Under the leadership of its American Friends headed by Mr. Eugen and Jean Gluck, Bet El Institutions concluded yesterday a successful worldwide fundraising campaign to fuel its educational programs and massive construction of its institutions.
Since its founding in the late 1970’s, the American Friends of the Bet El Yeshiva Center has held it winter gala dinner as its central event, organized under the direction of Chairman of the Board Mr. Eugen Gluck and his wife Jean, and under the logistical coordination of Executive Vice President Sheila and Sholom Simanowitz.
For decades, the yearly winter event drew key Israeli and American personalities as guest speakers who went on to key positions including future prime ministers, such as Ariel Sharon, Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Olmert, as well as important US politicians such as John Bolton who was keynote speaker at the recent 2017 dinner.
Current US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman served as the organization’s President for many years until his new, diplomatic responsibilities required him to resign.
From its first days, Mr. Eugen Gluck rallied many others behind the resurrection of an ancient Jewish town against all odds. Amongst those early pioneer supporters were Mr. David (OBM) and Lilly Hollander, Dr. and Mrs. Avi Bitton, Dr. Irving (OBM) and Cherna Moskowitz, Mr. and Mrs. Zoli Lefkovits, Mr. Motti and Malka Klien, and Dr. Morris and Rickie Platt.
What started out as a Yeshiva on a hilltop in the Binyamin region, quickly began to grow into a community and strong force in Israeli society and even the media.
In one of its first initiatives, Bet El Institutions CEO Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz sought to purchase an enormous tract of land adjacent to Bet El from a local Arab that would eventually be the home to the Bet El’s Bnei Tzvi Yeshiva High School and staff houses. Mr. Eugen Gluck supported the effort, along with others such as Mr. Avraham (OBM) and Bonnie Silver, Mr. and Mrs. Ira Rennert, Mr. and Mrs. Haim Ostreicher, Mr. and Mrs. George Rohr, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Benedict, Mr. and Mrs. Barry Weiss, Mr. and Mrs. Moshe Gantz and Mr. and Mrs Tomas Rosenthal.
Another initiative which followed shortly thereafter was the construction of the renowned Jeanie Gluck Girls High School, considered one of the top high schools in Israel today. Alongside Mr. Eugen and Jeanie Gluck, many joined in to support the educational initiative including Mr. and Mrs. Rubin Margules, Mr. and Mrs. Shimshon Frisch, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Parker, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Zeifman and all of the Gluck children who followed the example of their parents: Mrs. Barbara Gluck Weichselbaum and her husband Alan, Dr. Mark and Mrs. Rosie Friedman, and Mr. Sidney and Cheryl Gluck.
Bet El Institutions is most famous for its founding of a national radio station with educational programming called Arutz Sheva and its national newspaper B’Sheva. Mr. Eugen Gluck led the initiative in this endeavor along with Mr. Carl (OBM) and Sylvia Freyer. Over the years, Sam and Tzipora Goldstein, Benjy and Adina Goldstein, Dr. Shmuel and Evelyn Katz, Elliott and Lillian Esiman, William and Mark Langfan, Ed and Marilyn Croman, Dr. David and Barbara Bortniker were instrumental in maintaining both the media presence and bolstering the educational institutions.
Over the past two days, the institutions held its first Charidy drive and succeeded in reaching their goals with the help of hundreds of supporters both in Israel and around the globe.
A central part of the campaign was the funding of the construction of a new campus for the Gluck pre-IDF Preparatory Academy, a flagship institution of Bet El.
The campaign included double matching. When a donor gave $1,000, the donation was matched twice turning the total donation into $3,000. The matching funds were made possible with the help of Mr. Eugen Gluck. an anonymous donation in memory of Moshe Yaakov Jakabovits (OBM) and in honor of Mrs. Beila Jakabovits, and Mrs. Cherna Moskowitz.
Bet El Institutions expressed its thanks to all its supporters for pitching in to fuel the massive educational and construction projects currently underway. The vision of Mr. Eugen Gluck and the American Friends of Bet El in the early days to see the potential in developing a barren hillside, has led to today’s Bet El Institutions, which has grown to be a very powerful and influential force in Israel society.