Joseph D. Beyda Special Education School Groundbreaking
Jun 7, 2005
Ground was broken at ALEH’s Negev site on May 24 for the Special Education School of the Rehabilitative Village. The building was dedicated to the memory of Joseph D. Beyda in a moving ceremony attended by members of the Beyda family, many friends from the Sephardic community, and dignitaries from ALEH and the Israeli government. Among those in attendance were Joe Beyda’s son Jeffrey, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Bakshi Doron, Sheila Kurtzer, the President of ALEH Negev and wife of the US Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer, and Major General Doron Almog, IDF (Res.), Chairman of the ALEH Negev Project.
ALEH is Israel’s leading provider of care and treatment for severely disabled infants and children. ALEH’s centers in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Gedera house and treat more than 500 youngsters with special needs. Their newest and most ambitious project to date, the Negev Project is a Rehabilitative Village being built on a 25-acre site near the city of Ofakim in the Negev Desert. The government of Israel, at the urging of Prime Minister Sharon, declared this a National Project, and it has become the centerpiece of the plans to develop the Southern region of Israel. The Village will include an occupational training center, therapeutic swimming pool, a full-service hospital, cafeterias, assisted living quarters, state-of-the-art treatment facilities, and the Special Education School that will bear the name of Joseph D. Beyda.
The Sephardic community has always recognized the importance of Jewish philanthropy and responded enthusiastically when called upon to help their brothers and sisters in Israel, and this was no exception. The Special Education School which they are making possible will stand for many years not only as a monument to the memory of Joe Beyda, but as a testament to the commitment and dedication of the Sephardic community to the State of Israel. Together, they have already raised more than a half million dollars for the project, and have pledged to do whatever it takes to see the building completed. Both Mrs. Kurtzer and General Almog expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the Beydas and their community for their selfless efforts on behalf of those Israelis least able to help themselves.
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