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Women's Trip to Israel Mitzvahs & Milestones Project

Almost three years ago, led by our wonderful Rabbi Molly Kane, 13 women of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue (BHS) made a pilgrimage to Israel. We were most inspired by our visit to the Lod Arab High School for Science and Engineering, where we met with the school’s amazing principal, Shirin Natour Hafi. Overcoming many obstacles, including local gangs and parents who see marriage rather than schooling as the preferred option for their teenage daughters, Shirin is making progress building her students’ self-esteem and setting them off on a trajectory toward higher education and gainful participation in the modern Israeli economy. Recently, another congregation was equally moved by Shirin’s work. A number of members of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation traveled to Israel with their own Rabbi, Jonathan Kligier. They visited the school in Lod, and met with Shirin. They, too, have been inspired to support her heroic efforts.

When the BHS women originally asked Shirin how we could help, she told us that she was seeking funding for her students to participate in the “Introduction to Medical Studies” program at Schneider Children’s Medical Center. The students participate in seminars on research methods, shadow doctors and nurses, and complete individual research projects in biomedicine under the mentorship of professionals at Schneider Children's Medical Center. The 2016 class had 18 girls who successfully completed the program, and are going on to careers the health care field. This year, the 11th grade class is comprised of 7 boys and 27 girls; while the new 10th grade class has 13 boys and 23 girls. This program is giving underprivileged youth a path towards success.

Through the UJA-Federation and its affiliate in Israel, Tovanot B’Hinuch, the women of BHS organized a Mitzvahs & Milestones project that has so far raised $15,000 for scholarships. This year, the women of BHS and the members of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation are joining together to support this vital program. One hundred percent of your tax-deductible donation will go toward the Introduction to Medical Studies program at Schneider Children’s Medical Center through Tovanot B’Hinuch.

Thank you so much for your contribution to this important program. UJA-Federation will inform us of your meaningful gift.


Jessica Brown, Brooklyn Heights Synagogue
Marcia Bellows, Brooklyn Heights Synagogue
Amy Messing, Woodstock Jewish Congregation

UJA-Federation of New York’s Mitzvahs & Milestones program invites individuals, couples, groups, or families to commemorate a momentous occasion by designing a philanthropic project around a milestone. Please contact Nicole Fleishman for more information at 212.836.1460 or Fleishmann@ujafedny.org.


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