Consulate General of Israel and LA’s BEST Celebrate Diversity and the Culmination of a Yearlong Series of Events

June 13, 2010

Los Angeles - June 13 - The Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles and LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program initiated a partnership which brings together students from LA’s BEST program sites and local Jewish day schools. The partnership, a first of its kind, focuses on building a bridge of understanding between children from very distinct communities, which is characteristic of the diversity of the City of Los Angeles. On Sunday, June 13, the alumni of the partnership gathered together at Edward Roybal Learning Center in downtown Los Angeles, along with their families, to celebrate the culmination of the unique collaboration.

“Diversity is what strengthens the dynamic communities in which we live and those which we represent,” said Consul General of Israel, Jacob Dayan. “We must teach our children the beauty of working together, living together and learning from our neighbors. This is the secret to empowering the future generations.”

“The boards, family and staff of LA's BEST are gratified by the outcomes of this partnership that has created such goodwill and inspiration among children and staff across Los Angeles and will reap benefits in both communities for years to come,” said Carla Sanger, President & CEO of LA's BEST.

Throughout the 2009-2010 school-year 700 students from the LA’s BEST program and local Jewish day schools engaged in a program series where students shared their traditions and cultures. The ongoing partnership aims to connect students with others in the community to enhance a vital component of the learning experience and help students broaden their perspectives, promote a better understanding and respect for others — and enrich their lives.                 

During Sunday’s festivities, students learned Israeli dancing, participated in a musical instrument workshop and created a dove mural. The mural, designed by artist Jake Hooper and contributed to by the students participating in the program, is a symbol of hope for a peaceful future.The culminating ceremony, hosted by comedian Ernie G., featured speeches from Consul General Jacob Dayan and LA’s BEST President & CEO, Carla Sanger. Singer Cymphonique, accompanied by the children, sang "Together We'll Be Strong," an original song created for LA's BEST and the children of Los Angeles written by husband-and-wife songwriting team Ron Wasserman and Kathy Fisher.

It is the hope of all partners involved that by making the initial connection between children of the Jewish Day Schools in Los Angeles and the LA's BEST program, that we spark a long-lasting, mutually-fulfilling relationship for everyone involved — and a brighter future for younger generations across the City of Los Angeles.