The shorthand I have for our work is that we make our love of the people of Israel concrete.
The Bnai Zion foundation has been supporting the Ahava Village for Children and Youth since 2001. I was recently on a trip and got to talk with a ‘graduate’ of our programs there. I say ‘graduate’ in quotes, because we are an extended family, and they are forever in our hearts.
Leor wanted to open a hair salon. That was his vision for his life – to help others with basic self-care, support a family, and contribute to society. We found a way to find the money to help him do it. It may seem trivial, but it really isn’t. After surviving trauma, he’s gone on to have three children who will have a ‘normal’ household and live a full life.
That will ripple forward for generations. We know that trauma has genetic components from the work that is being done at Mount Sinai on children of Holocaust survivors. Interrupting that process requires intense support, but when given to children, they build a resilience that they pass onward.
The shorthand I have for our work is that we make our love of the people of Israel concrete. Sure, we build buildings. And do so much more. There is a bust of the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodore Herzl, in our conference room in New York. I see us taking his inspiration to the next level – not where we just survive, but we all thrive.