Adam Rivkin at the opening ceremony of the new Polinsky Vocational Training Center
Adam Rivkin at the opening ceremony of the new Polinsky Vocational Training Centercourtesy

After years of planning and building, The Abraham B. Polinsky Vocational Training Center officially opened Wednesday in Jerusalem.

The Center, located in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat Yovel adjacent to the Polinsky Vocational School, will provide training for hundreds of students with learning disabilities and special needs, giving them practical and professional skills to successfully join the workforce. Students will study styling, culinary arts , computers, technology, cellular technology, cosmetics and beauty, physical fitness, and more, receiving professional certification upon completion of their chosen course.

The construction of the newly-opened center was 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 emigrated from Russia to the United States and began his own journey as a youth working in the streets, eventually becoming extraordinarily successful in business despite a lack of formal education.

After meeting then-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 that he would 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 certificates, and acquire a profession - the same ticket into the workforce that he himself was lacking. The Polinsky-Rivkin family has continually kept the promise of their grandfather in assisting Jerusalem’s youth.

Participating in the opening ceremony was Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Elisha Peleg; Jerusalem Foundation President Shai Doron; Jerusalem Foundation Director General Imri Ben Ami; Adam Rivkin, great-grandson of Avraham Polinsky; and Helena Galper, representing the family and donors.