Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Phoenix 10-year-old gets school supplies for Kiryat Malachi in lieu of birthday gifts

Most ten-year-olds enjoy having a birthday party and getting gifts from family and friends.  But a special young man in Phoenix had other ideas.  Evan T., his parents, and 7-year-old sister were supposed to go on a trip with his local Jewish Federation to Israel in late spring.  However, the trip got postponed until next year. 
Evan had been excited about going to Israel since he was in kindegarten, so of course he was disappointed when the trip got postponed,  but he still thought about Israel..  If he could not go this year, something from him would definitely go.

He decided that instead of birthday gifts, he would ask friends and family to bring school and craft supplies to be used at a school in Kiryat Malachi, one of our Israeli partnership communities.

Since his birthday is in the July after school gets out, he had an early party.  He asked everyone to bring school/art supplies for one of the elementary school in our partnership region.  He will be entering 5th grade in the fall. He attends one of the Jewish Day Schools here in Phoenix, with his 7 1/2 year old sister Sarah. He loves to draw, write stories, and build with LEGOs.

A number of people got him the supplies he asked for:  crayons, markers, colored pencils, scissors, drawing paper, coloring books, beads, yarn, etc.    Some donated money, and he went shopping with his family to get more supplies. 

In June, he met Dalia Burgana, the co-chair of TIPS, and Shalom Eldar, another lay leader of the TIPS steering committee, both from Kiryat Malachi.  He gave them a duffle-ful of items to take.

  Because of baggage limitation, they were brought to Israel by Dina Tanners, the other co-chair of TIPS, from Seattle, and delivered to the HaAchim school in early July.  HaAchim was the first elementary school to open in Kiryat Malachi, and together with the city just celebrated its 60th anniversary.

sign at school:  60 years of Achim school in Kiryat Malachi

  Ofra Yishaya, the principal of the school, was delighted to receive the gifts and would be in contact with Evan. 

2 shelves stuffed with donations from Evan
And when Evan comes to Israel, hopefully next year in late spring, he can visit HaAchim school and meet some of the children there.

So what do you thing--Do other children in Tucson, Phoenix or Seattle in 5th or 6th grade  (or other grades) like Evan's idea?  What would they like to do to help and connect with our partnership communities of Hof Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi?  Children are very creative.  I am sure they can come up with wonderful ideas!

Maybe Evan will be the first elementary school student with a creative idea to help strengthen the connection between kids in the US and Israel TIPS communities.

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