Thanksgiving 4 Israel EventBy
On Saturday, November 14th, a meaningful event was enjoyed by a gathering or more than 50 people. AMIT Children hosted a Thanksgiving 4 Israel event, chaired by Beverly Hills residents Abigail Goldberg and Gina Raphael. Guests to Deep Canyon, Beverly Hills, celebrated Israel, gave thanks for the Jewish homeland, and were moved by the special voices of Israel’s next generation.
During the evening there was wine tasting with unique Shirah Wines, a sushi extravaganza, a dessert reception and raffle prizes provided by Mickey Fine Pharmacy. The live performance was performed by AMIT’s Student Choir.
The AMIT Kfar Blatt Youth Choir is an ensemble of students who study at and/or live at the Kfar Blatt Youth Village in Petach Tikva. This group of unique and energetic young people each brought a different perspective in musical style and musical background.
Most of the youth village’s students, from seventh grade through junior college, come from dysfunctional families dealing with deep socio-economic problems either chronic physical and mental illness, violence, sexual abuse, drug addiction, prostitution, imprisonment or abandonment. Nearly 200 of the village’s 500 students are from Ethiopian backgrounds.
Depending on their situation, middle schoolers have the option of living at home (external students) or in one of the campus’s 12 group homes, called mishpachtonim. Every group home has a set of “surrogate parents”, usually young married couples, some with children, who provide the 9th-12th graders with nurturing, encouragement and a positive model of how loving family members behave toward one another. Due to their difficult upbringing these students have more challenges than their peers.
The Choir Students said they receive the kind of educational and emotional support they would never receive at another school. Netanel Fentahon said, “I used to be a troublemaker but since coming to AMIT I found that I had a voice and now I am writing and singing my own music, it has given me strength to succeed in many other areas of my life”.
In addition to their academic and Jewish classes, the students take classes in communication skills, how to build a loving relationship, personal budgeting and how to care for their bodies. AMIT’s goal is to ensure every student who leaves the village will do so with self-confidence and the tools to succeed in life.
At the event, the choir sang the AMIT Anthem which was written by the students. “AMIT is my heart, AMIT is my home, there’s always a smile or a friendly “Shalom.” Through excellence and learning we find our success, to strive for and reach our personal best.”
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