01/04/2017

Improving Lives of At-Risk Youth

Tags: Federation, PR, Israel, Overseas

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Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Rainey Institute Partnership Improves Lives of At-Risk Youth in Local and Global Community

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland and Rainey Institute are proud to announce an international partnership. The Federation-supported Youth Futures program in Israel and Rainey Institute are collaborating with teachers, principals, mentors and site coordinators to come together and examine blind case studies involving at-risk youth.

“We are coming together from different cultures to help each other, help students and help families,” said Ilanit Gerblich Kalir, Managing Director of International Operations at the Federation. “At-risk youth knows no international borders.”

A delegation of Youth Futures professionals will be visiting Cleveland from January 8 – 15, 2017. Rainey Institute and Youth Futures professionals will each write a short case study based on children they have worked with. Professionals will examine a set of those case studies and discuss different approaches and solutions to the issue at-hand.

“Looking at the case studies, you would assume it is simple to identify exactly where the student lives,” Kalir said. “But the issues at-risk youth and their families face – drug addiction, family trauma, poverty – are identical around the world.”

Youth Futures provides community-based mentoring for at-risk youth to improve school performance, strengthen social integration and inspire community engagement. In one year alone, over 12000 students and their families were helped by more than 400 Youth Futures professionals and their families in 36 communities across Israel.

The Federation has a long history of collaborating with social service agencies and educational organizations to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the Cleveland community as well. Since 1999, the Federation’s Public Education Initiative (PEI) has worked in partnership with Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and is now the largest literacy tutoring program in the district.

In 2013, the Federation and Rainey Institute partnered with CMSD and United Way of Greater Cleveland to launch the Wraparound Services Initiative at Case Elementary School. In addition to providing students with academic support, the initiative gives students and their families access to family engagement, enrichment programming, plus social services.

“Rainey Institute and the Federation face common challenges dealing with underserved communities in Cleveland and Israel,” said Lee Lazar, Executive Director at Rainey Institute. “This partnership helps enhance our respective programs to make them as effective as they can be.”

Rainey Institute is dedicated to positive growth for Cleveland youth through education and participation in the performing and visual arts, serving more than 2000 children in comprehensive dance, drama, art, and music programs.

For more information about the partnership, please contact Ilanit Gerblich Kalir at the Federation at ikalir@jcfcleve.org or Lee Lazar at Rainey Institute at llazar@raineyinstitute.org.


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