• Students in the centre receive instruction through computer-based programs.

  • Students in the centre receive instruction through computer-based programs.

  • The Winnipeg delegation at the official opening of the Community Action Centre in Beer Sheva.

“The Asper Foundation is proud to play an instrumental role in the creation of the Winnipeg Community Action Centre. This centre marks the deep respect and support of the people of Winnipeg for the social services being rendered to youth in developing communities in Israel. The need for the services of this centre is essential, now more than any other time in recent memory.”

“Our shared goals and values can only result in mutual benefits to each city.”

“As a sister city to Winnipeg, Beer Sheva is the ideal location for the creation of the Winnipeg Community Action Centre. It further solidifies Winnipeg’s commitment to vulnerable teenagers and to fostering cooperation in a safe, nurturing place. The Winnipeg Community Action Centre should be a source of pride for all Winnipeggers.”

“This centre is part of our ongoing effort to close the social gap in Israel. Equality of opportunity is an important value in itself and is essential for maintaining the strength of Israeli society. We hope to establish centres of this kind throughout the country.”

The Winnipeg Community Action Centre – Beer Sheva, Israel

In April 2002, The Asper Foundation funded the establishment of the Winnipeg Community Action Centre in Winnipeg’s sister city of Beer Sheva. The Centre was dedicated in the name of Israel Asper’s mother, Cecilia Asper z”l, who passed away April 8, 2002. Operating out of one of Beer Sheva’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods, the programming focuses on strengthening bonds within the family and among the community.  From Better Parenting programs to judo to child development classes and community celebrations, each program requires the participation of a parent and child. Run by Beit Moriah, the Centre works hand-in-hand with the City’s Welfare Department to identify the families most in need, to develop best practices in terms of providing programming specific to the neighborhood’s needs and to provide additional support from social workers and volunteers.

One of the Centre’s landmark programs is the Edible Garden. For more than six years, the Centre enlisted at-risk families to work the land, to attend nutritional workshops and family-oriented activities.  Two of the City’s social workers, together with a professional agronomist, led the programming. It enabled the families, most of whom were Ethiopian, to improve their Hebrew, inter-family relationships and nutritional practices while, at the same time, becoming more integrated into the Israeli community. As well, the social workers had the opportunity to get to know each family personally and ensure that they received the support they needed to thrive. The program was highly successful and has evolved into an entrepreneurial community restaurant for single mothers from all backgrounds. Families are recruited for this three-year program in which they learn principles about organic farming, nutrition and how to run a community business.

In the mornings, the Centre is bustling with activity, serving as a community centre for close to 200 seniors, providing computer classes, cultural activities, outings, Hebrew classes, computer classes and offering free legal services.

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