Newsletter, February 2016
News from ELEM-USA
2016 ELEM Gala Benefit Dinner
will be held Wednesday night, June 15, 2016 at Espace, 635 West 42nd Street, New York City. This is our most important fundraiser of the year to support ELEM's critical programs for troubled teens and young adults in Israel. Participate in this exciting evening to celebrate, honor and appreciate our ELEM community of supporters! Watch your mail for our invitation and after March 1, check
ELEM/YOUTH IN DISTRESS IN ISRAEL
Spring 2017 Mission
Plan on joining us in Israel for ELEM's Mission-March 19-27, 2017. Meet and learn from local experts about the care of at-risk teens. Experience directly ELEM's critical efforts in Israel. Time for touring, shopping and much more! Contact the office at 212-787-3337 or for prices, applications and new information.
French Teens Now on the Streets
Netanya, famous for beautiful beaches and senior citizens, has been a new gathering place for thousands of French Jews escaping rising anti-Semitism in France. However, Kikar Haatzmaut (Independence Square) has now become a hangout for many French Jewish teens who are having difficulty integrating into Israeli society.
Oren, a former volunteer, now staff person who speaks French as his parents emigrated from Algeria, reports that each evening, sometimes to 2:30 AM, ELEM's outreach van in Netanya parks in the square. ELEM volunteers and social work staff engage these new immigrant teens many of whom have gotten involved with compulsive gambling and loan-sharks. Due to these loan-sharks, Oren reports, the streets are often dangerous, "But when ELEM is on the street, it becomes a safe place."
New Business Initative for ELEM Youth
Klafte is a woman's clothes store run as a profitable business in downtown Jerusalem. It offers fashionable new clothes for sale that have been donated by clothing manufacturers. ELEM youth are trained to be salespeople, learn how to run a business and are provided volunteer and social work mentors.
At Klafte in Jerusalem, from left to right:
Efrat Shaprut, Outgoing CEO, ELEM-Israel;
Nava Barak, President, ELEM-Israel;
Lenore Ruben, President, ELEM-USA;
Ann Bialkin, Chair, ELEM-USA;
and Co-Founder of ELEM
Meet Our Volunteer of the Month
On Israel's 2015 National Volunteer Day, ELEM expressed special thanks to Yehudit Sahalo, a 22-year-old woman who volunteers in Kiryat Malachi's Migdalor-Lighthouse Center (a program that works with adolescents who have trouble integrating into traditional schools). She's an Ethiopian and a daughter of a Kes (spiritual leader in the Ethiopian community). From the age of 12 and until joining the army at 18, she was a participant in Migdalor. After finishing her army service, Yehudit came back to volunteer as a token of appreciation to the center that helped her during her youth. Yehudit purchased beauty kits at her own expense and runs a weekly beauty session for young women in the center. She shares a valuable personal relationship with the young women.
Welcome from Rabbi Dr. Eric Lankin, Executive Director
I hope the new year finds you and your loved ones well. In December, ELEM leaders spent two weeks in Israel traveling and visiting ELEM projects across the country. During this trip, we saw with our own eyes that life in Israel and the work of ELEM actively continues day and night even in the face of attacks on the streets. It is truly inspirational that our volunteers and staff continue to express their devotion during these challenging times and give hope and support to thousands of neglected and often abused young people.
Great news! The President signed into law (as Public Law Number 114-113 on December 18, 2015) that individuals can donate to charity directly from their traditional individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth IRA. This law can be very beneficial to individuals approaching retirement age or retired. Please consult with your estate planners and/or tax advisor to take full advantage of this new law. We hope that you will consider including ELEM as part of your long-term planning.
ELEM volunteers preparing dinner for youth from the streets in Jerusalem.