October 4, 2010 / 26 Tishrei 5771
The Apter Barrer Arts Center in Ma’alot-Tarshiha reopened after extensive renovations, made possible by the donations of Helene and Allen Apter, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and the Ma’alot-Tarshiha Municipality as well as by the extensive involvement of Yitzchak Shavit and the Israel Education Fund founded by the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The dedication ceremony was attended by Helene and Allen Apter, Mayor Shlomo Bohbot of Ma’alot-Tarshiha, and Jewish Agency representatives.
The Barrer Arts Center and the Apter Gallery together constitute a single entity, administrated by an independent non-profit organization whose members work on a volunteer basis. The goals of the center are to enable residents of the Galilee in general and Ma’alot-Tarshiha in particular to appreciate native Israeli art and to develop artistic ability within the community through a range of activities held at the gallery and workshops held by the center.
The center is supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the Ma’alot-Tarshiha municipality, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport, and the Abraham Fund.
Helene and Allen Apter helped with a donation for the wonderful renovations.
For more on the center, see: http://www.artsmaalot.com/site/
Shlomo Bohbot, Mayor of Ma’alot-Tarshiha, said:
“Our relationship with the donor families was forged in the 1980s as part of a neighborhood renewal project. This important project allowed us to establish ties with Zionist Jewish families around the globe, who transformed, by virtue of their contributions to projects that wrought change, the development towns of the past into today’s prosperous and developed cities. Without these donations, our city would still lack public institutions, community centers, cultural centers, and even schools.”
“The connection between the reality in Israel and the donor families led to significant gifts. The donors could see with their own eyes the changes that were fostered and take pride in being major partners in these important projects.”
“We got to know the Apter family as part of the project, when we began our partnership with the community in Pennsylvania in the 1980s. The family’s donation allowed for the development of a unique arts center, which quickly became a leading art house and greatly enhanced Ma’alot-Tarshiha’s as a creative and culturally influential city.”
“The donors were not content with a mere building; they continue to contribute to the creation of content for the arts center so that it does not become a ‘white elephant.’ Now, 30 years later, the site hosts cultural groups and continues to imbue local children with culture and art.”
The Mayor expressed his wishes:
“I want to express my wish that the Jewish Agency renew and expand the project to connect communities in the Galilee and the Negev with Jewish communities abroad so that we may preserve our achievements and continue making our communities better places to live.”