Lori Shure, Women's Philanthropy Campaign Chair at the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, makes some new friends at the Mevasseret Zion Absorption Center during a Campaign Chairs & Campaign Directors Mission visit to the Center.
July 22, 2010 / 11 Av 5770
By Maya Neiger
On July 13th, 2010, the Jewish Agency Mevasseret Zion Absorption Center hosted a group of women from the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA) Campaign Chairs & Campaign Directors Mission (CCD) on their tour of "Youth at Risk."
The Mevasseret Zion Absorption Center is situated about 10 minutes outside of Jerusalem and is home to approximately 1,300 people - over 500 under the age of 18. This is the largest Absorption Center in the country and consists of small housing units spread over a wide area. Since the beginning of the year, when the Government renewed the aliyah from Ethiopia, we have brought approximately 1,300 olim to Israel, 500 of these to Mevasseret. The Absorption Centers serves as a first home for this vulnerable population. It is here that they are assured a soft landing and given the tools they need for their successful integration into Israeli society.
The CCDers began their visit in the clubhouse, which has been recently renovated through a generous donation from the Bernstein Family of Pittsburgh. The women experienced the traditional Buna coffee ceremony, which includes: heating coffee beans, smelling the beans, grinding the beans, preparing the coffee and pouring the coffee into small cups. The coffee is then distributed and the participants in the ceremony drink it while socializing.
Following the theme of "Youth at Risk," the women then visited one of our flagship programs, the Yesodot- Educational Summer Camps which are generously supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. These camps are designed to ensure that Ethiopian immigrant children (ages 4-18) are provided with a positive, growth-based environment in which to spend the long summer vacation. The camps are designed to provide a safe, enriching, and enjoyable experience, while simultaneously giving them the tools they need to integrate and participate fully in the Israeli school setting. By minimizing their learning challenges, the summer camps also strengthen their self-esteem, offering them formal and informal leisure activities alongside instructive summer programming, which will help to bridge educational and cultural gaps.
The visit was a huge success. The women in the mission enjoyed themselves as they interacted with the children, joining them in activities and songs.
To view photos from the Yesodot Educational Summer Camps, please click here.
For more about the Yesodot Educational Summer Camps, please click here.