The 50th Anniversary celebration of the Steinberg Residential Educational Campus on June 8th brought 900 alumni and friends back to the Kfar Saba campus for reunion and remembrance. (See highlight video below)
Steinberg was established in 1967 through the vision and generosity of Sol and Betty Steinberg of Los Angeles, the Society for Advancement of Education, the Kfar Saba municipality, and the Sapir Foundation of the Jewish Agency for Israel. The purpose of the residence is to enable talented youth, mostly from peripheral towns in northern Israel, to access leading high schools in the affluent cities of Kfar Saba and Ra’anana and realize their full academic, personal or social potential, for a real chance for success.
The only three directors Steinberg has had — David Meiselman, Erez Shaiovitz and Gali Hakim – were all on hand as alumni first met by graduating class and then filled the amphitheater to capacity. Musical performances by alumni, remarks by directors and dignitaries and a special video from the Steinberg family, received with cheers, highlighted the festivities.
Attendees learned that:
- Steinberg students attend 8 different high schools in the area
- 90% of Steinberg students graduate with a bagrut, a high school diploma
- 80% of bagrut recipients go on to higher studies
- Of those that join the IDF, 40% become officers
Many alumni shared their warm recollections and affection for the Steinberg, often crediting David Meiselman, who still calls each alumni on his or her birthday, with bringing everyone together. As alumni Yossi said, “we learned skills, values and tools for life here.” Other alumni also shared their recollections:
- Herzl, a member of the first graduating class, came from Yokneam and still lives there today. When Herzl arrived at Steinberg there were only two buildings, one for borders and a hut that was used for a dining room. The rest of the area was covered in orchards. Herzl recalled that for his first semester he was far behind academically from his counterparts but received tutoring and private lessons at Steinberg and by the second semester he was at the top of his class. Herzl always makes a point to attend the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the school and visits the parents of those who had lost their lives during Israel’s various wars. He really feels that Steinberg was a second home for him.
- Shimon from Jerusalem, came to Steinberg in ninth grade and went back to live in Jerusalem, where he still resides, after graduating in the sixth class. Shimon only has good memories from Steinberg and is in touch with many of his old classmates. In fact, he opened an accountancy firm in Jerusalem together with David who was his classmate at Steinberg who also attended the celebration.
- Clarisse, a member of the tenth graduating class, came to Steinberg in ninth grade from Ashkelon. It took her a long time to acclimatize to living away from home. But she recalled that David Meiselman made the place what it was and offered her support away from home. “The people at Steinberg were amazing”. In fact, her daughter went to a boarding school for two years in order to understand better the experience that her mother had been through.
- Yoram Kachlon, at right with his ninth graduating class picture, serves on the alumni committee for Steinberg. His dream is to eventually have a swimming pool built at Steinberg.
Jessica Lawson Stein, the Director of Resource Development at the Society for Advancement of Education and who attended the 50th Celebration and reporting for this article, summed up the event — “it was a very special and emotional evening for everyone. It was intimate even with the numbers of people that attended which is one of the things that made it so special. Steinberg did a great job.”
Enjoy this highlight video of the Steinberg Residence 50th Anniversary Celebration.