Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

A big thank you from Orlando's sister city, Kiryat Motzkin


October 2, 2020

The challenges that Coronavirus has brought us over the past six months make it easy to forget there are good things around us. One of these stories involves The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando and Kiryat Motzkin, a small, middle class city north of Haifa in Israel, where the Federation has had an ongoing partnership since 2006. This partnership has been made possible through the generosity of Federation donors. Through this partnership, the Federation supports two important programs that make a tremendous difference to the life of the elderly and the at-risk youth.

The Mashmaut is an educational center for Shoah Studies. Mashmaut (Hebrew for "meaning" and an acronym for heritage, Shoah, tradition, values, and rebirth) is an educational center for Shoah studies working with all age groups, from elementary school children to the elderly Holocaust survivors. The program, Before Our Eyes, is funded by the Federation and is designed for Holocaust survivors; providing them with social support and an improved, meaningful quality of life. At Mashmaut they hear lectures, watch plays, and enjoy social interaction. The program has a unique component of inter-generational activities for the survivors with teenagers and IDF soldiers. The inter-generational component creates a unique personal contact that is not normally seen elsewhere.

The Young Leadership Program is a yearlong program that involves more than 150 teens. This program includes workshops, lectures, volunteering activities, with a concluding seminar. The goal of this program is to develop young leadership in the city and promote educational and social activities led by these "young leaders." The program includes experiential activities, interpersonal communication, developing the leader's role and instilling skills to fulfill their personal potential. The teens learn how to build a project, starting with vision and goal setting. They develop projects for the community, including working with children less fortunate (socio-economically or otherwise, such as kids with special needs). An important aspect of the program is Jewish identity and developing awareness and appreciation for religious and cultural pluralism.

The Federation is excited to continue to fund these important programs. It is clear our support is appreciated as below you will find three thank you letters to the Federation for our support from the mayor for the youth allocation and the Mashmaut allocation along with one from Dr. Lean Ganor of the Mashmaut.

If you are interested in learning more about the Federation's partnership with Kiryat Motzkin or the general work with Israel and the overseas community, please contact Executive Director Keith Dvorchik at kdvorchik@jfgo.org.

Translation of the mayor's letter:

"I was touched to hear about your generous donation and assistance to the youth of Kiriyat Motzkin.

Education of youth in the informal system is critical for their future, and our youth department is creating various meaningful projects, which focus on caring for others and nurturing connection between the different segments of population in the city.

The generous support of our friends in the Jewish community of Orlando will help us carry this work.

As Janosh Kortchak once said:

"He who cares for days - sows wheat;

He who cares for years - plants trees;

He who cares for generations - educates people."

Thank you for helping us empower and educate future generations.

With hope for healthier days,

Haim Zuri, Mayor 

Kiryat Motzkin"


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