October 28, 2010 / 20 Cheshvan 5771
Almog Levy, a trustee on the Youth Futures program in Kiryat Shmona, was born and raised in in Kiryat Shmona where he still lives with his wife, Moran, and baby. And he has no intention of leaving.
His mother and father were born in Kiryat Shmona. His mother’s parents came from Rabat, Morocco, and his father’s parents were born in Tunis, Tunisia. They all came to Israel on aliyah operations. His maternal grandmother was murdered in the Kiryat Shmona massacre in 1974, when a group of terrorists from the Popular Front General Command under the leadership of Ahmad Jibril murdered 18 people, including 8 children.
This tragic event happened three years before Almog and his twin brother were born.
With the event etched into the public memory in Kiryat Shmona, and the memory of the family in particular, Almog and his brother grew up nonetheless to parents who loved the city. The family made a living working at nearby kibbutzim and the children received a Zionist education at home.
Some of Almog’s close friends left town, but he refused to leave his beloved Kiryat Shmona.
His wife, Moran, was also born in Kiryat Shmona to parents who were educators.
After Almog's release from the army he attended Tel Hai College near Kiryat Shmona. He completed a BA in special education and started working with autistic children. Eventually, he gravitated towards Youth Futures.
“I was looking for something different to do that combined informal education with something that would connect me to the community," he said. Soon after he saw an ad for the Youth Futures program of the Jewish Agency that helps to empower children in the periphery and he was accepted. Almog is currently in his fourth year as a Trustee and he loves it.
"I feel that the children can be helped to cope with problems, to empower themselves, and to do some amazing things in this town," he said.
Almog also has gone above and beyond his duties, including connecting the children of Kiryat Shmona to youth movements, something that has not been a part of youth life in the city for years. A big part of these movements are activities to bridge the youth to social activism and to start thinking about how they, too, can give back and build up their city. He also helped devise a special afterschool tennis program that has already produced one outstanding player.
“I was born here, I was educated here and I live here, and I am paying back the city that has given me so much. That’s the story of my life," said Almog.
Photo Credit: Drori Shlomi