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 Passover Newsletter Leo Baeck Education Center, April 2016
Inaugural Peace Dreams Steel Band U.S. Tour Begins!
IMG-20160406-WA0004Nineteen Arab and Jewish Middle School steel band drummers from the Leo Baeck Middle School and the Mar Elias School in Ibilin traveled from Israel to the U.S. on April 10 (some for their first trip abroad). The 10-day East Coast tour will include eight concerts in New York, Philadelphia, Delaware, a visit to Washington, DC, numerous receptions and a press conference. [Read more…]

Congratulations to Our Leo Baeck Champions!
Leo Baeck Student Wins Haifa Regional Bible Contest
The annual regional Bible Contest for youth took place at the end of February in Tirat Ha-Carmel (town south of Haifa) with the participation of 136 students in grades 9 to 12 from public secular and religious schools in the Haifa region. Leo Baeck student Jonathan Adler won first place among all boys in the competition. Winners of the regional competition will participate in the national Bible Contest to be broadcast on television and the internet as part of the Israel Independence Day festivities in May. The regional contest was sponsored by the Mayor of Tirat Ha-Carmel, Arieh Tal, and the Haifa Municipality Department of Education, headed by Ami Weiss, as part of their efforts to strengthen students’ Jewish identity and knowledge of the Bible.
Leo Baeck High School Student Wins Silver Medal in Math Competition
Maya Negev, a Leo Baeck High School student, was one of two Israeli girls who won silver medals in the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad that took place in Romania on April 10-16 with 139 participants from 39 countries.
Maya Negev
Israeli Special Olympics Hosted at Leo Baeck
Established in 1968, Special Olympics is a global organization serving athletes with intellectual disabilities. On March 31, the Leo Baeck Education Center hosted the Israeli Special Olympics competition with the participation of 50 athletes, aged 13 to 35, from all over Israel who were cheered by 100 spectators. In this competition, athletes from six teams competed in basketball and Leo Baeck’s team won second place. The next event, scheduled for November 2016, will also include swimming. The winners of the national competition will go on to compete in the international Special Olympics and our goal is that Leo Baeck’s athletes will also participate in the international event. Leo Baeck students have been participating in the Special Olympics for the past three years, but this is the first time that the competition was held at the Leo Baeck Education Center. Our Leo Baeck High School basketball team members volunteered to help organize the event and award the trophies.

Leo Baeck High School Students Volunteer in the Ein Hayam Neighborhood on “Good Deeds Day”
On March 16th, Leo Baeck high school students contributed their time and skills by volunteering to clean, paint and fix up a child care center, playground and community center in Haifa’s multi-cultural, multi-religious Ein Hayam neighborhood. Their efforts, along with student and army volunteers from other Haifa schools, were part of the international “Good Deeds Day” initiative in which citizens all across Israel, like many individuals worldwide, performed services to help others in the community. Under the guidance of an Arab-Jewish community leadership team at Leo Baeck’s Clore Shared Existence Center, the Ein Ha-Yam neighborhood is currently undergoing a process of small business development and beautification through various cross-cultural cooperative projects, among them the Ein Hayam Trail and Community Garden. [Read more…]

ULTP Participants Visit the Ein Hayam Trail
On April 5, 2016, the ten members of this year’s University Leadership Training Program for Ethiopian-Israeli women (ULTP) participated in an experiential training workshop at our very own Ein Hayam Trail. This is one in a series of monthly training sessions for the group, organized by ULTP Coordinator Gili Fogel. The aim of these sessions is to provide university students with hands-on experience implementing community outreach programs. The Ein Hayam Trail is one of many great Leo Baeck programs that provide inspiration on how to work effectively with community activists. [Read more…]

Beit Ligdol Tov Hosts 5th Annual Community Seder
Leo Baeck Community Center’s satellite center Beit Ligdol Tov will host over 100 parents and children at its 5th annual Pesach Seder to be held on April 21. New immigrant and veteran families, and community volunteers, seated around festively decorated tables, will read the Haggadah together and enjoy traditional holiday food, in true community spirit.

Leo Baeck Youth Orchestra Performs Festive Purim Concerts in the UK
The Leo Baeck Big Band Youth Orchestra, celebrated the week of Purim from March 20 to 25 with concert performances in several U.K. communities: Alyth Gardens Synagogue, Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, the Jewish Community Secondary School, Northwood and Pinner Liberal and Synagogue, Southgate Progressive Synagogue, and Wimbledon and District Reform Synagogue. Our 20 talented young musicians and 6 singers, led by musical director David (Dudi) Sofer and accompanied by Orchestra Manager Penny Arenson, were given a warm welcome and delighted audiences with their Purim song medley and repertoire of classical, popular and Israeli selections.

Explaining Autism through Music
On April 5, four Leo Baeck students in the “She’elot” (Questions) band entertained and inspired an audience of parents, Leo Baeck students and community members with a lively performance of their original music and songs. The talented musicians, all on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD), study in Leo Baeck’s special needs program and have been playing together since October 2014 under the direction of Amir Avraham, musical coordinator at Leo Baeck’s Ruth Center. This performance was the realization of their dream to raise awareness of ASD, its symptoms and effect on the lives of ASD individuals and those around them, with the aim of increasing understanding and acceptance. In between their rhythmic musical selections, the band members shared their personal experiences and views of ASD with the audience, impressing everyone with their openness and self-confidence in speaking no less than their playing. The band voluntarily performs at many Leo Baeck and community events. Playing and communicating through music has given the band members a means of expressing themselves and has improved their interaction with others. Following a standing ovation from the audience, one band member said: “If you are motivated, anything is possible.”
Alisa Tennenbaum, Chair of the Israel Kindertransports Association, Addresses Leo Baeck High School Students
As part of their community service commitment, 27 Leo Baeck high school students, under the direction of English teacher and professional translator Ruth Almog, and history teacher and librarian Dr. Ruth Ash, volunteered to undertake a project of translating selected stories from the book “I Came Alone: The Stories of the Kindertransports” from English to Hebrew. The students located and met some of the survivors of the Kindertransports whose stories are in the book, including Alisa Tennenbaum, Chair of the Israel Kindertransports Association. Ms. Tennenbaum visited the Leo Baeck Education Center on March 27th and described her childhood experiences before and during World War II to the students and teachers participating in the project. [Read more…]
Community Center Director Yoav Yagol Meets Israel’s President
On Wednesday, February 17, Leo Baeck Community Center Director Yoav Yagol had the great honor of meeting with President of Israel Reuven Rivlin at the President’s House in Jerusalem. Yoav introduced the Leo Baeck Clore Shared Existence Center and the Ein Hayam Trail project, a community tourism initiative in the mixed Arab-Jewish community of Ein Hayam / Wadi El-J’mal. His presentation emphasized how the Clore Center and its remarkable programs promote dialogue between Arabs and Jews and improve the overall quality of life of neighborhood residents – socially, culturally and financially. [Read more…]

Leo Baeck Educators Learn a Lesson in Dialogue through “The Hearing,” a Play by Renana Raz
On March 2, Israeli dancer, choreographer and actress, Renana Raz, performed her play “The Hearing” with three other actors for all of Leo Baeck’s educators. The play is based on the actual and controversial case of ORT Tivon high school teacher Adam Verite, whose student wrote a letter to the Minister of Education in 2013 accusing him of being an extreme leftist and inciting against the State of Israel because of personal comments and opinions about the immorality of the Israeli army that he expressed to students in his philosophy class. The teacher was summoned to a hearing by school and ORT administrators and was eventually fired. Following the play, the actors and educators discussed the implications of the case on teachers, schools and Israeli society. [Read more…]
Our Recent Visitors
February 23
David Hockman, member of the Board of the Liberal Judaism Movement in the UK.
February 26
Ohel Avraham Synagogue Kabbalat Shabbat with Central Conference of Reform Rabbis from the U.S. [Read more…]
April 8
Kabbalat Shabbat with the U.K. Alyth Synagogue Talmud Study Group accompanied by Rabbi Mark Goldsmith.

Student Exchanges
February 3-10
Leo Baeck students hosted 24 students from Shalom Aleijem School, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
February 17
Workshop hosted at the Center with participation of Leo Baeck teens and Jewish and Christian youth from synagogues and churches in Long Island, New York.
April 9-16
Leo Baeck student delegations hosted in the U.S. at Temple Beth Elohim in Boston, led by Rabbi Na’ama Dafni-Kellen, and at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City, led by Rabbi Gabby Dagan.

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