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 Leo Baeck Education Center's Summer Newsletter, July 2015
Gay Pride Shabbat
On Friday, June 19, 2015, congregation Ohel Avraham held its third annual Pride Service, led by Rabbi Gabby Dagan, Rabbi Na'ama Dafni-Kellen and Boaz Sterenberg. The service consisted of songs and readings celebrating gay pride and equality. Some of the regular hymns in the prayer book were replaced with segments relevant to the theme. Ohel Avraham congregant Yavgeny Sorkin gave the sermon. Shabbat candles were lit by Ohel Avraham congregants who volunteer with various organizations supporting gay youth and young adults in the Haifa region.
“We must not ignore hatred, because where hate thrives, there will also be violence and bloodshed. We cannot be a free society if all of our people are not able to live their lives freely and proudly."
Yavgeny Sorkin, from his sermon
Special Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program
On Monday, June 8, 2015, the Leo Baeck Education Center celebrated a very special group Bar/Bat Mitzvah for eleven teenage boys and girls from disadvantaged families in Western Haifa (Ethiopians, Former Soviet Union and veteran immigrants), including one special needs student.
Recognizing that many teenagers who live in Western Haifa are unable to celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah like their classmates due to family financial constraints, Leo Baeck initiated this project to help these youngsters formulate a positive identity and sense of empowerment.

Shavuot at Beit Ligdol Tov
On May 21, 2015, nearly 350 parents and children celebrated the Shavuot holiday at Beit Ligdol Tov in Haifa. It was a true and joyous celebration!
Children and parents participated in arts and crafts activities, viewed a play staged by the staff, made pittas in a taboun, played water games, and danced to the sounds of holiday songs. The children enjoyed a delicious and sweet treat, and the first 70 families to arrive at the event received impressive cheese cakes, compliments of Tnuva.

“Exceptional Artists”: An Amitim Event in Honor of Mental Health Awareness Month
On May 14, 2015, Leo Baeck’s Amitim (Friends) Program held a special event at the Haifa Cinematheque in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.
The program opened with an art exhibit featuring the awe-inspiring paper cuttings of artist Inbal Lotan, who also spoke about her illness and its effect on her artistic creativity.

Arab-Jewish Youth Parliament at Leo Baeck
On May 12, 2015, approximately 250 high school students from Leo Baeck and the Sisters of Nazareth School in Haifa gathered at the Leo Baeck Education Center for Haifa’s Arab-Jewish Youth Parliament.
The Arab-Jewish Youth Parliament was the climax of an ongoing national project that creates a framework for dialogue and meetings between Jewish and Arab students.



Leo Baeck Education Center chosen as official partner in European Maccabi Games, July 27-August 5, 2015
Leo Baeck is thrilled to announce that our Ultra Basketball Team has been chosen to represent the State of Israel in the 14th Annual European Maccabi Games!
This summer, thousands of athletes, coaches, team managers and officials from throughout Europe will travel to Berlin to participate in Europe’s biggest Jewish sports event. For the first time in its history, the Macabbi Games will take place in Germany in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel.
Jewish life in Latvia, Ukraine, Poland, 1915-1935
During the month of June, the Library hosted an exhibit of original posters depicting Jewish culture and community life in Latvia, Ukraine, and Poland at the beginning of the 20th century. The exhibit, the result of research and translations by three Leo Baeck high school students, was a poignant revelation and reminder of the rich cultural, political, and daily life of Jewish communities that no longer exist.

Leo Baeck Students travel the world this summer
Young Ambassadors to the USA:
Houston: May Sharoni and Yuval Leikin (Emery Weiner School).
Boston: Lelie Sharon (Gann Academy and Temple Beit Elohim).
Las Vegas: Shaked Nizan (Adelson School and Temple Sinai).
“Summer Madness” Madrichim (Counselors):
Santa Barbara, USA:
Session 1 – Gil Peled and Guy Shilo.
Session 2 – Shiri Gil and Yonatan Nizry.
Alyth Gardens, UK:
Ron Hayon and Nadav Rabiner.

Our Recent Visitors
Lorry Lokey- journalist, philanthropist, and supporter of Leo Baeck and other educational institutions in Israel
On Friday, May 8, 2015, Leo Baeck was honored to welcome Lorry I. Lokey and his granddaughter Joanne Harrington at the opening of the new elementary school wing at the Leo Baeck Main Campus.
Read the essay “Name My Hero” about Lorry Lokey, written by one of our students.

West London Synagogue “Tikkun Olam in Action” delegation, headed by Rabbi Sylvia Sheridan
On June 16, 2015, ten members of the West London Synagogue “Tikkun Olam in Action” delegation joined Rabbi Oded Mazor and elementary school students for Tefillah at Leo Baeck’s outdoor Hugo Gryn Synagogue, visited the Clore Center, Ein HaYam Trail, and were hosted by two Druze families for dinner in Daliat El-Carmel.

Adelson School, Las Vegas - senior class students
On Wednesday, June 10th, Leo Baeck was pleased to host a visit from the senior class of the Adelson School in Las Vegas. The American teens joined Leo Baeck High School students for a morning of activities and workshop with Rabbi Gabby Dagan on national identity and the role that religion plays in the lives of young people.


Omri Caspi - former Israeli basketball star and current NBA player of the Sacramento Kings
On June 11, 2015, the Leo Baeck Community Center was delighted to welcome former Israeli basketball star and current NBA player Omri Caspi of the Sacramento Kings.
Omri’s visit was part of a pilot program initiated by Leo Baeck, the Association of Community Centers and the Telma Food Company. This program brings together Arab and Jewish children and parents for soccer and basketball – the emphasis in on physical activity, spending time with family, health and fun.

To find out more about our projects and activities in the Leo Baeck Education Center and how you can support, please contact us on +972-4-8300571 or at dia@leobaeck.org.il
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