My late mother used to say: “Education is the only asset you have that cannot be taken away from you.” And like most kids, all I wanted to do was to play, rather than learn. So she repeated this saying often, and it was an irritant to me.
It was only later on in life that I finally understood her wisdom.
This week, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, emceed by the humorous David Suissa, President of the Jewish Journal, the Magbit Foundation held its 25th Gala. They celebrated Israel’s 66th Years of Independence, and honored Rabbi David Wolpe, of Sinai Temple, with the Humanitarian Award for his scholarly work worldwide.
Gina Rofeem, Magbit’s Executive Director organized an elegant evening packed with great entertainment and thoughtful speeches. Anthems were sung by Dr. Nina Bolour [United States] and Cantor Marcus Feldman [Israel]. There was the fabulous Rat Pack – Allen G band, a dance performance by Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble and an appearance by vocalist Shany Zamir.
Speeches were delivered by Magbit President, Dr. Behrooz Broukhum, Israel consul general Mr. David Segal, former Beverly Hills mayor and Gala Chair, Jimmy Delshad, Sinai Temple President, Joel Weinstein and Rabbi David Wolpe, who thanked the audience in an inspirational speech.
Education Creates Future Leaders
The general theme along which the Magbit operates is Love Thy Neighbor. The Magbit is about Jews loving Jews and others; Jews stepping up to help other people, which is the story of the Jewish people. Stepping up with love the Magbit helps young men and women to receive education. Education is the chosen people’s preparing of the future generation for the task of life, creating future leaders, professionals and scientists. Education can end human hunger and can cure – Israel’s nonstop innovative spirit is a good example – and even can help preventing conflicts.
The Interest-Free Loan Program
The Magbit Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, was established in 1990 to promote education for students seeking to complete their University studies.
Many of the Magbit Foundation’s members are Jews born in Iran, and their aim is to teach people to better themselves. This is the highest form of charity. Through the Magbit Foundation, the members aim to create long term solutions through philanthropy and generosity.
To accomplish their worthwhile goal, Magbit established an innovative “Interest-Free Loan” program for needy and qualified students.
Loan recipients repay the loans when they are financially able to do so. The loan repayments go directly to the student’s university so that future generations of students may also benefit from these funds. Among the schools Magbit provided interest-free loans and/or scholarships to are the University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles, University of Texas at Austin, California State University Northridge, Bar-Ilan University, Jerusalem College of Technology and Haifa University.
The Magbit Foundation extends its hands beyond its main objectives. In 2001, when the intifada was rampant in Israel, the Magbit Foundation and the members of Sinai temple collaborated to raise $3 million for people in need in Israel. At the end of the charity drive, representatives flew to Israel to promptly distribute the funds.
After attending the Magbit evening, the wisdom of my small framed, fragile, yet strong mother became even clearer to me and apparently it is well known to the Magbit Foundation.