Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


OU Youths Enjoy "Day at the Bank"

Dozens of Israeli teens in the OU’s Jack Gindi “Oraita” clubs around Israel were treated to a visit, tour and workshop at Bank Mizrachi-Tefachot.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/13/2010, 5:26 PM / Last Update: 12/13/2010, 5:56 PM

Oraita/Bank Mizrachi/Raz Feirman

Dozens of young Israeli teens in the Orthodox Union (OU)’s Jack Gindi “Oraita” clubs around Israel were treated to a “day at the bank” by Bank Mizrachi-Tefachot.

The youths, from clubs in Tiberias, Akko, Kiryat Shmonah, Ariel and Ramat HaSharon, spent last Thursday in very different surroundings than those they are used to: on a guided tour of a trading room in action at the modern Ramat Gan headquarters of Mizrachi-Tefachot, and participating in a professional workshop on “smart financial behavior.”

They also sat down at an executive-style table for a snack and talk with Mizrachi-Tefachot CEO Eli Yonas.

The Orthodox Union’s Jack Gindi Oraita Clubs provide both a safe hangout for the teens and a study hall for Jewish values. Equipped with pool tables, video games, ping pong and a modest Beit Midrash, the clubs help bolster self confidence and strengthen Jewish identity.

Chaim Plesner, who runs Oraita, explained, “Many of the Oraita Clubs youth work to support themselves, but they often do not know how to save, or the importance of saving. Their visit to Bank Mizrachi-Tefachot will help give them tools to help them run their own finances.”

Plesner surprised Yonas during his meeting with the youths by awarding him a certificate of appreciation for the bank’s support of the clubs. Clearly moved, Yonas said this was an important project for the bank in the framework of its efforts to create a better future.

The Oraita clubs provide a relaxed, supportive environment, with a staff that includes a club director and a Rabbi offering guidance and support. In addition to pool and soccer, evenings at Oraita include short Torah classes, discussions of moral issues, seminars on violence prevention and financial responsibility. Sabbath eve dinners and Land of Israel hikes promote Jewish identity and strengthen the youths’ connection to their heritage.