My mother was to me what Kfar (village) Blatt is to many children; both my late mother and Kfar Blatt push to the max.
When my father unexpectedly died, I was ten years old. I could have been a Kfar Blatt case study but in my youth there was no Kfar Blatt in Israel. So my mother made sure I studied, I took extracurricular activities and I was disciplined. That is what Kfar Blatt does for approximately 600 young boys and girls. Some live in the Kfar and some arrive to learn there, daily. To all of those who attend, it gives a sense of home, educates and teaches them to never give up.
AMIT is an educational organization, made of more than 100 schools in Israel, that endows its children with hope, pride and confidence, now and into the future. Inter alia, AMIT’s goal is to break through the cycle of poverty and give the young the opportunity to have a better life; to be proud and productive members of society who are taught to give, no matter how difficult their own circumstances are.
AMIT’s Kfar Blatt Youth Village saves lives on a daily basis. Thousands of children, ages 6 – 18, escape abuse and neglect and join the AMIT family. AMIT’s homes are their safe haven and source of loving care. The children live in family units with surrogate parents and receive attentive care from a team of psychologists and therapists, concerned only with their success.
AMIT empowers children to dream about a future of love, laughter, hope and success and guides them on their journey to independent and fulfilling lives.
Michal Taviv-Margolese, AMIT’s Western Region Director arranged for six of Kfar Blatt’s students, their music teacher and supervisor to visit Los Angeles and exhibit to AMIT’s supporters, also in song, what AMIT’s Kfar Blatt means to them. And so they did this month, at the home of Abigail Goldberg in Beverly Hills.
I had the opportunity to speak with the charming boys and girls, who made up the visitors’ group, and each one told me, in few words, what AMIT and Kfar Blatt has done for them.
Netanel loves music which he can practice extensively at the Kfar. He is getting ready to learn a car technician vocation before joining army service. That is in order to have a profession, as making a living just from music may be be difficult.
Sasha loves the Kfar and dreams, with determination, to become a surgeon.
Yemikir is Ethiopian. She became a member of the Kfar by accident. However, she is pleased because there she had a chance to develop. She has been at the Kfar for the past six years, already graduated and wants to work with music and youths and at present is taking a pre-military preparatory course.
Nachman is 16 years old; he attended a Yeshiva that closed down and he was lost. The yeshiva does not teach the curriculum that matches the secular schools and he could not find a school to accept him until he knocked on Kfar Blatt’s doors. Learning at the Kfar has been one of the best steps he took in his young life and he is planning to gain an occupation in hi-tech. What Nachman learned at Kfar Blatt is that he is not being dragged by society, rather, he drags society along with him.
Or is 18 years old and has four brothers. It is his last year at the Kfar and he is planning to go through a pre-military course so he can join a special combat unit. In the meantime the various extra curriculum activities in which he is involved affect him positively and expose him to many aspects of life, and he loves it.
Sarai is 17 years old. She is the type of a kid who does not attend school. When she was at home she simply did not go to school. At Kfar Blatt she has no place to hide or run to and today she is an excelling student. Her future plans are to do national service and work with youths at risk.
Accompanying the group is Sivan who, for the past 11 years has been in charge of all of the extracurricular activities in the Kfar. And Tomer, who lives in Tel Aviv, who has been with the Kfar for 13 years; he is the group’s music teacher and founded AMIT’s singing group. Once a week the group meets for practice, unless they need to prepare for an upcoming performance.
The visiting group very much enjoyed their visit to the United States, but Kfar Blatt is their home, the place that is shaping their future, so in the future they can shape the world.