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 Summer Newsletter Leo Baeck Education Center, July 2018

Multifaith Gathering at the Clore Center for Shared Existence
The Clore Center for Shared Existence, an outreach center of Leo Baeck's Community Center located in the multicultural, multifaith Ein Hayam neighborhood, hosted representatives from all the religions in the Haifa area as part of the Jewish Shavuot and Muslim Ramadan holidays in May. The religious heads of Haifa's Jewish, Muslim, Greek Orthodox, Ahmedi and Maronite communities gathered to discuss how the message of tolerance and brotherhood is expressed in each religion. Samia Diab, Director of Leo Baeck's Community Center (center in photo) remarked that the main message expressed by all the participants was that "a different reality is possible". The event was organized in cooperation with the Haifa Municipality and the meeting place was filled to capacity with residents who enjoyed the discussion and a festive dinner together.

Our Ohel Avraham Synagogue - A Temple of Tolerance and Equality
Holocaust Survivors' Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Seventeen survivors and heroes of the Holocaust went up to the Torah in our Ohel Avraham Synagogue to celebrate their Bar/Bat Mitzvah in April. Leo Baeck High school students, who arranged a festive Passover Seder for Holocaust survivors in Haifa with the Shiloh Society a few weeks earlier, continue to accompany the surviving heroes. We all celebrated with overwhelming and heartwarming excitement the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony for those who could not have one in their youth.
Exodus from Eritrea to Haifa - A Refugee's Message of Liberation
A special sermon about freedom was delivered by an Eritrean refugee residing in Haifa at Kabbalat Shabbat services in March in our Ohel Avraham Synagogue. His poignant retelling of the difficult journey to Israel and the daily struggle to survive coincided with the Bible portion of the Exodus from Egypt and emphasized its relevance in our times.
Gay Pride Shabbat at Ohel Avraham Synagogue
In June, the Ohel Avraham Synagogue hosted its 8th annual Gay Pride Kabbalat Shabbat. Participants in our synagogue's "Ve'ahavta"- Jewish Rainbow Program for LGBTQ Jewish youth leadership training --  led parts of the service and shared some of their daily life and coping experiences with the congregants. The Ve'ahavta youth participated in a study tour to London in February where they were hosted by various congregations and discussed issues of common concern with British peers.

LJY Netzer Youth from the U.K. Learn about Shared Existence at Leo Baeck
Forty U.K. youth and their two counselors learned about shared existence firsthand when they visited the Community Garden, a project of Leo Baeck's Clore Center for Shared Existence, in the multicultural and multi-religious Ein Hayam neighborhood in western Haifa. There they were greeted by Rabbi Oded Mazor, Leo Baeck's Head of UK Relations, and hosted by Hani Elfar, Director of the Clore Center, and several Jewish and Arab neighborhood residents. After planting new trees in the garden, which serves as a hub for community gatherings, events and celebrations, the Netzer youth toured the historic Ein Hayam Trail, a project initiated by neighborhood residents, and then gathered in the Beit Hamidrash on the Leo Baeck Education Center main campus for a discussion about Jewish identity and school life in Israel and the Diaspora with several Leo Baeck High School students.
Leo Baeck Participants in Liberal Judaism Biennial Weekend in England
Samia Diab, Director of the Leo Baeck Community Center (1st from left), and Rabbi Dahlia Shaham (1st from right), an intern at the Ohel Avraham Synagogue, participated in a panel at the Liberal Judaism Biennial Weekend near Birmingham, England at the end of June where they discussed aspects of a shared society and a progressive Jewish vision and achievement in Israel. They were hosted by the UK Friends of Leo Baeck Chair, Rabbi Aaron Goldstein (2nd from left), and the Israel Desk Administrator, Carrie Shaw (2nd from right).

Leo Baeck Remembers the Armenian Holocaust
Rabbi Ofek Meir, Managing Director and Headmaster of the Leo Baeck Education Center, addressed several hundred residents of Haifa's Armenian community on the Armenian Holocaust Memorial Day in April. The memorial service was held in the Armenian Church in downtown Haifa. Rabbi Meir was invited to speak by several Leo Baeck Junior and Senior High School Armenian students and their parents.  As he said to the audience: "As Jews, in our city and in our school, it is our duty to honor the memory of the Armenian tragedy."

Taiwan Educators Learn about Leo Baeck's Philosophy and Schools
In June the Leo Baeck Education Center hosted a delegation of six educators from the Tainan City Bureau of Education, Taiwan, led by Dr. Hsiou-ping Chen, Director of the Bureau (4th from right), as part of their study tour in Israel. The delegates chose to visit Leo Baeck as an exemplary institution to learn about our advanced programs and trends in promotion of excellence and creativity in teaching. Dr. Dafna Haran, Coordinator of Leo Baeck's gifted students program and National Advisor in the Gifted Students Division in the Israel Ministry of Education, gave a presentation about Leo Baeck's program and methods, and Dr. Luli Stern, Elementary School Principal, and Mr. Eran Bresler, Junior High School Principal (5th from right), discussed their respective educational philosophies and programs. Several Leo Baeck educators participated in educational conferences in Tainan City during the past two years and the Taiwan delegation's visit was a welcome addition to the mutually beneficial relations among educators of both countries.
Shared Existence Happening with Preschool Children and their Families
Children and parents of the 250 families served by Leo Baeck's Community Center and 8 satellite centers enjoyed a community multicultural celebration of the Shavuot and Ramadan holidays in May. Festivities included arts and crafts, sports, holiday customs and food preparation, singing, and dancing. Jewish and Arab preschool children from Leo Baeck's Early Childhood Education Program and the Sauwa Center for Arab Families at Risk meet several times a year for joint storytelling and holiday celebrations.

Our Pride and Joy
Leo Baeck High School Student Wins First Prize in CEMACH Competition
Ilai Carmel (1st from left), a 2018 graduate of the Leo Baeck High School, won first prize in the CEMACH competition, a joint project of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tel Aviv and the Israel Ministry of Education, aimed at encouraging students to deepen their knowledge of each country's history. Ilai's research sought to examine whether Jan Hus, a 14th century Czech theologian, should be considered a reformer or a Christian heretic. He investigated the political, social and economic situation in Bohemia in the period of the change of power between Karl IV and his son Vaclavske IV. Ilai and eight other Israeli prize-winning students and their escorts were hosted in a festive ceremony at the Czech Embassy in Tel Aviv in June and were awarded a prize of a visit to the Czech Republic that took place in July. Ilai was accompanied by Dr. Ruth Ash (2nd from left), Director of the Library and a history teacher in the Leo Baeck High School.
Two Leo Baeck Medal Winners in the European Girls' Mathematics Olympiad
Two Leo Baeck High School students won medals in the European Girls' Mathematics Olympiad held in Florence, Italy, in April. Maya Naveh received a gold medal and Libby Lubovich received a silver medal. The competition began in 2012 and this is the third year that Israel has participated. The 195 participants from 52 countries were greeted by the mayor of Florence who congratulated the girls for their personal achievement and the honor they bring to their families, school, and country.

Our Young Ambassadors Abroad
Several of our high school students will represent Leo Baeck abroad in 2018 by participating as volunteers in the following communities:
Alyth Synagogue (London) Summer SWAY Days camp counselors in August:
Omer Perets Perla                      Sara Ronen
Finchley Reform Synagogue (London, U.K.) Summer Shemesh camp counselors in August:
Shalev Avnaim                                                                     Orie Brami
Emery Weiner School (Houston, Texas, U.S.): Young Ambassadors at this and other local schools
Mika Barazani                                   Noa Greenberg

Congregation B'nai Brith Camp Haverim (Santa Barbara, California, U.S.)
1st session:
Ori Shimacher                                                                                                   Dan Ben Chaim

2nd session:
Shay Carmi                                                                              Yotam Klein

Our Recent Visitors
Mickey Leland youth delegation from Houston, Texas (U.S.) with their Leo Baeck student hosts
Liberal Jewish Synagogue group (London, U.K.) led by Rabbi Alexandra Wright and Sue Bolsom, and hosted by Rabbi Na'ama Dafni-Kellen and a Leo Baeck kindergarten class
MIT Hillel students (Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.) led by Yuval Ben Ari (top row, 3rd from right) and hosted by Rabbi Oded Mazor (top row, 4th from right)
Colin and Sam Fintz, members of Menorah Synagogue (Manchester, U.K.)
Bet Aviv Synagogue group (Columbia, Maryland, U.S.) led by Rabbi Seth Bernstein
West London Synagogue group (London, U.K.) led by Rabbi Neil Janes and Jim Fletcher
Congregation Shaarai Shomayim group (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.) led by Rabbi Jack Paskoff
Temple Mount Sinai group (El Paso, Texas, U.S.) led by Rabbi Ben Zeidman, and hosted by Eran Bresler, Junior High School Principal, and students
Village Temple (New York, NY, U.S.) led by Rabbi Deborah Hirsch
Rabbi Danny Rich (London, U.K.), Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism movement
Temple Beit Elohim group (Boston, MA, U.S.) led by Rabbi Joel Sisenwine

We welcome visitors by arrangement in advance through the Department of Development and International Affairs: tel. +972-4-8300571 or dia@leobaeck.org.il
To find out more about projects and activities at the Leo Baeck Education Center and how you can support us, please contact the department.
Visit our website: leobaeckhaifa.org
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