AMIT Children celebrated a significant milestone on the evening of June 14, hosting its 98th Annual Assembly at the Center for Jewish History, New York City. The event was an inspiring evening for all who attended, and a testament to AMIT’s enduring commitment to transforming the lives of Israel’s children. The Annual Assembly marked the inauguration of incoming president Shari Safra.
The Annual Assembly Master of Ceremonies was Suzanne Doft, with distinguished guest speaker, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan. His powerful words reminded attendees of the impactful work AMIT does and the continued relevance of its mission.
The evening was filled with both reflection and anticipation as AMIT bid farewell to outgoing president, Audrey Axelrod Trachtman. Audrey’s leadership has seen AMIT reach unprecedented heights, most recently overseeing the groundbreaking for AMIT’s $70 million Kfar Batya campus last month, and the entire organization will forever be grateful for her dedicated service and unwavering commitment to AMIT’s cause. Her passionate speech underscored the remarkable impact of AMIT Children and its mission to equal the playing field for Israel’s underserved.
“We are thrilled to welcome Shari Safra as our new president,” said Audrey Axelrod Trachtman. “Her insight and leadership will be invaluable to AMIT Children’s evolution.”
“Over the past four years, AMIT implemented a host of new, innovative programs to improve academic performance and motivation for our 40,000 students. We expanded our ‘break the glass ceiling’ programs for disadvantaged students and added a significant number of secular schools to our educational community. We recently broke ground on our flagship campus that will serve as an educational laboratory hub in the center with spokes reaching all our schools throughout Israel,” said Mrs. Trachtman as she reflected on her four-year tenure as AMIT’s president. “We are excited for Shari, as AMIT’s new President, to continue to expand our impact in Israel and lead our growth initiatives and cutting-edge programs.”
The night served as a platform to welcome AMIT’s new president, Shari Safra, whose tenure officially begins in September. Shari shared her vision for the future of AMIT Children, sparking enthusiasm among all attendees for the organization’s potential to create even more transformative experiences for the children of Israel.
“Just as when AMIT was founded, it is incumbent on us to be innovative and daring. We must be relentless in pursuing excellence for our schools, our faculty, and most importantly, our students,” AMIT’s incoming president, Shari Safra, stated. “When we see the demographics of Israel changing before our eyes, we must respond in a productive way. We need to harness the brainpower of our research and development teams in Israel who create innovative teaching methods that we can apply nationwide. Already, as a board, we have made bold and even brave decisions to move our network into the 21st century. Our leadership must be more formidable and better positioned to carry on this mission long after my term comes to an end, and I invite you to join me on that journey.”
“We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who joined us in celebrating this milestone event,” stated Suzanne Doft, the evening’s master of ceremonies. “With the shared dedication of our supporters, volunteers, staff, and leadership, we are confident that we can continue AMIT’s mission and propel it to even greater heights under the stewardship of Shari Safra.”
In addition to inaugurating Mrs. Safra as AMIT’s new president, this year’s Annual Assembly welcomed new board members and chairs to the AMIT leadership team. “One of the most important factors to AMIT’s organizational success is that every four years new lay talent are given the opportunity to lead,” explains Andrew Goldsmith, executive vice president of AMIT. “We’re very excited by our new board members and the skill set they offer to the AMIT community.”
Chana Shields is the new chair, Board of Directors, and the new board members announced are Jennifer Bernstein, Member at Large; Michelle Chrein, Chair, Board of Governors; Meyer Koplow, Member at Large; Daniel Miller, Member at Large and Elizabeth Straus Greenspan, Member at Large.
Further details about the Annual Assembly are available on the AMIT Children’s website: www.amitchildren.org.
Founded in 1925, AMIT serves 40,000 students each year across 96 schools in 32 cities throughout Israel. AMIT welcomes all children and enables students to realize their potential and strengthen Israeli society by educating and nurturing children from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds within a framework of innovation, academic excellence, and Jewish values. For more information, please visit www.amitchildren.org.
In 2014, AMIT launched a new methodology called Gogya as a vision to change Israel’s education system through a 21st-century lens focused on preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s economic, technological, and societal shifts. At the heart of the educational approach is the understanding that a teacher must transition from a transmitter of knowledge to a mentor who guides and accompanies the student in goal setting and dreaming and then realizing these dreams and goals.
On AMIT’s new Kfar Batya campus will be unique educational programs that develop an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and collaboration among students while maximizing each staff member’s unique talents and strengths.
AMIT’s new cutting-edge Gogya R&D Center for Innovation in Education on the Kfar Batya campus will serve as an incubator for developing and implementing new academic frameworks and train thousands of teachers each year. Academic excellence grounded in AMIT’s Torah values will continue to be the focus, with the singular goal of leveling the playing field for all Israeli children regardless of socio-economic background, disability, or personal challenges.
The new campus will feature The Evan and Layla Green Family Foundation Gogya Building and Program, The Educators’ Innovation Center, AMIT Headquarters, Community Athletic Complex, The Gwen Straus Junior and Senior High School for Boys, Elementary School, Welcome Center, Memorial Park for Fallen Soldiers, and Outdoor Amphitheater.
To learn more about AMIT Kfar Batya and to donate, visit www.kfarbatya.org
Note to Editors:
For high-resolution photos of the event, interviews, or further information, please contact Stacey Bender.