Kfar Hassidim is a youth village near Haifa.

Kfar Hassidim Youth Village near Haifa is aging and in need of renovation as well as serious updating of its technology to better serve its 300 junior and senior high school students.
Affiliated with World ORT since 2007, the village this year came under ORT’s full financial and operational responsibility instead of the Israeli government. ORT is working hard to give its challenged students what they need to learn the basics as well as computer science, auto technology and agricultural studies.
The William and Audrey Farber Family Foundation has given a $1 million gift to Kfar Hassidim through ORT. The gift will help renovate and update the educational community’s auto tech garage and four science labs.

When Rabbi Harold Loss of Temple Israel in West Bloomfield was last in Israel, he visited Kfar Hassidim and saw the

Dr. Conrad Giles, World ORT president

need there. He conveyed this to the Farbers, members of Temple Israel, and helped arrange for the gift.
“Youth villages represent a last chance for thousands of youngsters from challenged environments to survive in their country,” said Dr. Conrad Giles of Bloomfield Township, World ORT president. “The Farbers’ generosity in providing support in one of four villages managed by World ORT and funded in part by ORT America is central to providing the needed infrastructure required to house, feed and educate these vulnerable children.

William and Audrey Farber
William and Audrey Farber

“Without the Farber family’s commitment and the commitment of many other Detroiters, including Andi and Larry Wolfe, who are funding the arts complex there, as well as Joel Jacob, Dorothy and Dr. Hershel Sandberg, Doreen Hermelin, and Joyce and Dr. George Blum, this village would fail in its mission. While few can provide the support at the level of the Farbers, we all can participate in funding this Detroit ‘adopted’ village. The annual Rub-a-Dub event gives us just such a chance.”

ORT Detroit’s annual fundraiser will be held Aug. 17 at Franklin Hills Country Club in Farmington Hills. (See below for details.)
“We are encouraging people to help match the Farber gift,” said Nicole Miller, ORT America Michigan Region director. “New or increased gifts will help fund part of the Kfar Hassidim project, with Rub-a-Dub collecting $100,000 of what’s needed for teacher training, curriculum development and course materials in order for the garage to be usable at the start of the school year.”
Avi Ganon, national director of Kadima Mada, World ORT’s Israel component, was in Detroit earlier this summer. He emphasized the importance of Detroit’s fundraising efforts.
“Now we are trying to raise money for the rest of the village,” he said. “The forces in Detroit are gathering to help this school and to give it the best tools for life.”
Ganon explains that while ORT’s youth villages in Israel are a focus, they are not its only projects.
“There are thousands of projects,” he said. “ORT is a national provider of education to sick children at home all over Israel and at all the hospitals. And vocational education in Israel is our focus, our DNA. ORT is a game changer in education in Israel.”
ORT was started in 1880 in Russia to promote education, training and self-sufficiency. It now is in 40 countries. *

The Rub-a-Dub fundraiser is Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Franklin Hills Country Club in Farmington Hillls. A silent auction, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres start at 5:30 p.m., followed by a live auction and barbecue dinner. Tickets are $250 each or buy one get one free for age 30 and younger. Contact Nicole Miller at (248) 723-8860 or nmiller@ortamerica.org.

By Keri Guten Cohen, JN story development editor