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A Special New Years’ Toast with the Mayor of Akko

Throughout July, 100 kids from Akko – Jews and Arabs – had a blast together at our Shared Existence Day Camp. Every day, 27 newly-trained youth counselors from the city guided the campers as they cooked, danced and laughed their way through the long summer days together.

This month, we were thrilled to be invited by the Akko Mayor Shimon Lankri for a special toast at City Hall to celebrate the New Year. The coordinators of each of the Educators’ Kibbutz projects in Akko and all of the municipal department heads came together for the auspicious occasion. We presented a short video documenting many of the amazing things we accomplished over the year. The mayor was especially impressed when we told him about:

  • Our 27 new youth counsellors from Akko who attended a national leadership training seminar

  • The 5,000+ guests at various live performances and events at the Jam this year

  • the first three graduates of the Ogen Club for At-Risk Youth to get high school matriculation certificates and to enlist in the IDF.

He was also happy to hear about how much we’ve grown – 30 new members have joined our urban educators’ kibbutz over the last two months and we just opened a brand new community education center: The Akko Advot Center.

After the presentation we talked with the mayor about the future and fostering our growth into the new year. We asked for his support in expanding our activities in the city which he agreed to whole-heartedly. We arranged to hold a meeting of a city-wide joint steering committee, to be chaired by the mayor and include the municipal department heads, to provide direction and support for growing and bolstering our projects into the new year and for years ahead.

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