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AMIT Salutes its Seniors

AMIT network of schools holds a special evening to honor its past teachers and principals.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/17/2011, 9:34 PM / Last Update: 2/18/2011, 3:13 AM

A salutary event for past teachers and principals of the AMIT network of schools was held recently in Tel Aviv.

Hundreds of AMIT pensioners met, heard of the developments in the network's schools and were thanked for their contribution to the religious education in the country throughout the years.

“AMIT started as American Mizrahi women 85 years ago,” said Rachel Rogers, head of AMIT women in Israel. “They had a vision. They had a need to help out people in Israel.”

Rogers noted that Batya Gotsfield , the organization's founder, and AMIT women in America had to collect coin to coin in order to create a warm home for Holocaust survivors and fugitives from Arab countries. They built a real home which eventually turned into today's 86 institutes of the AMIT network from south to north. The ones to do the work, according to Rogers, were today's pensioners – the teachers and school staff who deserve honor and appreciation.

“It’s the Israeli people and the people that are here tonight who really were the ones that made the change that [the founders] envisioned,” said Rogers. “Together in partnership they created this fantastic network with 100,000 alumni and they really changed the face of Israel.”

Dr. Amnon Eldar, AMIT CEO, said that the network remembers and respects its past and its builders, and that the ones carrying out the educational work today continue on the road paved by the pioneers - a road of love for the country and the Torah and care for each student.

“We have come to give our thanks, in the name of our 120,000 graduates across the country, along with the 25,000 students learning today in AMIT,” said Dr. Eldar. We are excited to follow in the footsteps of those who have created an education method. We have learned from you to become a bridge between the different parts of the country and nation.”

Dr. Ami Ze'evi, who has run the AMIT educational network for 25 years, spoke of the network's first years, and of the revolution that started in his time, as he introduced science and technology education into the religious education system.

Dr. Ze'evi also spoke of the days when AMIT had nine schools, two children houses in Jerusalem, two youth villages and two youth clubs in Haifa and Jerusalem, and the whole network included only 2,500 students. “We have made substantial steps since then, developing a magnificent network which gives meaningful education to all parts of Israel's population,” he said.

Among the speakers at the conference were Mr. Shlomo Bakish, previous vice president; Mr. Jakob Leibovits, previous AMIT Tel Aviv principal; Mrs. Nitschiya Eldar who ran Beit Hayeled in Jerusalem and Rabbi Zion Jerbi, who created and ran the AMIT Carmiel School and initiated the evening along with Mr. Rani Sagi, head of community and family department in AMIT.