Goldman Sachs Analyst: ALEH Negev, a Worthy Investment
August 10, 2009
Aug 10, 2009
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a leading global financial services firm, certainly knows the value of a good investment. And, in the wake of a visit to ALEH by Goldman Sachs Analyst Raluca Mihaila, it is clear that its employees also understand that the worth of an individual cannot always be measured in dollars and cents.
Raluca’s visit to ALEH came about following a decision by Goldman Sachs to invest in Athlone Global Security (AGS), a capital group that invests in high-tech Israeli companies specializing in the development and distribution of homeland security-related solutions. Athlone’s Chairman, Major General (Res) Doron Almog, is also the driving force behind the establishment of ALEH Negev – Nahalat Eran, the rehabilitative village in the south of Israel for severely disabled children and young adults.
Raluca and Doron share a connection beyond an expertise in the business of investments, speculation, and capital ventures. Doron has made it his life’s work to advocate on behalf of Israel’s most severely disabled. When he saw that his own son Eran, born autistic and cognitively disabled, required a new framework with new challenges as he grew older, he set his life’s goal to creating a long-term solution for Eran and his friends – in the form of ALEH Negev. For her part, in addition to serving as an analyst, Raluca Mihaila devotes her personal time to helping support the weaker segments of society. It was this mutual commitment that inspired a close friendship and brought her to ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran.
The visit cemented her belief that it was imperative to acknowledge and assist those who need it the most. “This has totally changed my perspective on life,” said Raluca. “It is clear to me that so many people need help, but are too often cast aside… people who simply need love, but who are banished to the fringe of society as if they didn’t exist.”
As an analyst for a firm providing services to a global client base, Raluca has certainly been exposed to a wide variety of innovations and different sorts of people. But nothing had prepared her for what she experienced at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran. In the exacting standards of society, personal achievement and lofty accomplishments are too often the yardsticks of success; at ALEH Negev, a smile, a laugh, or a hug are the goals and rewards. What characterizes the village is the sense of unconditional acceptance and love shown to each individual, regardless of their level of disability. This is especially evident in the warmth and devotion of the caregivers and in the strong bonds they have forged with the residents.
At the moving conclusion of her visit, Raluca summed up the experience simply: “This place… gives hope and a sense of purpose to so many people.”
Like Raluca, we think ALEH Negev is a worthy investment into the futures of some very special people.
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