577 Wanamaker Rd. Jenkintown, PA 19046
Contact: Sharona Durry -Mid-Atlantic Director firstname.lastname@example.org, 267-250-3835
Bnai Zion Foundation is dedicated to assisting those in need with humanitarian projects in both Israel and America. The organization has completed hundreds of initiatives for the people of Israel and for Jewish people worldwide.
Ahava Village for Children & Youth holds a special place in the heart of Bnai Zion. Nestled in a quiet residential area of the northern town Kiryat Bialik, Ahava is a center for children ages six to eighteen removed by Court order from high-risk home situations. Comprised of fifteen apartments, educational facilities and leisure areas, the campus is home to two hundred children, who receive personalized care, therapy, support and training. The children live in apartments with foster parents who provide a loving and family-oriented environment, and they attend school at the village.
Designed to help children overcome the stresses of a severely dysfunctional background, Ahava offers a variety of activities and therapies. The village plays a leading role in integrating these children into Israeli society to be fulfilled citizens leading well-adjusted lives – a challenge done on a very limited budget.
A residential building was constructed in 2008 with apartments for former Ahava residents who are now serving in Israel’s military as part of the 18+ program. These apartments are reserved for soldiers, national service persons and demobilized soldiers who do not have families to return to, for whom Ahava staff serve as mentors and support, so that these young adults can have a warm and welcoming home – whether on leave or post-service.
Soldiers and service members are entitled to periodic home visits, but those who were raised at Ahava do not always have family to welcome them. These apartments provide them with a relaxing and familiar environment to come home to, with the encouragement of caring Ahava staff to help them during holidays, weekends and other times when soldiers are given leave.
Ahava staff also provide ongoing phone support for these soldiers to call in whenever they need an understanding ear or help moving forward. This is a very significant, specialized program for which funds are always needed. The military provides basic provisions, but soldiers can always benefit from additional gift items, such as a heavy winter coat, sneakers (so that they can change out of their heavy military-issue boots), sunglasses, a thick knitted scarf and hat, sunblock, mosquito repellent, and a high-quality sleeping bag.
Volunteer Opportunity: For a mitzvah project, you can choose from the suggestions below or create your own community service idea.
- Creating friendship bracelet with the letter A H V A H – LOVE (Ahava means love)
- Write a fundraising letter that will be included in the plastic bag with the bracelets.
- Write fundraising letters
- Collect clothing for the children
- Start a hat, coat or gloves drive to send to the IDF soldier who graduated from Ahava
- Bake desserts and sell them to raise funds for Ahava.
- Hold an Old Hebrew and English books sale
- Create a car wash for Ahava
- Design & create a recipe book that can be sold through your synagogue’s sisterhood or at a school event where the proceeds benefit Ahava.
- Arrange for a visit at Ahava and contribute your time there.