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03/4/2014 - Jerusalem Mayor Meets Negba Children

Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Meets Negba Children, Views Beit Picard House of Hope as Model for Replication

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat spoke with Negba children and parents at the Marianne and Bernard Picard House of Hope located at the Amit Reshit School, in Jerusalem's Kiryat Menachem neighborhood. The kids presented Mayor Barkat with gifts they prepared for him – a Chanukiah decorated with Jerusalem's Old City skyline, and a vegetable basket with produce grown in their school's garden at the Reshit School.

"Negba has changed my family's life completely," remarked one parent to Barkat as she thanked him for partnering with Negba. "I know my child is in a safe place after school each day, gaining valuable educational help, and also having a lot of fun. It also lets me work later knowing my children are not in any trouble."

Beit Picard provides critical after-school academic, social and cultural enrichment for 40 children at-risk ages 6-12. It opened in November 2011 as a partnership project with the Jerusalem Municipality and with Israel's National Project for the Care of Children and Youth At-Risk, and in cooperation with the Reshit School. All of Beit Picard's children attend the Reshit School earlier in the day. Its unique format - different from Negba's other Houses of Hope- is designed to align Negba's program plan with the Reshit School's curricula to more effectively serve the children.

Impressed by what he saw, Mayor Barkat and his educational staff remarked that Beit Picard is a viable model for other after-school programs to be held in additional schools throughout the city.

Barkat also met with Negba's leadership and with staff members of Beit Picard and the Reshit School. Principal Tammy Friedman reminisced how, when she first met Claude Meyer to explore the possibility of joining forces, she was immediately impressed with Negba's program. Negba Vice Chair Yael Elon and Negba CEO Hannah Geissmann thanked Mayor Barkat for his support of Negba's program, and expressed Negba's desire to open additional Houses of Hope in Jerusalem. Negba and Jerusalem's Educational Authority (Manhi) will explore the possible opening of an additional Jerusalem House of Hope for the coming year.

Other activities at Beit Picard include a high level science and technology program, and an intensive summer camp for almost the entire month of July, including three outings. Beit Picard is funded in part by Israel's National Project for the Care of Children and Youth At-Risk, by the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, the Harevim Fund and the Yavne School Alumni Foundation.

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