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"Migdal Ohr"- Save a Child, Change a LifeThe Migdal Ohr magic has spread its roots across the country with the establishment of the enormously successful Ohr Yisraeli Youth programs, which have developed 160 youth houses countrywide.
Historically Migdal Ha’Emek was a barren land, engulfed by poverty, crime, drugs and dysfunction. But, in 1972, all that changed when Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, with one mandate in mind, decided to establish the area as a refuge for children at risk by setting up Migdal Ohr which began with him caring for 18 orphans. He wanted to save Israel’s children and has achieved astounding success which has witnessed him being awarded the Israel Prize for his Lifetime Achievement as well as The President's medal of distinction presented to him by former President, Shimon Peres.
Today, Migdal Ohr is recognised universally as one of Israel’s leading youth based charities, serving the needs of approximately 10,000 underprivileged and new immigrant children across a variety of educational and social welfare programs on an annual basis. Their annual budget is a staggering $30,000,000, 65% of which is funded by the Israeli government. Set against its running costs, the organisation relies on the benevolence of private donations from the international philanthropic community to make up the shortfall of $10,000,000.
Migdal Ohr’s reaches out to thousands of children and young adults on a weekly basis and provides health care, meals, clothing, education and extra-curricular activities. They also provide emotional and academic support to their thousands of students who are enrolled in their many programs across the country. Their services include infirmaries, kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, trade schools, after school and national youth clubs and fostering services. Migdal Ohr has also developed an agricultural and educational village for homeless youth, which has enjoyed enormous success in helping to rehabilitate hundreds of youth who have come from challenging backgrounds.
The Migdal Ohr Educational Campus spans 180,000sqm and provides a diverse range of programs. Their services are not only academically based, but also offer students the chance to participate in physical activities which include Krav Maga (Israeli based martial arts), soccer, basketball and allows students the chance to record their own music in their in house recording studio. Many schools offer features which include: Computer and Graphics Departments, Chemistry and Biology Laboratories and Fashion and Design programs.
The Migdal Ohr magic has spread its roots across the country with the establishment of the enormously successful Ohr Yisraeli Youth programs, which have developed 160 youth houses countrywide. The youth centres provide them with a safe space to eat, study and play after school hours and the staff endeavours to nurture strong youth who have the vital tools needed to make a success of their lives.
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The Zoharim Project has also met with great applause and was built as an educational, agricultural village to service Haredi youth who were expelled from or dropped out of the system and would otherwise be on the street. The model is proving to be highly effective and is helping rehabilitate youth who would otherwise be lost to the fold. The project provides an educational framework and unique vocational training and has enjoyed great success to date and has the support of the government and the IDF.
The Migdal Ohr machine has recently expanded its programs to now include adult education which is growing rapidly. The Gan Yavneh Campus was started in a collaborative effort with the Academic College of Ashkelon and the support of The Council for Higher Education. The colleges are helping to fill a gap in helping to educate the segment of the Haredi community who want to educate themselves and become members of the work force, without having to forgo their religious commitments. The university allows Haredim to study a tertiary education in an environment that is respectful of their beliefs and customs. There are two separate campuses for men and women and to date there are over 300 students enrolled across their programs.
Migdal Ohr remains at the heartbeat of Israel’s revolution to uplift and support its citizens. Rabbi Grossman’s dreams have exploded into a magnificent edifice of thriving Jewish life. but, for a man of his fortitude, there is no respite and he only continues to forge on, together with his expert team of staff, to expand the programs on offer.
As momentum continues to grow, we invite you, our international partners to join hands with us and partner in this holy and important work. Support Migdal Ohr by purchasing letters in the Torah Scroll that will be written in honor of Rabbi Grossman’s 70th Birthday. The proceeds will go towards building a Children’s Residence for Israeli kids at risk. Click here http://www.migdal-ohr.org/ and help Save a child Change a life.
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