A Decade of Neighborhood Transformation

 

Change Comes to Kiryat Menachem

 

“Thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation, we’ve transformed this neighborhood. They had faith in us, they supported us, as  professionals, and allowed us to suggest what we thought would to succeed. They believed in us and look how far we’ve come.” This is how Haggai Attia, former Director of the Ganim Community Council in Kiryat Menachem summed up the last decade of our work in Kiryat Menachem.

The Ir Ganim Community Center in Kiryat Menachem recently hosted us and other stakeholders as we took stock of our work in the neighborhood. Our investment in Kiryat Menachem started in 2009 with infrastructural investments and continued with capacity building programs to increase the community center’s ability to identify resident’s needs. Over the last 5 years, the Springboard project was implemented aiming to break the cycle of poverty through formal and informal education. Working in the neighborhood’s 3 elementary schools, the project subsidized enrichment activities and engaged youth at risk toward employment.

Springboard

Roni Silfin, the current director at the Ganim Community Council, noted that results have been phenomenal. All three elementary schools have been significantly strengthened, more families are taking advantage of activities in the Community Council, the crime rate among youth has declined, more resources and partners joined efforts in the neighborhood, and, most importantly, the project created a sense of community-wide partnership that will unquestionably continue to bear fruit in the future.

 “When I began as principal of the Guatemala School 6 years ago, the children didn’t know how to dream,” explained Roni Ohana, Principal of the Guatemala elementary school. “Springboard told us to dream and we dreamt. We turned the school around, from on the verge of closure to 2 first grade classes. And now, our kids can dream, too. Sixth graders are applying to some of the best middle schools in the city, looking to create their future, in technology, arts, sports and more.”

 "We are proud to lead a holistic project like this one, and we could not do it without our many supporters over the years,” said Anat Tsur, Jerusalem Foundation Director General. “Springboard had a significant impact on everyone in the neighborhood, from children to adults, and we are proud to have been part of the professional team that has implemented educational tools for breaking the cycle of poverty. This is a model worth replicating.”