Pirchei Karmiel Association

For more than three decades The Pirchei Karmiel Association has been active in the community of Karmiel, working with children outside school hours, focusing on enrichment programs in the fields of culture, education, science, art, sport and welfare.

Today around 1000 children from eight schools around the city participate in the association activities. The Association is run on a voluntary basis by 7 members and also by parents. This innovative project gives many children in the city of Karmiel the opportunity to participate in enrichment classes and recreational activities at the highest level and at an affordable price to all.

History

The Pirchei Karmiel Association was established by the Parents Committee of the Perachim School in 1989. The Association was formed out of the parents’ belief that the school was an institution of the community combining academic activity in the mornings and enrichment activities in the afternoon, with the parents involvement in all stages of the project. Another target which the parents set themselves was to ensure that participation fees would be affordable for every child.

At the beginning the association ran a limited number of classes solely for pupils of the Prachim school and the classes were mainly sport and movement, English and sciences and around 250 children participated.

Activities

Around 1000 children from eight schools currently participate in the association activities enjoying many classes in technology, art and sport. The association also runs camps during school vacations and welfare centers within the schools with the cooperation and support of the Karmiel City Council.

Classes

The association offers children the possibility to participate in over twenty classes including computers, research labs, young entrepreneurs, magic and juggling, Karate, English, art and sculpture, music and various instruments, dance (folk, ballroom, jazz), , theatre, cinema, aerobic sport, football, basketball and many more varied subjects. Due to the great demand for football and basketball the association opened additional activity centers in some of the schools including The Irisim, Rakefet, Calanit, HaReut, Alon and Dekel. The football college began its activities with around 25 participants and today there are more than 300 players.

Ballroom Dancing Group

In the field of ballroom dancing the association has seen one of it’s most impressive achievements which is one of the largest ballroom dancing groups in the country. At its peak the group numbers around 180 dancers. The group has represented Karmiel in Israel and overseas a great number of times, has appeared around the country on countless occasions at festivals, displays, government functions, television programs, national dancing competitions and more.

Welfare Centers

Within its community activities the association runs school welfare centers for the Karmiel City Council Welfare Department. These centers are intended to help children from the lower socio-economic layers in each school. In these centers the children receive help with homework, can play games, are given hot meals and receive lots of love and attention. Initially the children received only light lunches. At the end of 2000, with the cooperation of welfare and education departments and with the help of donations from various factories, the association established a kitchen to cook hot meals for the children of the centers. The kitchen functions under the supervision and approval of the Ministry of Health, the local council and the Rabbinate.

This important project began with two centers of 15 children in each and today it covers six centers around the city caring for around 80 children.

Holiday Camps

During the summer and Passover vacations the associations run holiday camps for the city children including ‘fun days’, art and recreation both in the city and outside it. The camps have gained a wonderful reputation and the number of children participating increases each year.

Between the years 1994 and 2001 the number of children participating in the summer camp grew from 50 to 200.

Transportation

The transport system began to operate in 1993 and during the initial years the Association used the services of a private transport company to carry the children only from the Makush and Irisim neighborhoods. Today the association provides transport for children from eight neighborhoods around the city and the number of children requiring this service has grown from 30 to 120. Following the expansion in the association activities and in order to cut down operating expenses the association purchased a passenger vehicle. The vehicle serves to transport the children and also to carry goods for the kitchen such as bringing produce from the various donors and shopping centers and delivering the hot meals each day to the activity centers.

Association Management

The association is managed by seven members and by volunteer parents. The day to day running of the association is orchestrated by the Association Director, Fredi Lasri, who is a salaried employee.

The Association is legally registered with the Registrar of Associations in the State of Israel, operates in accordance with the regulations of the Registrar of Associations and an accountant oversees the financial activities of the association.

Throughout all the years of its activity the association has enjoyed the support of the Karmiel City Council. The council expresses this support through the allocation of facilities to the various activities, its support of needy children, funding the costumes for the dancing group, support for special projects and allocating a location for the kitchen.

The Association works in full cooperation with the principals of the various schools in the area, with the parents’ committees and also with the welfare and education directors in the city.

The association has introduced a differential payment system for the participation in the activities that includes significant discounts for children of limited resources.

The association activities are subsidized almost entirely by payment for the classes and in part by donations for the kitchen.

The association is managed by:

Efraim Batzir – Chairman, retired, former senior manager in a governmental company

Ronen Holtser – Treasurer, B.Sc, computers technician, worker of a governmental company

Members:

Shay Sulimani – Audit committee, program manager

Yossi Zatelman – Audit committee, senior engineer in a governmental company

Shahar Nahum – Media and internet, senior engineer in a governmental company

Lior Hyman– Company manager

Raviv Mizrahi – Production line manager