12/25/2016 - If You Dream It, It Will Come True:
Commemorative Evening In Memory of Claude Meyer, Negba Co-Founder
Last month the Negba family suffered the painful loss of its Co-Founder, Claude Meyer. Claude’s friends and family gathered at Negba recently for a touching evening to reflect on and remember the special individual Claude was. Negba’s children were the focal point of the evening- fittingly so, given their centrality to Claude’s being- singing songs, reciting poems, and performing a skit about the man they lovingly viewed as a grandfather.
“Claude was like a parent to us all,” remarked Hanna Geissmann, Negba’s CEO. “He was our leader, a visionary who worked incessantly for Negba’s children with the belief that if you dream to achieve something, it will come true. His dreams did. And they are what give us strength to continue.”
Jorge, 22, was one of Negba’s first young dreamers who followed his aspirations, thanks to Claude. When he was 10, Jorge joined a Negba after-school home. “I was a troublesome kid, and I didn’t want to learn,” he recalled. “But at Negba, the math program taught me a lot, and I learned from Claude the harms of violence.” Encouraged by Claude’s infectious vision and with Negba’s help, Jorge worked hard to improve his circumstances, eventually served in the army, and is employed in a profession he pursued.
Former Knesset Member Avi Wortzman, who served as Deputy Minister of Education and as Deputy Mayor of Beersheva, remembered his meeting with Negba’s “two Claudes” over a decade ago, when he was the CEO of Beit Moriah which subsequently partnered with Negba and provides space for its clubs up to the present day. “I thought they were two crazy men. But I sensed that it would be worth doing business with them. When I was later at the Beersheva Municipality, we considered Negba’s clubs the ideal model integrating all the elements - academic, emotional and social. Today, half of Beersheva’s clubs for children are Negba frameworks. We called them the dream clubs.”
Negba Board Chair Dr. Ilan Cohen, Batya Arieli, Director of Amit’s Elementary School Education Unit, Negba Board Member Dr. Jocelyn Hattab, volunteer Danielle Luzon and other friends shared their memories of this special individual. Claude’s beloved wife, Claudine, urged the gathering to keep Claude’s dream alive. “In his last days, even when he was a bit depressed, when Claude thought of Negba, his spirits improved,” said Claudine. “He is counting on all of you to continue his work.”