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 Rosh Hashanah Newsletter Leo Baeck Education Center, September 2015
14th European Maccabi Games in Berlin Hosted Leo Baeck’s Ultra Basketball Team
Congratulations to Leo Baeck’s Ultra Basketball Team that was chosen to participate in the European Maccabi Games that took place in Berlin on July 27-August 5, qualified for the finals and won a gold medal. Europe’s biggest Jewish sports event, with the participation of  2000 athletes from over 37 countries, took  place in Germany for the first time in its history in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel. [Read more...]

Leo Baeck Spreads its Wings – July-August 2015
Delegations of Leo Baeck students and graduates traveled far and wide this summer to participate in community projects, summer camps and a conflict transformation workshop.
Friends Forever USA – August 2015
The mission of Friends Forever is to promote trust, empathy, and friendships among cultures in conflict by recruiting and selecting highly motivated youth from these areas to participate in a year-long program that includes a two week "Life Raft" in select U.S. host communities. This is the sixth year that five Leo Baeck students participate in this program and the second year that our school partnered with the Arab school, Sisters of Nazareth, Haifa. This year’s summer retreat took place in Chicago, Illinois. Activities included team building, helping to build homes for moms in need, picking vegetables at a local farm and then cooking them at a soup kitchen for local needy people, as well as touring the city of Chicago. Upon their return, the group of ten youngsters will initiate shared existence events in the Haifa community.
Young Ambassadors and Summer Camp Counselors to the US and UK – July-August 2015
To all our dear friends and partners who support these ongoing programs and connections, through which Leo Baeck students are given the opportunity to bring a “taste of Israel and the Leo Baeck spirit” to young campers and Jewish communities in the US and UK, thank you for your warm hospitality and an unforgettable summer:
  • Congregation B’nai Brith, Camp "Haverim", Santa Barbara, California
  • The Adelson Education Campus and Temple Sinai, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Emery Weiner School, Houston, Texas
  • Gann Academy, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Alyth Gardens Synagogue, London
Congregation B’nai Brith, Camp "Haverim", Santa Barbara, California
Alyth Gardens Synagogue, London
Leo Baeck’s Ongoing Student Exchanges – July-August 2015
Our long-lasting friendship with Emanuel School in Sidney, Australia, Shalom Aleichem School in Buenos Aires, Argentina and CIM School in Bueno Siros in Mexico continues. Students were hosted in the schools and by families of our sister communities. These partnerships help young Israelis and their peers worldwide to connect and deepen their Jewish identity and ties.
Delegation to the Emanuel School in Sydney, Australia
Delegation to the Shalom Aleichem School in Buenos Aires, Argentina
CIM School in Bueno Siros in Mexico
“Space to Breathe – Living in Contested Spaces” – Ireland – July 2015
Leo Baeck graduates participated in this unique multi-faith and multi-national conflict transformation program at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Jewish Israelis and Israeli/Palestinian Christian and Muslim young adults dialogued in discussions and facilitated workshops with Irish Protestant, Roman Catholic, Muslim and Jewish peers about their experiences of living in conflict areas.

YEDA-KIPP - Inspired Schools Network Strong and Expanding
The first YEDA School, located in Kiryat Bialik, north of Haifa, opened in the summer of 2013 to serve a large population of underprivileged and underserved youth. As a result of YEDA success in the city, the municipality of Kiryat Bialik and the Ministry of Education have agreed to expand the existing campus in order to build additional facilities for pre-K and kindergarten classes. We are currently in the process of raising funds and support for the new set of schools slated to open in the next few years:  Petach Tikvah — one of Israel’s largest and fastest growing cities, which is struggling with how to integrate the recent large waves of immigrants from Ethiopia and the Former Soviet Union --  opened in September 2015; Be’er Sheva — this southern desert city is home to a major university and undergoing massive growth -- we received authorization to convert an existing primary school into a YEDA school in September 2016; Shfaram – an Arab city north of Haifa where the fourth YEDA School will be established to serve the Arab population in Israel. Read more about YEDA Schools on our website at: http://leobaeckhaifa.org/

Summer Madness – Busy as Bees at Leo Baeck
Arab-Jewish Summer Camp – August 2015
August 9-14 saw the opening of the 26th year of the Arab-Jewish Summer Camp for the children of Haifa. Ninety-two children in grades 1-5, half of them Arabs and half Jews, participated in the camp organized by the Leo Baeck Community Center with the generous support of the U.S. Embassy. The theme of the camp this year was "the challenge of nature" with the aim of providing a taste of the major religions throughout Israel, show how they echo each other, and through team work bring the children closer to the challenges of nature. The six days of the camp were filled with a variety of meaningful experiences, such as building rafts on the Jordan River, seeing a bilingual play at the Almina Theater in Jaffa, arts and crafts workshops, a circus performance, biking in an outdoor sports park on Mt. Carmel, visiting the Beresheet outdoor sports park near Tel Aviv, sports competitions, environmental sculpture, all with the added value of getting to know different cultures, by learning their languages, songs, and traditions. Beyond the fun, the camp emphasizes the deepening of social values ​​and creating an open bridge between the Arab and Jewish communities. Read more about our annual Arab-Jewish Summer Camp on our website.
Summer Fun and Games at Beit Ligdol Tov – July-August 2015
Hundreds of kids and parents cooled off, played and learned in the long, hot summer in a multitude of exciting activities at Beit Ligdol Tov: plays, cooking classes, family trips, animal petting and care, arts and crafts. Beit Ligdol Tov (“The House of Growing Well”) is an early childhood developmental and enrichment center established by the Leo Baeck Education Center in 2001. Roughly half of our participants are immigrants from the Ethiopian community and the Former Soviet Union and the other half are Native Israelis. The mission of Beit Ligdol Tov is to ensure that children from financially distressed homes are afforded the head start in life they so desperately need and deserve.  Read more about Beit Ligdol Tov on our website.
Active Summer for Youth at the Ruth Center – July-August 2015
The Center provides a place for youth at risk to hang out and enjoy recreational activities instead of roaming the streets. Kids can use the multimedia room, table football games and ping pong, and an outdoor sports field. In response to demand from the community, this summer the Center also provided activities for elementary school children at an affordable price for families who cannot send their children to a summer camp. Most of the staff are volunteers who contribute their time and energy so that children can participate in sports, water activities and more. Read more about the Ruth Center on our website.

Mazel Tov! Construction Completed of the New Elementary School Wing
Thanks to a generous donation from Lorry Lokey (US), construction of our new elementary school wing was completed and will open in September 2015. The wing includes state of the art classrooms, a multipurpose meeting room, teachers’ work areas and an auditorium.

Recent Visitors at the Leo Baeck Center in Haifa
Taiwan student delegation
This is the second year in a row that Leo Baeck hosted a delegation of students from the Kang-Ning School in Taipei, Taiwan. This Christian school sought a connection with Israeli youth to deepen their knowledge of Israel and Jewish life and culture.
2015 U.S. Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples at Leo Baeck, August 2015
2015 U.S. Teacher of the Year, Ms. Shanna Peeples, a guest lecturer of the US Embassy in Israel, met with Leo Baeck's senior educators before the opening of the school year. In an inspiring, stimulating talk, Ms. Peeples shared her experience of what it means to be an educator and the challenges and opportunities for teachers coming from different communities.
Read more about Ms. Peeples here.

Honorable Mention Award for Beit Ligdol Tov
Leo Baeck’s Beit Ligdol Tov (House of Growing Well) program received Honorable Mention for ongoing Tikkun Olam work in the 2015 Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch International Social Action Award competition sponsored by the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) and the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center (RAC). The Beit Ligdol Tov program is listed on the WUPJ website and was highlighted at both the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience in April and WUPJ Connections in May.

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
Visit our website: leobaeckhaifa.org
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