The groundbreaking ceremony
The groundbreaking ceremonyYissachar Ruas

The Jerusalem Foundation broke ground on Thursday for a co-ed youth center for Vocational Training in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood. The new Center, to be built adjacent to the Polinsky School for Vocational Training, will facilitate integration into the workforce for hundreds of youth from the special education system. Next door to the Polinsky School and the Center for Vocational Training for which construction is now commencing, the Municipality will build an additional facility to house a rehabilitation center for special education youth and young adults ages 13 to 21 who have communication and emotional/psychological disabilities.

The construction of the new Center for Vocational Training is made possible with the significant support of the Polinsky-Rivkin family of the United States and raised by the Jerusalem Foundation. The late Abraham B. Polinsky, who emigrated from Russia to the United States, embarked on his own journey as a youth working in the streets and eventually became extraordinarily successful in business despite a lack of formal education. After meeting the Mayor of Jerusalem and Jerusalem Foundation Founder, the late Teddy Kollek, in the early 1980s, the two formed a special bond and Polinsky promised Kollek to help him build a better future for Jerusalem’s children and youth. Polinsky sought to provide youth with the opportunity to complete their formal education, earn high school matriculation and gain a profession, the same ticket into the workforce that he himself was lacking. Through today, the Polinsky-Rivkin family has continually kept the promise of their grandfather and his daughter and son-in-law, Jeannie and Arthur Rivkin, and assisted Jerusalem youth.

Nowadays, the Polinsky School established in the 1980s serves a total of 130 pupils with learning disabilities who benefit from vocational training through workshops in a variety of fields. The school is the flagship institution in the sphere of vocational training for special education youth in Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Foundation expects the new Center to help enable special education graduates to build independent lives as young adults, integrated in the workforce as contributing members of the community, rather than being solely dependent on government assistance.

The ceremony was attended by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, Jerusalem Foundation President Shai Doron, James S. Snyder, Executive Chairman of The Jerusalem Foundation, Inc., USA, Jerusalem Foundation Director Anat Tzur, the great-grandson of Abraham B. Polinsky, Adam Rivkin, and the family's representative, Helena Galpe