Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

To Orphans with Love

by Gad Nahshon

These two Israeli brothers decided, recently, to establish a unique organization, a non-profit one, an act of humanism, an act of love, a new personal mission: Raz-Ram Foundation (Israel Tel/Fax 03-546-7246) is the brainchild of Aviv and Arik Livnat, two Israeli born popular famous musicians: "What was the background for the establishment of this Raz-Ram Foundation? We became orphaned in the Six Days War since our father, the pilot Arnon Livnat, was killed in the battle. He was a distinguished jet fighter. Naturally, we understand the feelings, we know what the situation is of an orphanage," said Aviv Livnat, who wants to challenge the pain of Israeli orphans.

Of course, he calls on anyone who can help and donate to contact him. It is a moral mission, a moral obligation: "Our target population are all the orphans. The ones who lost their father, the ones who lost their mother. We adopted the orphans of the Israeli army families. We are also active among the Druzes or the Israeli-Arab orphans. We do not discriminate. All are our children, our extended family," stated Aviv Livnat.

The Raz-Ram Foundation was established in 1998. Many organizations and celebrities support it. President Moshe Katsav recently hosted 120 orphans in his official residence in Jerusalem. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Holdai, Israeli Minister of Culture, Science & Sport, Gen. (Res) Matan Vilnai, hosted the annual ceremony of Raz-Ram in Tel Aviv. The evening was also a tribute to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and to the American children at large.

Among the guest speakers was Mr. Eugene Santoro, U.S.A.'s representative. The place of ceremony was decorated by works of art of these orphans, an artistic project of Raz-Ram. Raz-Ram's press release tells a story of success: "The foundation was established to advance, nurture and enrich orphaned children and teenagers and to bring people closer through creativity and training in the arts. The program was attended by the foundation's prot�g�s who were subsequently invited to the Biblical Zoo and the Israel museum for a visit. The fund is supported by various organizations including the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Defense, the Jewish Agency, "Omanut La'am" and other "friends" from the private and business sectors. Among them: Transport Minister Dr. Ephraim Sneh, Israel's ambassador to the US, Gen. (Res) David Ivri, Israel music laureate Abel Erlich, and Mr. Avinoam Finkelman, president of the 'Delek' Group. The "Orphans without borders" project run by the Raz-Ram Foundation also directs its activities at the minorities sector involving Druze as well as Jewish children.

"This activity already takes place in Jaffa and Hurfesh. "Such activity is extremely important at a time when there is a real need to protect the delicate fabric of our joint lives," said chairman of the Foundation Aviv Livnat. Recently, a delegation headed by Matan Vilnai, Minister of Culture, Science & Sport, paid a visit to the Druze village Hurfesh while the activities were under way. The minister expressed his support for the Foundation's activities. The Foundation is planning 'creative nuclei' of orphans from Sderot, the Katif Bloc, and Metulla. Most of the Foundation activities rely on donations and volunteers."

The main function of Ram-Raz should be explained: Joining Hearts in Arts. The Livnat brothers are artists in their hearts, in their cultural creations. Their art is the world of music. Their mission is creativity, to promote creativity. Their 'grandpa' was a famous artist. They love his art. They integrated his art into their musical creativity, as well. Therefore, it is not surprising to find 'Hearts in Arts' as their belief. And it is their mission inside the world of the orphanage in Israel: "The system is based on a yearly project. We go to a group of orphans and we give them a mission: To establish a theater group. Another group has another mission: To build a chorus. Other group missions are in art: painting. We are active everywhere inside a Hasidic group or inside a Druze group of children. He can express himself but knows that, in the project, he must integrate himself to the specific group. It is also an emotional-psychological project. The orphan learns through the arts to challenge his problems, how to cope with his loss. We do use professional psychologists in our projects. I should also point out that these projects often are the bridge for the melting pot in the Israeli society," explained Aviv Livnat, founder of Ram-Raz, Israel's guardian angel of orphans.

Ram-Raz means that orphans or orphanages in Israel are not forgotten! Ram-Raz helps orphans to facilitate the healing of children who became victims of terrible a fate, of the loss of parents, victims of subtle mourning. Ram-Raz, by its artistic activities, helps to redeem these orphans and present them with hope, with new horizons, with a promising future.

The foundation's projects:

Tutoring project: This project enhances the artistic abilities of children, by providing a close and fruitful relationship with an adult artist, who usually comes from a similar personal background. The tutors encourage the children work, inspiring and motivating them, and assisting in their artistic development.

Scholarship project: Scholarships are being awarded to develop the student's artistic talent. A scholarship committee, composed of professionals from various fields, hands the awards and lends professional advice. The foundation maintains an ongoing relationship with the young artists, advising and encouraging their artistic talent.

Group projects: The foundation initiates and carries out art projects in the format of group activities. An art group project usually revolved around a certain artistic field, but also tries to introduce to the young artists several other fields of art, during the process of creation. Such format of activity brings about a meaningful interaction between the participants, young and adults, who comes from all the sectors of the Israeli society. A few artistic group projects are already practicing throughout Israel, and a few others are scheduled to begin their work in September 2001.

Among Raz-Ram activists: Yael Raz, Dr. Yitzhak Mendelson, President Moshe Katsav, Gila Katsav, Gen. (Res) Matan Vilnai, Gen. (Res) Efraim Sneh, Gen. (Res) David Ivry, Prof. Abel Erlich and Avinoam Finkelman. Raz-Ram is located at 3 Birenbaum Street, Tel Aviv, 62302.

Any American Jew whose heart is in Israel should support Ram Raz. It is a moral obligation since Israel is under siege. Every month children become orphans. It is Israel's painful reality. Ram-Raz is the guardian angel of these Israeli young victims and it needs your utmost support. How can you find a better alternative way to support Israel? Its children, its orphans?

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