(May 23, 2022, Jerusalem, Israel, JNS Wire)
On May 22, 2022, StandWithUs held a ribbon-cutting event to mark the expansion of its Katz Education Center located in the heart of Jerusalem. The new facility is now able to host tens of thousands more visitors each year and have a virtual, digital space for online sessions and programming. In attendance were dignitaries, supporters and friends of the organization, and heads of other organizations. StandWithUs CEO and COO Roz and Jerry Rothstein, who opened the Israel office in 2006, were also in attendance, along with participants of the StandWithUs VIP Mission to Israel.
The expanded Evelyn and Dr. Shmuel Katz Education Center, is located on the historic intersection between King David Street and George Washington Street. The Center is directly across the street from the King David Hotel. It was opened by Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat in 2015, who called StandWithUs “a strategic partner and shareholder of this city” and the center was named as a tourism site in the capital, with a municipality street sign placed outside the King David Hotel with StandWithUs in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
The new Center has an auditorium, an interactive virtual learning center, TV Studio, seminar and meeting room, education and digital hub, a large kosher kitchen for events, and an innovative, interactive “Studio Experience” to educate visitors about all things Israel.
Roz Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of StandWithUs, said: “We established an office in Israel sixteen years ago, thanks to the combined vision of our executive staff, our national Board with generous support from Evelyn and Dr. Shmuel Katz. Our work in Israel has grown exponentially since then. Now, on the very weekend that we turn 21 years old, we are building on that vision in ways we could only have dreamed of when we started this organization in 2001. The new facility will work as both a physical and virtual learning center – allowing us to reach massive new audiences around the world. It will provide an interactive, immersive Israel experience that will bring tens of thousands of new visitors through the door and will empower young people and adults alike to fight antisemitism and educate about Israel. We are immensely grateful to our Board and donors, including the Katz family and Janice and Steve Hefter, who have supported this expansion with significant funding.”
Michael Dickson, Executive Director of StandWithUs Israel, said: “Since we opened our Jerusalem office, we have hosted thousands of students and tourists from all over the world each year. Our programs have grown quickly, and we have simply run out of space. We took additional space behind our offices, and now have the opportunity to expand our innovative work to accommodate even more visitors, significantly increasing our outreach to students, community members, tourists and groups. With our digital audience in the tens of millions, we will also house a state-of-the-art studio and virtual learning center so that we can produce more educational content.”
Addressing the audience via video, Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog said: “For more than 20 years, StandWithUs has been helping millions of people around the world gain a deeper understanding of the modern miracle that is the State of Israel. During my career in politics, in public life, and at the Jewish Agency and now as President of the State of Israel, I have seen how time and again, StandWithUs and those it trains and empowers, stand up to combat delegitimization, speak up to counter antisemitism and step up to promote a future of peace and prosperity for Israel and the region. For years StandWithUs has been a pioneer in bringing cutting-edge educational resources and grassroots activism tools to the entire pro-Israel community. Congratulations StandWithUs, I have no doubt that through this new Education Center in Jerusalem you will continue to deeply impact people from all across the globe. Thank you for all that you are doing for Israel and the Jewish People – Mazel tov!”
A message was also played from StandWithUs co-founder and International President, Esther Renzer. Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum paid tribute to the importance of the work of StandWithUs, noting that it was founded as she made Aliyah to Israel. She then made a special presentation to SWU co-founders Roz and Jerry Rothstein on behalf of the City of Jerusalem.
Following the ceremony, StandWithUs board members Evelyn and Shmuel Katz, Janice and Steve Hefter, Dahlia and Art Bilger joined executives Roz and Jerry Rothstein and Michael Dickson to affix the Mezuzah and cut the ribbon to the new StandWithUs Education Center.
More information about the New StandWithUs Katz Education Center website is here: https://www.standwithus.com/israelcenter
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