Stonehill, NY Adina Straus, NY

As a parent and a long time devoted AMIT donor, I know how important a good education is to the development of children. Many of the 33,000 students at AMIT in Israel do not have the advantages that our own children enjoy and which we may easily take for granted.

$36,000 - $49,999

President’s Circle gifts provide the foundation upon which our network of schools is built. These annual gifts are sustaining funds that we rely on to support our excellent programs. In order to guarantee the continuation of programs which nurture AMIT’s children and instill within them strong values and academic excellence, we rely on our members whose annual donation ensure Israel’s future by providing these opportunities.

$25,000 - $35,999

All successful endeavors require a strong foundation. Please join me. The circle will not be complete without you. Debbie Moed - President Chair - Joyce Straus Honorary Chairs - Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein For further information regarding President’s Circle, please contact Susan Meyers, Director of Development, at 212-477-4730, 1-800-989-AMIT or susanm@amitchildren.org.

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Ike, Molly and Steven Elias Foundation, NY Amy, z”l, and Jimmy Haber, NY Brenda and Albert Kalter, NY Ria and Tim Levart, NJ Naomi Foundation, NY

Joseph and Rae Gann Foundation, MA Leelah and Joseph Gitler, Israel Mitzi Golden, NY Goldhirsh-Yellin Foundation, CA Laura and Jonathan Heller, NY Mildred and Alvin Hellerstein, NY Debbie and David Isaac, NY Michele and Ben Jacobs, NY Kirkland & Ellis LLP, NY Micheline and Marc Ratzersdorfer, Israel Norman and Bettina Roberts Foundation, NJ Sandra and Evan Roklen, CA The Moise Y. Safra Foundation, NY Zahava and Moshael Straus, NJ Shirley and Morris Trachten, z”l, Family Foundation, Israel

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Blackman Foundation, CA Adena and Ezra Dyckman, NY Jewel and Ted Edelman, NY Pnina and Jacob Graff, CA Russell Jay Hendel, MD Sarah Liron and Sheldon Kahn, CA Amy and Todd Kesselman, NY Gitta and Richard Koppel, Israel Sharon and Solomon Merkin, NJ

$10,000 - $17,999

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$5,000 - $9,999 Anonymous, FL Anonymous, France Anonymous Israel Anonymous, MA Anonymous, NY Anonymous, NY Anonymous, NY Anonymous, Switzerland Lisa Bellows Ablin and Jason Ablin, CA Leah and Jonathan Adler, NJ Sarah and Maurice Aghion, MA Randi Schatz Allerhand and Joseph S. Allerhand, NY Ann and Hy Arbesfeld, NY Lolly and Harris Bak, NY Rachel and Martin Balsam, NY Yael Balsam, NY Eli Baron, CA Joan and Shael Bellows, IL Lee and Louis Benjamin, NY Tamar and Ethan Benovitz, Israel Bea Berger, NJ Phyllis and Edward Berkowitz, NY Lisa and Joseph Bernstein, NY Vivian and Stanley Bernstein, NY Evelyn and Isaac Blachor, NY Devorah and Melvyn Bleiberg, NY Beth and Reuben Blumenthal, NY Deborah Stern Blumenthal and Michael Blumenthal, NJ Sari and Stuart Braunstein, NY Tamar and Hillel Bryk, NY Carol and Arnold Caviar, KS Margaret and Chaim Charytan, NY Barbara and Melvyn Ciment, MD Michael Cleeman, NY Trina and Paul Cleeman, NY Rosa and Isaac Cohanzad, CA Florence Cohen, z’l, NY Sherry and Neil Cohen, NY Shevi and Milton Cohen, NY Diane and Howard Cole, NY Melvin S. Cutler Foundation, MA Emily and Paul Dauber, NJ Selma Daye, CA Sonia Diamond Family Foundation, MD Elaine and Lewis Dubroff, NY Hattie and Arthur Dubroff, NJ Susan Ederson, NY Linda and Barry Eichler, PA & NY Sherry and Aaron Eidelman, NY Laurie Bilger and Eli Epstein, NY Vivian and Bernard Falk, NY Iris and Stephen Feldman, NY

Sheila and Kenneth Fields, NJ Gabriella and David Fridman, NY Rena and Michael Friedman, IL Marisa and Andrew Gadlin, NY Linda and Norman Garfield, PA Rita Geller, IL Randi and Alan Gelman, Israel Debbie and Elliot Gibber, NY Abigail and Ari Glass, NY Miriam and Felix Glaubach, NY Ilana and Stuart Goldberg, NJ Paulette and Max Goldberg, NY Esther and Jack Goldman, NY Anne and Sheldon Golombeck, NY Sandra E. Goodstein and Arthur Rosenblatt, PA Sara and Ronald Gottlieb, FL Layla and Evan Green, CA Paula Yudenfriend and Arlin Green, PA Sharon and Melvin Gross, NY Phyllis Hammer, MA Debbie and Robert Hartman, IL Debbie and Eddie Herbst, CA Aviva and Fred, z”l, Hoschander, NY Peggy and Robert Insel, NY Sonia Bodenstein-Izenstark and Ira Izenstark, CA Elaine and Robert Jacobs, NY Talya and Rafi Jacobs, NY Barbara and Manfred Joseph, NY Connie and Alan Kadish, NJ Robin and Simon Kahn, Israel Danna and Gilad Kalter, NY Ruth and Jerome Kamerman, NY Stacey and David Kanbar, NY Miriam and Shopsy Kanarek, NY Ruth and William, z”l, Kantrowitz, NY Harriet and Joel Kaplan, NY Elissa and Michael Katz, NJ Rochelle Stern Kevelson, NY Diane and Barry Kirschenbaum, FL Susan Alter Klaperman and Gilbert Klaperman, NY Chani and Shimi Klein, NY The Klibanoff Family, NJ Jane Klitsner, Israel Laurie and Robert Koppel, NY Madeline and Ethan Kra, NJ Evelyn and Lawrence Kraut, NJ Ruth M. Finglass and Kevin A. Kubach, MD Donna and Jeffrey Lawrence, MD Diane and David Lent, NY Kari and Joshua Levine, NY Rose and Jacob Levine, z”l, CA Sylvia and Norman Levine, FL Dorothy and Robert Lewis, NY Ruth and Robert Lewis, NY Mindy and Seymour Liebman, NY Audrey and Haskel Lookstein, NY Naomi and Carl Lopkin, MA Rita Lourie-Galena, PA & NY Malka Lozowick, Israel Meira and Solomon Max, NY Manette and Louis Mayberg, MD Benay and Ira Meisels, NY Susan and Jeffrey Meyers, NY Esther Miller, FL

Judy and Albert Milstein, IL Leonard E. Minsky, ME Myra Mitzner, NY Gloria and Burton Nusbacher, NY Lynn and Samuel Pepper, NJ Bea and Irwin, z”l, Peyser, NY Hedy and Paul Peyser, MD Suzy and Paul Peyser, NY Vicki and Jerry Platt, NY Esther and Donald Press, NY Tzippi and Ira Press, NJ Judy and Jerry Pressner, NY Evelyn Reichenthal, TX Shelley Rindner, NY Fritzie and Sheldon, z”l, Robinson, IL Kristina and Len Rosen, Israel Vivian and Solomon Rosen, FL Miriam and Howard Rosenblum, NJ Gale and Eric Rothner, IL Elizabeth and Gidon Rothstein, NY Leah and Arnold Rotter, CA Hedda Rudoff, NY Marielle and Edmund Safra, NY Tammy and Kenny Schaum, NY Jan and Sheldon Schechter, NY Esther and William Schulder, NJ Michelle and Dov Schwartz, NJ Esther, z”l, and Jacques Semmelman, NJ Deanne and Leonard Shapiro, Israel Sharon and Rony Shapiro, MA Chana and Daniel Shields, NJ Mollie Siegel, NJ Sharon and Morris Silver, CA Lorraine and Mordy Sohn, NY Sara and Gabriel Solomon, MD Mahla and Hilton Soniker, NY Nancy and Benjamin Sporn, NY Francine and Aaron Stein, NJ Claire and David Subar, Israel Nechama and Howard Taber, NY Lilly Tempelsman, NY Deena and Jonathan Thurm, NJ Sandra, z”l, and Max Thurm, NY Marilee and Michael Tolwin, CA Bertie and Fred Tryfus, NY Vicky and Michael Turek, NY The Uretsky Family, LA Amy and Jeffrey Verschleiser, NY Audrey and Max Wagner, NY Paula and Leslie Walter, NY Anne and Mark Wasserman, NY Marion and William Weiss, NJ Roselyn and Walter, z”l, Weitzner, NY Linda and Stanley Weissbrot, IL Linda and Steven Weissman, NY Joyce and Jeremy Wertheimer, MA Booky and Jerome Wildes, NY Phyllis Wind, z”l, NY Florence Wolf, NY Stella and Samy Ymar, MD Hilde and Benjamin, z”l, Zauderer, NY Esther and Dov Zeidman, NY Gloria Zeisel, IL Tamar and Benjamin Zeltser, NY

*As of September 15, 2016

Anonymous, Israel Anonymous, MA Anonymous, NY Anonymous, NY Trudy and Ted, z”l, Abramson, FL Nicole Schreiber Agus and Raanan Agus, NY Max & Anna Baran, Ben & Sarah Baran and Milton Baran, z”l, CA Zelda and Solomon Berger, NY Daisy Berman, NY Anne Bernstein, CA Barbara Bloom, MD Ethlynne and Stephen Brickman, MA Lotte and Ludwig Bravmann, NY Marion Crespi, NY Jone and Allen Dalezman, MA Selma and Jacob Dyckman, NY Gail and Martin Elsant, NY Trudy and Sol Englander, NY Ruth and Gene Fax, MA Lisa Rosenbaum and Ronald Fisher, MA Lilly and Alfred Friedman, NY Rosalyn and Ira Friedman, NJ Harwit Charitable Trust, CA Suzanne and Norman Javitt, NY Ilana and Mitchell Kahn, NY Ruth and Hillel Kellerman, CA The Kolatch Family Foundation, NJ Ruth and Daniel Krasner, NY Rochelle and Seymour, z”l, Kraut, NJ Aliza and Steven Major, NY Zipporah and Arnold Marans, NY Etella and Haim Marcovici, NY Joan, z”l, and Leon Meyers, NY The Dorothy Phillips Michaud Charitable Trust, CA Elana and Shami Minkove, NY Marilyn and Leon Moed, NY Nataly and Steve Neuwirth, NY Regina Peterseil, NY Lauren and Mitchell Presser, NY Jerald Ptashkin, CA Barbara and Joel, z”l, Rascoff, NY Joyce and Stanley Raskas, NY Jennie and Avi Rothner, IL Shirley and Milton Sabin, FL Rita and Eugene Schwalb, FL Debbie and Daniel Schwartz, NY Judy and Isaac Sherman, NY Deena and Adam Shiff, NY Ronnie and William Slochowsky, NY

Marilyn and Herbert, z”l, Smilowitz, NJ Sondra and Myron Sokal, NY Audrey and Chaim Trachtman, NY Ina and David Tropper, NY Judy and Morry Weiss/Sapirstein-StoneWeiss Foundation, OH Robert Zeldin, France Helene and Gerald Zisholtz, NY

president’s circle of honor

$18,000 - $24,999

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By Cheryl Shaanan and Robert E. Sutton

AMIT HIGHLIGHTS AND SUCCESSES Because of your generous donations, more than 33,000 students are being educated and nurtured within a framework of academic excellence, traditional Jewish values and Zionist ideals. Here are a few ways your gifts made a difference.

ISRAEL’S FIRST ETHIOPIAN PRINCIPAL AT AMIT Rabbi Gadi Bekia, the first school principal of Ethiopian descent in Israel, has been chosen to lead AMIT Hazon Ovadia Elementary School in Beersheva. Rabbi Bekia, 36, was born in Gondar, Ethopia, and made Aliyah with his family when he was 11 years old. Rabbi Bekia was a Bnei Akiva leader in his youth, learned in a hesder yeshiva, served as an IDF paratrooper, and earned a B.A. in Education and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Rabbi Bekia was warmly received at the school by students, teachers and parents. He is aware that being the first Ethiopian principal arouses interest, but he explains that as someone who came to Israel at a young age, he feels like any other veteran Israeli principal. “It’s true that the color of our skin is an initial barrier for those of Ethiopian descent,” says Rabbi Bekia, “but I believe in hard work. If you are good, you will succeed. That is the message I convey to my students.” Rabbi Bekia feels he has a very Israeli personality. “I have never personally experienced discrimination due to my Ethiopian heritage. In Beersheva and the South, people are warm and accept each other,” he said. At the beginning of this new school year, Rabbi Bekia is full of hope. “I believe in the educational community we have created at our school. We have an excellent faculty and caring parents. I come to school every day with the belief that each child has enormous potential, and he can be a Nobel Prize winner, the Chief Rabbi of Israel or IDF Chief of Staff.” “Gadi is a creative and original educational leader,” said Dr. Amnon Eldar, Director General of the AMIT Network. “He has succeeded in bringing together teachers and parents in an educational community of learning.” 

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CYBER CHAMPS! AMIT Ginsburg Bar Ilan Gush Dan students won the national junior high school cyber competition sponsored by the Ministry of Education. This summer, four representatives of the team, Daniel Hoch, Daniel Cohen, Noam Foss and Eldar Kellner, were invited to meet with Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who presented the award to the team. Liat Carmon-Kolet, coordinator of software engineering and cyber studies at AMIT Bar Ilan, said that the cyber championship was a challenging and AMIT Ginsburg Bar Ilan Gush Dan faculty and students with Education unique experience for all the students. Minister Naftali Bennett (fifth from right). “Everyone experienced independent learning and the skills of writing and understanding code,” said Carmon-Kolet. “In addition, the cyber-track students who represented us in the finals performed tasks that required high-level algorithmic thinking and teamwork. The collaborative and creative thinking, which are 21st century skills, empowered the students and won them the championship.”

A SUMMER OF LEARNING Ulpanat AMIT Givat Shmuel students are devoting part of their summer vacations to learning practical new skills, including self-defense and first-aid. The school’s administration, along with the student council, created a rich offering of special courses, social gatherings and workshops for its junior high school students. Last week, over 60 students participated in a 20-hour first-aid course and acquired the basic skills needed to assist in cases of injury. In addition, students met weekly for a summer Beit Midrash program with school faculty and guest speakers. On the eve of Tisha B’Av, the school held a study session and Book of Lamentations reading for the girls and women of Givat Shmuel. 

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FIRST FIELD TRIP IN ISRAEL FOR NEW IMMIGRANTS OF AMIT AMIT Society and Law track, of AMIT Gwen Straus High School in Kfar Batya, Ra’anana, welcomed twenty new immigrant 7th - 10th grade students. The students and their families have made aliyah from a number of different countries including: France, Australia, Colombia, USA, Mexico, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Students attend a special ulpan classes at the school to learn Hebrew and gradually join their Israeli peers in regular classes. In collaboration with the Ra’anana Municipality Immigrant Absorption Department, the school recently invited the new students and their parents to their first field trip in Israel. The trip to Neot Kedumim, the Biblical Nature Reserve, was a chance for all to explore the connection between the Land of Israel and Bible stories and to get a taste of life as their ancestors lived it. Students and their parents drew water from a well; herded sheep; tasted indigenous spices and food straight from nature; and learned about Jewish historical leaders. 

AMIT YUD ASHDOD SOCCER TEAM WINS CITY CHAMPIONSHIP Just before the end of the school year, the AMIT Yud Ashdod team won the Ashdod citywide championship in mini-soccer. All the Ashdod high schools took part in the tournament, including schools that have won on the national level. The aim of this particular tournament was to improve the atmosphere on soccer fields in Israel and teach good sportsmanship. After an electrifying final game that ended 2-2 (including two overtimes), the AMIT Yud squad was victorious on penalty kicks. AMIT Yud principal Ido Aharonvitch congratulated his students and thanked the Ashdod Municipality for promoting sports for young people. As Aharonvitch put it, “The investment in sports translates directly into quality learning. The success of our boys and girls on the playing field helps them realize their special abilities across the board.” 

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PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL RECOGNIZES YESHIVAT AMIT KFAR GANIM President Reuven Rivlin honored AMIT Kfar Ganim Yeshiva High School for its educational program of tolerance and open discourse with the many sectors of Israeli society. Rabbi Hagai Gross, principal of Kfar Ganim, and Rabbi Idan Hershko, an educator who leads the Israeli Hope program at the school, accepted the award on behalf of the faculty and students. All students at AMIT Kfar Ganim participate in the program that was designed to develop a sense of responsibility to society and bridge cultural gaps. Cross-cultural interactions include participating in a research project in collaboration with students from secular and Arab high schools, and taking field trips to culturally diverse cities in Israel. “Connecting to diverse sectors of Israeli society is one of the educational cornerstones of our yeshiva, where we teach acceptance of others and taking responsibility for the future of the country,” said Rabbi Hagai Gross. 

(l-r) Rabbi Hagai Gross, President Reuven Rivlin, Rabbi Idan Hershko

REMEMBERING BESSIE GOTSFELD This past summer, students from AMIT Kfar Blatt Petach Tikva Youth Village took time out from their summer vacations to pay their respects to Bessie Gotsfeld, z”l, the founder of AMIT. The students marked Bessie Gotsfeld’s Yahrzeit in the Hebrew month of Tammuz by holding a memorial service at the Nahalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv, where she is buried. Dr. Amnon Eldar, Director General of the AMIT Network stated, “Bessie Gotsfeld had a far-sighted vision. Starting with one educational facility, AMIT has grown into a network of 110 schools with over 30,000 students. Although Bessie Gotsfeld did not have any children of her own, she has provided the foundations for thousands and thousands of children and their families for generations.” 

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DVAR TORAH

Learning to Cry A

W

hen we were babies, no one taught us to cry. It was our primal instinct to scream out when in pain or discomfort. Crying is a sign of life, and when we were infants, crying was our primary mode of communication. But as we grew older, many of us learned how not to cry; we hardened ourselves to insults and offenses. As we tried to stand tall in the face of adversity, we heard “hold the drama” or “man up” or some other dismissive phrase that suggested implicitly that it was time to outgrow tears. Such a “manly” point of view cannot be true for the religious personality, especially on momentous days when our prayers and our texts are filled with reasons to weep. Who can read U’netaneh Tokef and remain dry-eyed? My daughters joke that our row in shul during the Yamim Noraim is the splash zone.

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The tears of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a form of spiritual catharsis for us, a recognition of the brokenness of our world. There are tears for the concern of what the year may bring, for the sad moments of the year past, for those no longer at the yom tov table. And there is emotional liberation in those tears, in giving oneself permission to cry. In Rabbi Israel Meir Lau’s remarkable autobiography, Out of the Depths, Lau mentions a young survivor after liberation who had lost his parents and who heard an older survivor address several hundred orphans in France. The young listener thanked the speaker for a gift: the ability to cry again. “When they took my father and mother, my eyes were dry. When they beat me mercilessly with their clubs, I bit my lips, but I didn’t cry. I haven’t cried for years, nor have I laughed.

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By Dr. Erica Brown

y Again

We starved, froze, and bled, but we didn’t cry.” This young man thought he had a stone for a heart. “Just now, he said, I cried freely. And I say to you, that whoever can cry today, can laugh tomorrow….”

The capacity to cry means we’re truly human. In an exquisite sermon delivered by Rabbi Norman Lamm on Rosh Hashanah, he states, “Ours is an age which has forgotten how to cry.”1 He laments the fact that the machzor, which was once smudged in tears, is, for many of us, white and clean. He then categorizes three types of tears: the tears that come when our myths of security are shattered, the tears of the hopeless, and the tears of those who cry over reality as a first step in changing that reality2. Jewish tears, he writes, should always represent the first category; as a people, we cannot lose hope, even when our most treasured myths collapse. Humbly, I offer another type of tears, the tears I believe we must shed on our holiest days of the year. They are the tears of broken relationships, when—if we are lucky—the emotional callouses we’ve built up soften ever so slightly and force us to admit uncomfortable truths about ourselves and our own accountability. Hatati – I am wrong. I have hurt someone. I am distant from God. I am far from someone I love. I am far from myself. Perhaps the best biblical illustration of these kind of tears is embodied by a figure we meet in the Bible long before his birth and then after death, when his bones were lovingly carried to the Land of Israel. In Genesis, our biggest crier was also our most significant savior: Joseph. On any number of occasions related to his brothers, Joseph cries. His are not the lone tears that trickle down the cheek in silence but the great, gulping tears of suffering and then relief. In Genesis 45, Joseph sent all of his Egyptian courtiers out of his chamber when he finally revealed himself to his brothers. If he was trying to spare himself embarrassment, it did not work: “His sobs were so loud that the Egyptians could hear, and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace” [45:2].

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In the final chapter of the Joseph narratives, he once again cries when his brothers beg for their personal safety after the death of Jacob. “And Joseph was in tears as they spoke to him” [50:17]. We feel Joseph’s pain when he realizes that the happy reunion he allowed (five chapters) earlier was not to be as happy as he thought. He had granted his brothers forgiveness, but they never fully accepted it. The relationship between them was still strained. He thought they were reconciled; he cried when he realized they were not. And time was running out. Joseph dies in the very same chapter. Rav Kook in Orot HaTeshuva makes an important distinction between specific and general repentance. Specific repentance targets a particular behavior, character trait or action. The penitent expresses regret and commits to a different future, following the steps carefully outline in Maimonides’ “Laws of Repentance.” General teshuva, however, cannot point to anything specific. It is a malaise, an overwhelming feeling that I am not myself, or the world is not itself, or a relationship is not working, and I have contributed mightily to its dysfunction. This teshuva is, in many ways, much harder to weep over and much harder to repair because, without a name or a label, it feels like grasping a cloud. Yet, this season of introspection creates many markers along the road to transformation for us to sit with ourselves in silence, in community, with family, in the beating of a chest, in the vulnerability of a sukkah. All of these moments beg us to confront ourselves, to ask if we have opened up our hearts enough to feel what we pray. In Devarim, we read that God helps us achieve this state: “Then the Lord your God will open up your heart and the hearts of your offspring to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, in order that you may live” [30:6]. The word to open here is “u’mal”—to circumcise. God makes a little hole in our hearts, taking off the layer of hardness that prevents us from real feeling. Our job this season is to make that hole bigger. As Leonard Cohen wisely wrote, “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” 1

Rabbi Norman Lamm, “Three Who Cried,” given on the first day of Rosh Hashanah at the Jewish Center in Manhattan (September 29, 1962).

2

I discuss this sermon at length in “Teaching God to Cry,” In the Narrow Places (Koren/ OU, 2011): 77-80.

Dr. Erica Brown is an associate professor at George Washington University

and the director of the Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership. She is the author of ten books. Her forthcoming book, Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet will be published by Koren/OU in the fall of 2017.

9/30/16 1:18 PM


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

What school and extra curricular activities did you participate in?

Shachar Kriaf

Interview by Robert E. Sutton SHACHAR KRIAF IS A RECENT graduate of AMIT Ginsburg Bar Ilan Gush Dan Junior and Senior High School for Boys and Chairman of the Ramat Gan student council. He received the Ilan and Asaf Ramon Prize for Excellence and Leadership for outstanding fundraising events at his school to raise

I held a number of different positions: member of the student council, counselor and guide for Shelah [National Field Society] and student representative for the Municipal council of Ramat Gan. How did you become chairman of the student council in Ramat Gan? After being on the AMIT student council, my teacher advised me to move on and become a member of the Municipal Council of Ramat Gan. After about a year of serving as council secretary, I ran for election as chairman and got elected by an overwhelming vote. Tell us about the fundraising event that you organized at AMIT. We had a fundraising event for a 13-year-old child with heart and lung cancer. He was in dire need of medication that cost 80,000 shekels a month. We raised that amount in less than ninety days.

money for children with cancer.

You recently received the prestigious Ilan and Assaf Ramon

How did you and your parents choose AMIT Bar Ilan?

Prize for Excellence and Leadership. Were you surprised? Tell

From the moment we started to look, I knew I would go to an AMIT school. I fell in love with AMIT the moment I went through the doors. What were your strengths in school and what are your favorite subjects? My favorite subjects are history and Jewish philosophy. We are nothing without our history, and we’re nothing without understanding our actions. Tell us about your teachers. The teachers at Bar Ilan Gush Dan are extraordinary. The interactions with them were not only limited to school hours, but went so much further: individualized time after school, phone conversations on any school topic, and on life. There are two experiences that I’ll never forget. The first was when my math teacher stayed with me and two other students the night before the Bagrut (matriculation exam) studying and

us about the prize and the program. I was really surprised! Out of 300 teenagers, they chose only twelve. All of us have devoted a large part of our lives to doing good and giving to others, impacting Israeli society and showing love of country. We participated in many meetings with members of the Knesset as well as key figures in Israeli society. How has AMIT played a vital role in your educational process and imparting Jewish and Zionist ideals? The school and the network of educators instill love of the land and Torah. The history lessons are run by the best teachers who keep reminding us the importance of a Jewish state. What are your plans post high school and long-term? I’m starting a pre-army preparatory program (Mechina), and then army service. Afterwards, with G-d’s help, I plan to attend teaching college to become an educator. In the future, I hope to be a member of the Knesset and eventually the prime minister

practicing the topics we had difficulty with.

of Israel.

My teacher Yaron Carmi was wonderful and caring. He helped

Is there anything you would like to say to the AMIT

me out of major crises, and I revealed things to him

supporters here in the United States?

that I had never told anyone before. He is a personal role model

Continue giving your support. Keep on believing that the

for me.

AMIT network is the best place for us with round-the-clock

Our Principal, Yoni Berlin is a role model for all of the students.

dedication and love of learning, and caring people. I can never

He does everything with a smile and love. I do not remember

thank all those people in the U.S. who helped me get to where I

one time I was denied a request for help.

am today. 

28 :: Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE

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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

2016/5776 AMIT CERTIFICATES OF RECOGNITION

Yair Rashelback AMIT Tzfat High School for Boys Chosen as AMIT Network Outstanding Student for excellence and impressive achievement in the Regional and National Bible Competition.

Amit Suleiman AMIT Gwen Straus Science Junior and Senior High School for Boys Ra’anana Chosen as AMIT Network Outstanding Student for excellence in Judaic Studies and the impressive achievement of first place in the National Talmud Competition.

Oshri Hadad AMIT Kennedy Junior and Senior High School, Acco Chosen as AMIT Network Outstanding Student for winning the Ilan Ramon Award for

Excellence and Leadership; for outstanding achievement in the sciences and cyber; and for contribution to the school and local Communities.

Hila Michaeli AMIT Yud Ashdod High School Chosen as AMIT Network Outstanding Student as a member of the school’s robotics team

that won second place in the national Technion championship; for school leadership and social activism; and for excellence in sports.

David Greenfeld Mr. and Mrs. Lester Sutker AMIT Modi’in High School for Boys Chosen as AMIT Network Outstanding Student as captain of the school’s robotics team in the FIRST Robotics Competition; for instructing and training younger students for the First Lego League Robotics Competion; and for volunteering in the community.

Yaron Mishayev AMIT Atidim Junior and Senior High School, Or Akiva Chosen as AMIT Network Outstanding Student for winning an achievement award in the prestigious national Kdam Atidim program; for excelling at all areas of scholarship; for assisting others inside and outside the classroom; and for exemplary ethical behavior.

®

Dr. Amnon Eldar Director General

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Yaffi Shmidman Chair, AMIT Israel Executive

Zahalon Siri Leader of Northern AMIT Community

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(l-r) Betty Igdalski Lawler, Yaela Baine, Brenda Frank

DEVELOPMENT NEWS Philly Shira Mother-in-Israel This past June, AMIT Philadelphia Council/Shira Chapter

gathered at Lower Merion Synagogue to honor Yaela Baine at their annual Mother-in-Israel event. Rebbetzin Adina

Shmidman delivered a timely Dvar Torah; Joan Betesh spoke movingly about the Jewish values AMIT transmits to our

children and how we can measure our success; and Yaela Baine shared her family history with AMIT through the compelling

stories that have inspired her deep and lifelong commitment to AMIT’s mission. <

Naomi Sved and Eti Berkowitz

(l-r) Betty Igdalski Lawler, Yaela Baine, Ed Altman, Ann Holstein, Diane Okrent, Susan Getz, Joan Betesh

Rebbetzin Adina Shmidman

Sarah Rosner

Debra Speyer

Long Island Yom Iyun Over 125 women spent the morning together in prayer and learning at

AMIT’s 17th annual LI Yom Iyun that took place on Wednesday, August 10, at the Sephardic Temple in Cedarhurst. Chairwoman Rebbetzin Mehlman

emphasized the importance of this event that is “For Women, by Women”

and how meaningful it is to have such a large gathering of women learning (l-r) Debbie Moed, AMIT president, Rebbetzin Lisa Septimus, Rebbetzin Mimi Mehlman, Professor Nechama Price, Debby Gage, Audrey Wagner

together before Tisha b’Av. Participants were captivated by the presentation of Professor Nechama Price, Director of Yeshiva University’s Graduate

Program for Advanced Talmudic Studies and Yoetzet Halacha. Her message

was about the power and influence women had in Tanach and its relevance for today’s Jewish women. <

Chairwoman Mimi Mehlman

Attendees

Amanda Kornblum, Midreshet AMIT student

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Sharon Simon

9/30/16 1:08 PM


Celebrating a Milestone, the AMIT Way Celebrating a Bar Mitzvah the first time around is a big deal.

Celebrating it the second time around is even more meaningful! For Rita Schwalb, beloved husband Eugene’s second Bar Mitzvah was

the ideal occasion to do something meaningful both to honor him and support AMIT.

Rita knew that she wanted to do something that would be lasting and would show their commitment to the students of AMIT in Sderot. To that end, on June 8th, Rita, Eugene and their family

dedicated a new Sefer Torah and Beit Knesset for the students at the AMIT Sderot Religious Junior and Senior High School.

Dr. Eugene Schwalb and Rita Schwalb

Yacov Schwalb and Dr. Eugene Schwalb

Friends and family came from

the U.S. to join together on this

special day. For those who could not attend, Rita sent a moving and heartfelt letter to all her friends, including her fellow

The Schwalb family

chapter members in Deerfield Beach, Florida. She shared with them her awe in the face of the resilience

of the Sderot community, in spite

of their challenges, and invited all to participate in this mitzvah by

honoring Eugene and supporting AMIT with a donation.

The Hachnassat Torah was marked with singing and dancing by the students at the school. A parade

started at the Sderot City Hall and marched through the streets to the school. Rita remarked

how Sderot holds a special place in the Schwalbs’ heart as they continue to visit and lend their

moral and financial support to this city that’s in the line of fire. The Schwalbs are motivated by their sense of hope that, no matter what, this city will continue to flourish and be a beacon of persistence and survival to us and to its residents. <

Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE :: 31

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DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Sema and Moshe Menora

Sema (back row third from right) and the AMIT Galila Chapter honoring three generations of AMIT “Ladies.”

Sema (third from right) being installed as chair of the life membership committee in 1996

Sema and Moshe Menora, z”l Endownment Sema Chaimovitz Menora, z”l, and her husband Moshe

Sema, who passed away in 2014, was a passionate member

community in Chicago and very dear friends to AMIT.

leadership and advice for over a half-century. The Menora

Menora, z”l, were role models for the religious Zionist Sema became involved in the Galila chapter from its

beginnings in the 1960s. Her commitment to AMIT was

and spokesperson for AMIT and we relied on her for

Shabbos table was always full. Guests were served a beautiful meal and issued an invitation to join AMIT

strengthened by her memory of her first trip to Israel in 1957

Sema was married to Moshe z”l, president of Tri-United

met one of the first groups of Ethiopian students to emigrate

major supporter of Sema’s AMIT endeavors. Three children,

when she visited AMIT’s Kfar Batya children’s village and

to Israel. In 1972, she was one of twenty women chosen for AMIT’s first Task Force to Israel and, in that same year, was appointed an associate national board member.

Besides being a co-founder and co-president of the Galila

chapter, Sema held various positions including an ongoing

role as council coordinator of public relations and publicity. In 2005, she was the 80th Anniversary honoree at AMIT’s Annual Dinner in Chicago.

Development, Inc., for more than fifty years. He was a

Miriam, Sholom, and Kelly, are all involved in their Jewish communities in Chicago and Israel.

Sema was a well-read lover of books, knowledgeable in

contemporary and classical literature. Both she and Moshe

were also passionate students of Torah. It is a fitting tribute

that their children have endowed the Sema and Moshe Menora, z”l, Back-to-School Campaign to provide AMIT students with

books that will enable them to master their studies and excel as Jews and become productive members of Israeli society. <

32 :: Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE

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Baltimore Mother-in-Israel

(l-r) Sam Wach, Chana Wach, Shaindy Kelman, Isabel Levinson

On a steamy July evening, AMIT Baltimore gathered at the lovely home of Janet and Alan Abramowitz for their annual Mother-in-

Israel event. Many in attendance were warmly reminded of the AMIT events held in the same house by Alanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents, Grace and Irving Abramowitz, before they made aliyah. Scott Ference presented a

lively Dvar Torah and Rabbi Yisroel Motzen spoke with passion about the mitzvah of the mezuzah, the theme of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event. <

Jacob and Estelle Apelberg

Gail and Sol Gerstman

(l-r) Alan Abramowitz, Harry Kozlovsky, Charlotte Glicksman, Adrian Kozlovsky, Karen Pottash

Sarah and Jeff Rosner

Daniel Silva in Philly

Rochelle Nosenchuk, Brenda Frank, Edie Appel

This summer, over 200 people attended an exclusive evening with best-selling author

Daniel Silva at Gratz College in Elkins Park, PA. Mr. Silva was touring the U.S. to promote his new book, The Black Widow. which features Gabriel Allon, a master art restorer and sometime officer of Israeli intelligence.

Bruce Holberg, former Chairman of

the Gratz College Board of Governors, moderated an interesting and

thought-provoking Q&A with the author; and Andrew Goldsmith, AMIT Executive Vice President,

Bruce Holberg and Daniel Silva

spoke about the current world situation and the important work of AMIT. <

Joan Betesh

Jackie Gomberg, Jonathan Gomberg, Dina Caroline

Russell Hendel

Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE :: 33

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DEVELOPMENT NEWS DC Mother-in-Israel

(l-r) Neil Baine, Florence Radkowsky, Yaela Baine

AMIT Birah Chapter of Greater Washington, DC, gathered

at the home of Donna and Jeffrey Lawrence for their annual Mother-in-Israel event. Donna prepared a delicious supper and introduced the program, sharing her family history

with AMIT. Miriam Friedman delivered a thought-provoking Dvar Torah and Florence Radkowsky, former Birah Chapter Susie Porgess and Joy Volk

President, gave a very personal introduction to Yaela

Baine, the keynote speaker. Yaela shared stories from her

childhood about her step-great-grandmother, Adele Goldstein, z”l, AMIT’s first National

President; her grandmother, Belle Goldstein, z”l, AMIT’s third National President; and her great aunt, Bessie Gotsfeld, z”l, founder of AMIT. <

(l-r) Sue Schwartz, Ginger Pinchot, Orlee Turitz

(l-r) Donna Lawrence, Felice Grunberger, Miriam Friedman

Chicago AMIT Remembers AMIT’s Eighth Annual Eleanor Greenberg, z”l, Memorial Shiur was held

in Chicago on July 27, 2016, at the home of Rifka and Daniel Weiss. More

than 50 attendees honored the memory of Eleanor Greenberg, z”l, a

long-time Chicago AMIT volunteer and donor, with a lecture by Rabbi Yehoshua Karsh of the Torah Learning Center of Northbrook. Family members in attendance included husband Sherwin Greenberg and daughters Miriam Kolom and Raquel Schwab and their families. <

(l-r) Rachelle Rosenfeld, Rita Geller, Raquel Schwab, Rabbi Yehoshua Karsh

Shiur

Family of Eleanor Greenberg, z”l

34 :: Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE

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9/11 Museum Trip

Myra Mitzner with her grandchildren, Zachary and Jacqueline

A group of AMIT supporters from the tri-state

area spent an afternoon visiting the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The site is

dedicated to recounting the horrific events of September 11, 2001 in New York, Washington,

DC and Shanksville, PA. It tells the story

of how our country came together in the

aftermath of what was the most horrific day

ever experienced on American soil. The group

began the day with brunch and a visit to the

nearby Museum of Jewish Heritage and then

were accompanied by professional guides to

Marilyn Roth and Dassie Bienenfeld

tour the 9/11 Museum. It was a meaningful and moving experience for all. <

Sidney and Mala Glanz

Meara and Solomon Max and Myra Mitzner

Elias and Livia Marcovici

Daniel Silva in New York On Tuesday, July 12, AMIT was privileged to host #1 New York Times Bestselling author

Daniel Silva upon the launch of his 16th Gabriel Allon book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Black Widow.â&#x20AC;? Over 250

people, along with AMIT Director General

Dr. Amnon Eldar, AMIT President Debbie Moed and Co-Chairs of the Event, Hedda Rudoff and

(l-r) Amnon Eldar, Daniel Silva, Debbie Moed

Laurie and Robert Koppel, heard CNN Special

Correspondent and moderator for the evening

Jamie Gangel interview her husband on his new book, politics and Israel. Daniel took us behind the scenes of how he researches his books, his writing process and where he finds his inspiration. < Donald and Esther Press and Daniel Silva

Hedda Rudoff, Debbie Moed, Laurie and Robert Koppel

Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE :: 35

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DEVELOPMENT NEWS

(l-r) Malka Bina, Dr. Ayelet Lisbon, Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer

AMIT Symposium Jerusalem The Evolution of the Role of Women in the

Orthodox Community was the topic of the annual

AMIT symposium held in Jerusalem, Israel, on

Tuesday, May 24. The panel included Rabbanit

Malka Bina, founder, chancellor and director of

Matan, Rabbanit, Dr. Ayelet Libson, a Lady Davis

postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University, Rabbi

Yehoshua Pfeffer, chief halachic editor of the Ner

Le’Elef Resources Program and Dr. Jennie Rosenfeld,

Manhiga Ruchanit in Efrat. Each one presented a

perspective on how Jewish scholarship had evolved

and where it would be going in the future.

The Symposium Committee included Sandy Chesir,

Estelle Fink, Shulamit Isaacs, Aviva Pinchuk, Rahel

Rogers. Shirley Schein was assisted by Chug Ayelet

AMIT Jerusalem Chapter members Stacee Hess and

Marion Talansky. <

Moderator, Aviva Pinchuk Shirley Schein and Rachel Rogers

LA July 4 BBQ

Touro Graduate School of Jewish Studies, ‘16 Adjunct Lecturer Lander College for Women

Over 400 millennials joined AMIT and our co-sponsors on the EXPLORE MEDIEVAL AND MODERN JEWISH HISTORY, LITERATURE, AND THOUGHT AND EARN AN M.A. IN JEWISH STUDIES WITH A CONCENTRATION IN JEWISH HISTORY

Fourth of July for an outstanding Independence Day celebration, the largest Jewish Young Adult Party in California The event featured the hottest DJ in town – DJ Aviel Altit, heated

Fascinated by Jewish history? Ready to pursue a new path? Put your advanced training in Jewish Studies and B.A. degree from an accredited institution to work. Enroll in our flexible, part-time or full-time master’s program and enjoy day and evening classes, small class sizes, and personalized instruction from an outstanding faculty. For more info and to apply visit gsjs.touro.edu Contact Dr. Michael Shmidman, Dean | Graduate School of Jewish Studies 212.463.0400 ext. 5580 | michael.shmidman@touro.edu TOURO COLLEGE Division of Graduate Studies Where Knowledge and Values Meet

swimming pools, a water slide and fountains, beer kegs from a brand new microbrewery, kosher barbecue, a resort-style venue, volleyball and more! Thanks to all for making this year’s BBQ a great success! <

Touro is an equal opportunity institution. For Touro’s complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please visit: www.touro.edu

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Lisa and Jason Ablin (l-r) Evan Roklen, Michal Taviv-Margolese, Sam and Debbie Moed, Layla and Evan Green

AMIT’s Appreciation Dinner AMIT L.A. brought together 40 of its

President’s Circle and Chai Society Members

for an Appreciation Dinner. Each member was presented with special cards decorated with original AMIT student artwork.

AMIT also presented Ms. Sylvia Gross with a

lifetime achievement award for her continuous dedication to the children of Israel since 1972.

Ms. Gross, the dinner’s honoree assured us that “Keeping busy and helping others is what’s

kept me feeling good. The children of Israel

represent the future of the Jewish people, and (l-r) Dr. Michael Tolwin, Honoree Sylvia Gross, Marilee Tolwin, Carmel Levine, Leah Rotter

Debra and Tim Fletcher

I’m proud to have done my part through AMIT.” The Baran/Spiwak family sponsored the evening to honor Sylvia’s hard work. On hand to present

the award was AMIT President, Debbie Moed. < (l-r) Joel Levine, Debbie Moed, Michal Taviv-Margolese, Daniel Altshuler, Craig Lewis, Evan and Layla Green

Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE :: 37

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9/30/16 8:59 PM


DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Beverly Hills Family Fun Day AMIT Los Angeles hosted our first annual Family Chavi and Daniel Goldie, Solly and Grace Wintner

Fun Day on Sunday July 31, 2016. Over 40 families

gathered at the Nissel home in Beverly Hills to enjoy a magical day that brought smiles to the faces of all the children.

The day’s activities included a jumper-climber-slide,

carnival games, a photo booth, balloon twisting, face The Tsfira Family

painting, an arts & crafts table, animal rides, a magic show, snow cones, cotton candy and a delicious kosher barbecue!

“AMIT was so generous in providing such a special

day for my family. My kids absolutely did not want to leave. It’s the best deal in town. Can’t wait for next year,” exulted Ilaina Davidson.

Thank you to both the Uretsky Family and to Dr. Eli Baron, who helped sponsor the event. < PHOTOS: JOSEPH OBER PHOTOGRAPHY

(l-r) Yoni and Lisa, Leo, William and Caroline Wintner

Shira Rosenberg and her sister-in-law Elizabeth Rosenberg and their kids (l-r) Rachel Kessler, Simona Heumann, Elana Parver, Chavi Wintner

Statement of Ownership, Management & Circulation (Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685) 1. Title of publication: AMIT Magazine. 2. Publication No. 594020. 3. Date of Filing: 10-16-2016. 4. Frequency of issue: Quarterly-Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. 5. No. of issues published annually: 4. 6. Annual subscription price: $1.50 included in annual membership dues. 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-4761. 8. Complete mailing address of the headquarters or general business offices or publisher: 817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-4761. 9. Full names and complete mailing addresses of publisher, editor and managing editor: Publisher: AMIT, 817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-4761. Managing Editor: Robert E. Sutton, 817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-4761. 10. Owner: AMIT, 817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-4761. 11. Known bondholders, mortgages and other security holders owning or holding one percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities: None. 12. The purpose, function and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for Federal income tax purposes, has not changed during the preceding 12 months. 13. Publication title: AMIT Magazine. 14. Issue date for circulation data below: Fall 2016. 15. Extent and nature of circulation: in each set of figures below, the first refers to average no. of copies of each issue during preceding 12 months, and the second refers to actual no. of copies of the single issue published nearest to filing date: a. Total no. of copies: 38,780; 47,050. b. Paid Circulation (by mail and outside mail): (1) Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: 36,780; 45,050. (2) Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions: None; None. (3) Paid Distribution Outside the Mails Including Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution Outside USPS: None; None. (4) Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through the USPS: None; None. c. Total Paid Distribution: 38,780; 45,050. d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: (1)Free or Nominal Rate Outside-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541: 1,500; 1,500. (2) Free or Nominal Rate In-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541: None; None. (3) Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes Through the USPS: none; none (4) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail (Carriers or other means): 500; 500. e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: 2,000; 2,000 f. Total Distribution: 38,780; 47,050 g. Copies Not Distributed: None; None. h. Total: 38,780; 45,050. i. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation: 94.8%; 94.8%. 16. Publication of Statement of Ownership: Required: fall 2016. 17. I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete. Robert E. Sutton, Managing Editor

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[spanning AMIT world]

Chicago - The Chicago AMIT NewGen event was held in June at Milt’s BBQ for the Perplexed! There was great food, fabulous conversation and updates on the AMIT network and AMIT’s efforts to help Israeli children reach their full potential. Special thanks to our committee chairs who made the event an unforgettable experience: Rachael and Asher Gelman, Rebecca and Joel Gorenstein, and Keryn and David Schreiber. <

Cleveland - Members of the Cleveland Jewish community gathered at Green Road Synagogue to pack Mishloach Manot for the annual AMIT Purim fundraiser. This year we had more volunteers packing and driving and raising more money than ever before! Thanks to everyone for all of your help. < Kids with AMIT Mishloach Manot packages.

Western Region - Rachelle Berger and Beloria Fink hosted a dessert reception to introduce AMIT to the Jewish Calabasas community. Twenty community leaders participated, learned about AMIT’s work and were inspired to become part of the AMIT family! < (l-r) Anat Fersht, Beloria and Dr. Sam Fink, Rachelle and Mark Berger, Jeff Cooper

Teaneck - The annual AMIT Teaneck Tea was held at the home of Lois Blumenfeld and Dr. Norman Sohn. The event, which is held in memory of longtime AMIT supporter Anita Scharf, z”l, brought together close to 100 AMIT supporters and Midreshet AMIT alumnae to learn with Midreshet AMIT director Ilana Gottlieb. < (l-r) Joy Goldsmith, Midreshet AMIT Director Ilana Gottlieb, Lois Blumenfeld, Chana Shields, Donna Hoenig, Reva Judas

Fall 2016 :: AMIT MAGAZINE :: 39

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Celebrate the 50 Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem with AMIT th

• Attend the National Reunification Ceremony at the Kotel

• Exclusive meeting with Members of the Knesset

• Attend VIP Commemoration at Ammunition Hill

• Five-Star accommodations in Jerusalem

• Meet with AMIT alumni who served during the ’67 War

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10/3/16 11:27 AM

AMIT Magazine Fall 2016  

AMIT Kennedy High School in Acco: With an 88% Bagrut (matriculation), AMIT Kennedy is among the top schools in Israel. By Helga Abraham His...

AMIT Magazine Fall 2016  

AMIT Kennedy High School in Acco: With an 88% Bagrut (matriculation), AMIT Kennedy is among the top schools in Israel. By Helga Abraham His...