Jewish Agency and Federations Leaders Replace a Herd of Stolen Goats at Ben Yakir Youth Village

October 25, 2009 / 7 Cheshvan 5770


Jewish Agency lay leaders and Federation colleagues pitch in to replace a stolen herd

Children living at the Jewish Agency’s Ben Yakir’s Youth Village, which is home to 120 at-risk youth, were shocked yesterday morning (Thursday, Oct. 22) to find their prized animal corner burglarized and all 53 goats gone. The police, who were called in, said the three men had entered the zoo overnight and stolen the animals.

Ben Yakir Youth Village is known for its animal therapy program, and the zoo, which includes -- in addition to the goats -- horses, sheep rabbits, birds and an ostrich, is maintained almost entirely by the youth, and helps them in their social and emotional development. Ben Yakir is one of four Jewish Agency Villages for youth at high risk, many children of new immigrant families. Youth and staff alike were shocked by the loss of the animals, and the Youth Village director wrote a letter describing the incident.

Within hours, Jewish Agency lay leaders, staff and colleagues from several federations pitched in and by the end of the day enough money was raised to replace the entire stolen flock. Each goat costs approximately $120.

Staff at Ben Yakir have already contacted an animal herder to replace the goats; a surveillance camera and fencing will be installed around the zoo as well.

"It was heart warming to see the immediate response to restoring the stolen goats” said Maxyne Finkelstein, CEO of the Jewish Agency in North America who coordinated the quick fundraising effort. “Everyone understood immediately that these animals are both pets and a means of helping troubled children build confidence and skills."

Caption: A child at the Jewish Agency Ben Yakir Youth Village playing with a goat, one of the entire herd that was stolen overnight Wednesday. Credit: Courtesy Jewish Agency.

For pictures in high resolution photos click:

For further information contact:
Michael Jankelowitz,
Liaison to the Foreign Press, Jewish Agency for Israel
Mobile: +972-52-6130220;
Voice-mail: +972-2-620-2780



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25 Oct 2009 / 7 Heshvan 5770 0