|The Russel family of Baltimore|
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Ceremony with Russel Family at Nesher
On Thursday 30th June, the NESHER Youth Center held a dedication ceremony, as the Center reopened after a renovation funded by the Russel family of Baltimore, in honor of their beloved mother Adele "Alli" Russel.
The Nesher Center was established by the ENP in 2007 for Youth of Ethiopian extraction, under the auspices of the non-profit organization Dror. The Center is located in Shimshon neighborhood, is active 5 days a week and offers inter-generational and youth enrichment programs.
Steve Russel of Baltimore first visited the Nesher Center during the Ashkelon-Baltimore Partnership Family Mission in December 2010. Steve was impressed by the Nesher program but also saw the need to renovate and improve the building. Steve, his brother Robert, and the whole Russel family decided to fund the renovation. The renovation was carried out in cooperation with the Municipality of Ashkelon.
The dedication ceremony opened with a performance by the Or Addis Havatzelet choir, and was conducted in Hebrew by Shalva Mamu- a participant in Nesher programs, and in English by Sigal Ariely.
Mr Benny Vaknin, Mayor of Ashkelon welcomed and thanked the Russel family and the guests,, and presented the Russel family with certificates and ancient medal replicas. Benny Vaknin also thanked Marc Terril and Bruce Sholk for the Baltimore Jewish Federation's continued efforts to assist the Ethiopian community and the city of Ashkelon.
At the end of the ceremony the Russel family uncovered the plaque in honor of their mother, at the entrance to the Center, and experienced some traditional Ethiopian food, dance and music.