HELPING YOUTH IN DISTRESS: The nonprofit organization ELEM – Youth in Distress, which was founded by New Yorkers Ann and Kenny Bialkin, celebrated its 35th anniversary last week with a an event at Cinema City that raised 1.2 million shekels (about $326,000). Proceeds from the annual gala were dedicated to young female victims of sexual violence. “It was over 35 years ago when a few people in Israel and America thought very hard about doing something about troubled kids,” said Ann Bialkin, who received a lifetime achievement award along with her husband. “We started a little band of people, Israelis and Americans, to do something about youth in distress. After a while, when we had tried every place else to get help but ourselves, we decided to start ELEM.” Attendees included ELEM President Nava Barak, numerous businesspeople and other public figures like Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog and his predecessor, Natan Sharansky.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY VOLUNTEER WORK: Elvia Fisher Meir, the director of CityKids in Tel Aviv, and Maayan Gour-Arie, a lactation counselor, say they have long searched for opportunities for their families and young children to learn the value of giving and creating a real impact through volunteer work. And so the two founded Families Give, “an organization that makes finding family-friendly volunteer projects and acts of giving around Israel easily accessible,” according to Fisher Meir. “To kick off this new project we’re hosting a Family Wellness Conference in Tel Aviv on February 1, with 20 workshops/lectures offered by leading experts in the fields of pregnancy, self care, health and child development,” Fisher Meir told Haaretz. She noted that 100 percent of ticket proceeds will go directly to A Home for Every Child, Beit Sherman, an organization that provides care and temporary housing for children ages 2-7. RSVP at the Families Give Facebook page.
TELFED BENEFIT IN RA’ANANA: Telfed, the South African Zionist Federation, has announced that renowned international baritone Colin Schachat will be performing a benefit concert next Saturday night, February 2, in Ra’anana. Schachat is scheduled to be joined by his sons Gabi and Micha Schachat. The show includes performances by the Ofer Portugaly Singers and Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra. “This concert contains wonderful diverse material from various genres,” including genres like 1970s hits, Jewish favorites, modern Israeli, popular Italian and Eurovision classics, Colin Schachat, who hails from Johannesburg, told Haaretz. “As a longtime immigrant who has been in Israel for 27 years, I think it is a privilege to be able to benefit a foundation whose raison d’être is to assist in providing opportunities to immigrants in order that they may integrate into Israeli society and be provided with tools to deal with the ongoing challenges of life in Israel,” he said. For tickets, call *8864.
Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.
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