July 10, 2022 American Friends of Soroka Medical Center (AFSMC) unveiled Israel’s newest cultural landmark, an art installation by Marc Bennett titled "The History of the Star of David." An innovative initiative combining art and healing and made possible with IAJF’s support, the powerful piece is located at Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, Israel. The moving unveiling ceremony took place in the Healing Garden adjacent to the Legacy Heritage Oncology Center and Dr. Larry Norton Institute in the presence of directors and members of the Friends of Soroka from the United States and Israel, members of the hospital's management, employees, patients, and other dignitaries. The installation reflects hope, perseverance, and strength, and evokes a sense of survival and determination, as well as a celebration of Jewish culture, tradition and faith. Looking to the future, the work of art, a stunning example of entrepreneurial philanthropy, is expected to generate significant revenue for Soroka’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as serving as a point of connection for visitors, patients, and staff. Prof. Yitzhak Avital, Director of the Legacy Heritage Center for Oncology at Soroka, explained “The environment and the treatment experience play a significant part in the healing process, and the healing garden in the oncology center allows the patient to relax, take a break from the treatment routine and inspire hope. The special work that was placed in the garden represents the survival of the Star of David over the years, which may also strengthen our patients in their daily struggles."
IAJF Receives TAU Honorary Fellowship
May 12, 2022 This past week, IAJF was honored among great leaders and scholars of diverse fields. On May 12th, Tel Aviv University held its annual Board of Governors meeting and awarded honorary degrees to eleven individuals and one organization - IAJF - for their outstanding impact on the world. Over 300 guests attended the festive conferment ceremony which included musical performances by TAU music students and the world-renowned Shalva Band. IAJF received an Honorary Fellowship, which was accepted by Vice Chairman Robert Kahen on behalf of the organization. These awards are the top honors given out by TAU. Fellow awardees included Jodi Kantor, New York Times investigative reporter and an award-winning author; Katalin Kariko, developer of the mRNA-based vaccine platform for COVID-19 and other diseases; Michael Victor Berry, theoretical physicist; Cornelia Bargmann, influential neurobiologist and geneticist; Eric Gertler, public service and business leader; Jehuda Reinharz, path-breaking scholar of Jewish history; James S. Gertler, philanthropist and business leader; Jurgen Renn, expert on evolution of knowledge; Bernd Huber, academic leader and expert in public finance; and Solomon Lew, industry leader and philanthropist. In the words of Dafna Meitar-Nechmad, Chairwoman of TAU’s Board of Governors, “The honorees of this event are all driven by a deep social consciousness, whether in the areas of academia, business, civic service, or philanthropy, and their contribution is boundless.” Recognized for its contributions to Jewish continuity, its support of Israel and Tel Aviv University, and its decades of charitable works in Israel and around the world, IAJF is proud to be partnered with such an acclaimed academic institution.
IAJF Dedicates a Principal’s Office and Empowers Youth to Become Leaders
July 2, 2019 IAJF board member Hersel Torkian and his wife Farnaz joined the students of Boys Town Jerusalem for a festive lunch and tour of the campus. A dedication ceremony was held for the new Principal's office, sponsored in loving memory of Nemat Torkian, which will be a welcoming space for all Boys Town students, parents, and faculty. IAJF proudly supports Boys Town Jerusalem, which educates disadvantaged Israeli youth and prepares them for productive lives as leaders in the areas of technology, business, education, the military, and public service.
IAJF Hosts Vocational Scholarship Ceremony for Immigrants
June 27, 2019 Members of the IAJF board toured the Yemin Orde Village and were greeted by students, graduates, and a musical performance. IAJF Vice President Hersel Torkian and his wife Farnaz presented students with scholarships for their vocational studies in a moving ceremony, connecting on a personal level to their immigrant experience. The scholarship recipients inspired their younger peers, encouraging them to pursue their education and to plan for a profession after the army. Yemin Orde Village serves as a home, school, and safe space for hundreds of at-risk and immigrant youth. The IAJF Vocational Fund helps these young immigrants gain competitive employment skills, build their self-esteem, and reach their full potential, directing them toward a better and more secure future for themselves and their families.
IAJF Celebrates Passover with Beit Ruth Residents
April 24, 2019 More than 200 IAJF donors and friends celebrated a meaningful Passover at Beit Ruth Village for girls at risk. Guests enjoyed food and a festive atmosphere alongside alumni and residents of the village. Thanks to event sponsors Edward Khalily and the Damaghi family, everyone in attendance danced to the music of DJ Gal, saxophonist Yarden, and celebrity singer, Dudu Aharon. Highlights of the day included a moving ribbon cutting for The Tiffany Khalily House and a groundbreaking for The Esther Residential House, new homes that will enable Beit Ruth to expand its full-time care from 45 to 60 girls at a time. IAJF is proud to partner with Beit Ruth to help girls at risk attain an education, learn life skills, overcome complex post-trauma, and contribute to Israel as strong and productive members of society.
IAJF Dedicates Cutting-Edge Security and Medical Facilities
April 23, 2019 During Passover IAJF joined Dr. and Mrs. David and Helene Abiri and their family at Hadassah Medical Center to dedicate a Security Suite as well as a secure operating room in memory of Rebi and Shamsi Abiri. Guests toured the new operating room and heard a moving story from a grateful patient about his experience at the hospital. IAJF recognizes the importance of giving patients not only state-of-the-art medical facilities, but also safety and security during their hospital stay. These gifts will have a positive impact on Hadassah’s patients on a daily basis.
A Family Passion for Giving
March 27, 2019 IAJF celebrated the inauguration of the Yosef and Farang Shahery Lobby at Tel Aviv University’s Check Point Building, a state-of-the-art research and study facility serving TAU computer scientists and the young science explorers of Youth University. It was through Mr. and Mrs. Shahery’s vision and dedication that this project became a reality. Their compassion and generosity, in the form of advice, guidance, financial assistance, and community institutions, have for over 40 years served the community of Jews who left Iran for the United States. To commemorate the inauguration, the extended Shahery family and IAJF board members participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a plaque unveiling, and the blessing of a newly installed mezuzah. A video entitled “Yosef Shahery – One Man Story” was also screened. As their son Shaw said in his tribute, his parents served as role models for their family and the community, as well as strong advocates of higher education. “Yosef has always said that education never ends, and that Judaism is strengthened through Jewish education.” IAJF shares the Shaherys’ commitment to higher education and is proud to partner with the Shahery family in supporting Israel and its institutes of higher learning.
IAJF Supports Vocational Scholarships
May 16, 2018 IAJF President Robert Kahen and his son, Young Leadership Division member Dr. Michael Kahen, visited the Yemin Orde Young Men's Leadership Program and attended a ceremony for the IAJF-initiated and supported scholarship program. The Vocational Training Scholarships program helps students not only learn practical skills for sustainable, in-demand careers, but also cultivates their self-worth and motivates them to pursue their dreams. In attendance at the ceremony were sixteen program graduates who had received IAJF’s scholarships.
IAJF Invests in Research Technology
May 15, 2018 The IAJF-HIT Research Center was launched in May, aimed at investigating new methods for the detection of illegal underground tunnels and communication systems. IAJF President Robert Kahen met with the leadership of HIT and attended a special event marking the opening of the center. Professor Motti Haridim, Head of the Research Center, laid out the center’s goals and accomplishments, and a road map for the next steps in the mission of creating a better and safer future for Israel’s citizens.
Bar-Ilan University Pays Tribute to IAJF
May 6, 2018 At a gala dinner launching its annual Board of Trustees meeting and marking the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, Bar-Ilan University honored IAJF along with a group of exemplary individuals by presenting each with the Presidential Award of Distinction. Presented annually, this highly regarded award was bestowed upon the IAJF for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the university’s goals, and its efforts to improve the lives of Iranian Jewish students at Bar-Ilan. The Presidential Award is a tribute to IAJF’s outstanding demonstration of leadership in the collective Jewish nation and its role in ensuring future generations of Jewish leadership through excellence in higher education. IAJF’s contributions sponsor nearly 200 scholarships toward the education of Iranian Jewish students, including Masters and Doctoral Candidates, as well as Graduate Fellows, at Bar-Ilan University.
IAJF Co-Sponsors IDF Infirmary
April 4, 2018 This past April, IAJF board members were invited to the inauguration of a new IDF infirmary. Located at IDF Bahad 8 at Wingate, the IDF Combat Fitness School is known worldwide for its innovative training routines, assuring the superb physical conditioning of IDF soldiers. The school teaches IDF commanders how to train their soldiers to prepare for any security challenge in Israel. IAJF is proud to have co-sponsored the construction of an infirmary at this location which serves hundreds of IDF staff and cadets on the base. This state-of-the-art facility helps IDF commanders to recover from training injuries quickly and effectively so they can return to their training and the job of protecting Israel.
IAJF Invests in the North Shore-LIJ Health System
July 30, 2013 The IAJF recognizes the importance of quality health care and has provided generous support to Cohen Children’s Medical Center and Katz Women’s Hospital, both located in New Hyde Park, New York and part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. In July North Shore LIJ hosted a dedication ceremony to unveil IAJF's plaque in the Pediatric Surgical Waiting Room, located in the Atrium of the Cohen Children’s Medical Center. As the largest provider of medical care in New York State for newborns through young adults, the hospital is a safety net for children, providing highly specialized care for their unique medical and psycho-social needs in a child and family-friendly environment. Katz Women’s Hospital is a world-class hospital providing superior medical care for women’s unique healthcare needs. The hospital offers compassionate and comprehensive care and treatment for a wide range of women’s health issues. The IAJF has partnered with North Shore-LIJ Health System to bring the highest level of medical care to both women and children.
IAJF Supports Children with Special Needs
May 5, 2013 The Friendship Circle's (FC) brings thousands of teenage volunteers and children with special needs worldwide together for enriching programs and events. The interaction with volunteers helps the special children to make the most of their abilities and talents; the teen volunteers learn the value of friendship and integration for children with special needs in our communities. Families also benefit from the much-needed respite and support from the FC community. The Friendship Circle of the North Shore has over 150 active teen volunteers spending time with 45 children on a weekly basis. The IAJF sponsored a custom-designed 55-passenger bus for FC for which a dedication ceremony was held this May. The newly constructed vehicle, with a motorized wheelchair and the latest technology, will enable more children and young adults with special needs to attend the weekly programs. IAJF has also funded various FC programs providing extracurricular activities and trips. Thanks to IAJF’s support, the FC will also be opening a Hebrew School for these special children. IAJF is proud to partner with Friendship Circle in helping children with special needs to feel accepted and included, and to be empowered as contributing members of society.