Eitan Moran, Executive Director of the Society for Advancement of Education, Jerusalem, was recognized for his dynamic and innovative leadership of SAE over the past ten years at the 2018 AFK New York Gala on October 16, 2018 at The Jewish Museum in Manhattan. Here are excerpts of the remarks Eitan delivered that evening:
Good evening, thank you all for being here with us. Tonight we celebrate the accomplishments of the Society for Advancement of Education, and we pay tribute to one of Israel’s most talented diplomats, Ido Aharoni, who is part of the Society’s family.
Ten years ago, as I was completing my two years at the Mandel Institute for Educational Leadership, Yossi Ashkenazi, Chairman of the SAE Board called me with the wonderful news that I was to receive the appointment as CEO.
I knew that the honor of leading this organization would come with the responsibility of changing the lives of young people throughout Israel. I take this responsibility very seriously and it has guided my work over the last decade. I am happy to say that I have been privileged to be surrounded with people who share this vision.
The charge to effect TIKUN is at the core our identity. There is however no TIKUN OLAM without TIKUN ADAM, we cannot repair the world without transforming humanity – and this includes both our own personal TIKUN and society’s as a whole. There is nothing more important than supporting TIKUN of a child that carries in his hands the hope for a better and brighter future.
I feel very blessed to be here with you tonight at this joyous event, and there are questions that challenge me each day –
- Have I brought the Society for Advancement of Education to a better place over the past decade?
- Have I managed to lead the SAE to take on the very real challenges of Israeli society?
In the past decade, I have had the privilege and duty to harness the collective creativity of SAE’s staff for the future and build new bridges to communities that until now have been neglected.
- We have created educational communities that encourage a love of learning and enable our students to realize their potential for excellence in education while still demanding excellence in every aspect from teachers, staff and students.
- We have created a different voice in the Haredi community that seeks a better future for both its sons and daughters by initiating a new educational home and delivering a new message through the Hachmey Lev Yeshiva. Together with the courageous Rabbi Bezalel Cohen, we established a unique school for young Haredi men who wish to maintain their religious identity and at the same time to acquire a profession, to integrate into academic education and the job market. This year, we rejoiced in the establishment of Shoshanim, a unique school emphasizing science and art for Haredi women, led by Vered Bachar.
- We learned ways to enable children with learning difficulties, a subject very close to my heart, to express excellence in their own way, and to gain recognition for their talents and abilities. We have enabled them to develop the confidence that they deserve and gain an education that makes it possible to fulfill their potential.
- We established programs of excellence in the different educational sectors in Israel. In fact, the very first school we established over 55 years ago was for the non-religious sector.
- We made a sincere effort to respond to the needs within Arab society in Israel. Last September, we
established an Arab residential Youth Village, Sindiana, the first of its kind, as well as leadership groups for Arab youth. We were fortunate to partner with Ali Haider, a caring and sensitive professional. His partnership has changed the Society, and turned us into an organization that seeks to connect all four tribes of Israel: secular, religious, Haredi and Arabs.
Through our founding fathers, the Boyar Family, Steinberg Family, Jesselson Family, and many other good people, we developed our vision and mission. We have enabled over 30,000 graduates to obtain an outstanding education, guided by values of caring to the other, for a better future.
Our students choose their own path in shaping their values and beliefs in Jewish tradition. We do not impose one way or another, and we let our students express their Jewishness in a wide range of ways.
Our guiding values are loyalty, creativity, and excellence in education. Tonight, it is our privilege to rejoice in the happiness that comes from creativity. You are all part in this creation !
This is an amazing opportunity to thank our partners. There are many good people to thank and I apologize in advance to those who I don’t mention by name.
- Many thanks to Yossi Ashkenazi, our Chairman, who has spent his days and nights enabling the work of the Society for Advancement of Education. Yossi is a leader and a mentor. Without his caring and interest, all of this would not have happened.
- To Yefet Ozery, who guided me through the American philanthropic system; to Gary Bretton-Granatoor, who is carrying the torch of SAE’s work; to Larry Geiger, a talented professional, and colleague; to Jessica Lawson Stein, my partner in SAE’s management; to Ali, and many more, thank you!
- A special thanks to our friends at the NY Federation, and many other Federations, Foundations and individual donors for the great things that we have created together and that we will continue to create. Thank for your friendship, warmth, responsiveness and willingness to help.
- Roni Rubenstein, you have been a real asset to our work and we are most grateful.
- David Mallach, in English, your last name means ‘angel’. Your support for our work has strengthened us.
- Thank you to the Boyar family, to Karen, Julie, and of course to you, Ido. You are the pillar of our home, עמוד האש לפני המחנה
- Thank you to the beloved Steinberg family.
- Thank you to the Jesselson family.
- Thank you, Charlotte Frank. We were able to create a world class Dr. Charlotte K. Frank Science Center at Boyar thanks to your generosity.
- Thank you to our alumni and AFK Board members who are here with us tonight including Joseph Ahram, Yair Segev, Rina Shkolnik, Zvi Chalamish, Talia Katz, Ika Brakha, for the leadership, energy, and talent that you invested in our new organization.
While I am grateful for your recognition of my ten years with Kidum, it is really the efforts of so many talented and dedicated people who have made this vision become real.
In the last decade, we created new educational institutions to hundreds of children all over the country. I am here to commit that we will continue to be caring, and look after the needs of our students, creating genuine solutions for them, for the best of Israel.
Thank you all for your trust and support me and Kidum, your friendship is an assets to me.
Thanks to my beloved family. To my partner for this journey, all what I did belongs to you.
God bless you all.